Colour Of Bronchitis Mucus

  • White mucus

A viral infection starts with white sputum that leads to viral bronchitis, during which the sputum can change colour to yellow-green.

  • Yellow-green mucus

Is caused by an infectious disease, but note that the type of infection cannot be determined by the colour of mucus. 

  • Brown mucus

Brown mucus comes from blood and intense chronic inflammation. Bacteria accumulate in the lungs and cause very gradual changes in the consistency and appearance of mucus.

  • Red, pink, or bloody mucus

In some cases, such mucus can be associated with an infection or cancer.

  • Black mucus

Viral bronchitis is formed due to inflammation in the bronchial tubes. Most often, such mucus is present in people who smoke or work in mines or factories. 

What are the symptoms of bronchitis?

Bronchitis is an infection of the main airways of the lungs, which causes their irritation and inflammation.

Cough is an integral symptom of any bronchitis. Most often, it is dry, gradually turning into wet as the disease progresses or is treated. Accompanying symptoms, especially when it comes to viral bronchitis, can be noted:

  • A sore throat
  • A headache
  • A runny or blocked nose
  • tiredness

Also, if you have heart or lung conditions, such as heart failure and asthma, it can make your condition worse.

How to determine bronchitis by the colour of mucus?

During a wet cough, sputum discharge is observed. The type and degree of development of the disease can be determined by the colour of the mucus, for example:

  • White and clear-white sputum is the norm for ordinary bronchitis;
  • Yellow sputum indicates the presence of a bacterial infection;
  • Green sputum - evidence of the development of pneumonia, fungus or lung abscess;
  • Brown sputum is an indicator of a chronic form of the disease or the presence of complications.

Which colour of mucus do I need to worry about?

When do you seek medical attention? 

Chronic bronchitis can be treated at home by following some lifestyle changes. Most cases of acute bronchitis can be easily cured at home with rest, taking non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs and a large amount of content, but if it lasts for 10 days and passes without complications, but if the condition is repeated and becomes systemic, it is necessary to add a specialist to identify the causes of relapses and make an effective treatment regimen. 

Medication and ways to get rid of mucus at home

Some lifestyle changes can eliminate up to 90% of your symptoms:

  • A balanced diet
  • Regular exercises, walks
  • Avoiding smoking
  • Drink plenty of fluids


Bronchitis, an infection causing irritation in the lungs' main airways, has various symptoms including a cough, sore throat, headache, fatigue, and nasal issues. The color of mucus can indicate the nature of bronchitis: white for viral bronchitis, yellow for bacterial infections, green suggests pneumonia or fungus, and brown denotes a chronic form. However, color alone doesn't determine the exact infection. Particularly worrisome are repeated occurrences or mucus lasting more than 10 days. People with bronchitis should consider home treatments like a balanced diet, regular exercise, avoiding smoking, and staying hydrated. But for persistent symptoms, seeking professional medical advice is crucial.

This content is purely informational and isn’t medical guidance. It shouldn’t replace professional medical counsel. Always consult your physician regarding treatment risks and benefits. See our editorial standards for more details.

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