Rated 5.0/5 based on 10 votes

Top
10
Doctor insights on: Is Yellow Mucus Bacterial Or Viral

Share
1

1
How do you know if thick yellow/green mucous is bacterial or viral and if antibiotics are needed? Don't want unnecessary antibiotics.

How do you know if thick yellow/green mucous is bacterial or viral and if antibiotics are needed?  Don't want unnecessary antibiotics.

Bronchitis: The color and thickness of the mucus tells you nothing. By itself, it's not a reason for antibiotics. If you also had fever, shortness of breath, and/or chest pain, then you should be checked for pneumonia. ...Read more

Mucus (Definition)

Like material that functions to moisten and protect inner body surfaces. The viscous slippery substance that consists chiefly of mucin, water, cells, and inorganic salts and that is secreted as a protective lubricant coating by the cells and glands of the mucous membranes. The free slime of the mucous membranes, composed of secretion of the glands, various salts, ...Read more

Dr. Stephen Scholand
Board Certified, Infectious Disease
17 years in practice
1.0M people helped
Get help from a real doctor now
Continue
2

2
Can cough, greenish yellow phlegm/mucus and head/ear congestion persist for awhile after a viral URI? Feel better except for these things. No fever.

Can cough, greenish yellow phlegm/mucus and head/ear congestion persist for awhile after a viral URI? Feel better except for these things. No fever.

Maybe: without an exam, I can only give general information, but classically after an inflammatory process in the upper respiratory area, the body is more susceptible to secondary infection with whatever germs are there. Strep and mouth germs are the most common causes and these often require antibiotics. ...Read more

See 1 more doctor answer
Dr. Stephen Scholand
Board Certified, Infectious Disease
17 years in practice
1.0M people helped
Get help from a real doctor now
Continue
3

3
Coughing up mucus from lungs. Its yellowish green and it tastes horrible. Does that mean it's bacterial or viral?

Coughing up mucus from lungs. Its yellowish green and it tastes horrible. Does that mean it's bacterial or viral?

Productive cough: We used to think that colored mucus was a sure sign of a bacterial infection, but that is not always the case. Often, discolored mucus may be draining from the sinuses vs the lungs. Get an evaluation if this persists. ...Read more

See 1 more doctor answer
4

4
I have sore throat with congestion and have been blowing out green mucus. Head also hurts an ears pain little bit. Is this viral or bacterial? Pls hlp

I have sore throat with congestion and have been blowing out green mucus. Head also hurts an ears pain little bit. Is this viral or bacterial? Pls hlp

Green mucus headache: It is difficult to say, majority of patients with symptoms like yours are self limiting and caused by viruses, i will wait and if dont feel better and have fever will go to the doctor.You can use saline nose spray and some decongestant like sudafed. ...Read more

5

5
I have a sore throat, bad cough, coughing up mucus headaches, ear fullness/pain/throbbing, weak body, nausea/some vomiting. Is it viral or bacterial?

I have a sore throat, bad cough, coughing up mucus headaches, ear fullness/pain/throbbing, weak body, nausea/some vomiting. Is it viral or bacterial?

Viral: It is most likely viral given that you are young and a non-smoker. Since you are pregnant I would see your family doctor or urgent care to be evaluated to make sure and get treatment if needed. ...Read more

See 1 more doctor answer
6

6
Should child still be in lot pain with ears when has 2 perforated drums? Has lots of yellow discharge, 1st nurse said bacterial, 2nd said was viral

Should child still be in lot pain with ears when has 2 perforated drums? Has lots of yellow discharge, 1st nurse said bacterial, 2nd said was viral

Interesting question: Usually when someone has a middle ear infection, the pain is caused by pus behind the ear drum, causing the ear drum to bulge. Once the ear drum perforates, there's no bulging or pressure because the pus is draining through the perforation. However, this probably needs treatment with ear drops and/or oral antibiotics. The short answer is: this patient needs to see a doctor and get treatment! ...Read more

Board Certified, Infectious Disease
17 years in practice
1.0M people helped
Get help from a specialist now
Continue
7

7
Obvious yellow spots on both tonsils and yellow puss secretions from tonsular crypts. Any way of ruling out bacterial vs viral infection without swab?

Obvious yellow spots on both tonsils and yellow puss secretions from tonsular crypts.  Any way of ruling out bacterial vs viral infection without swab?

Nope : Although one may be able to predict, you can't for sure distinguish bacterial from viral causes of pharyngitis on exam alone. Only a culture or rapid strep antigen test can distinguish the causes. ...Read more

See 2 more doctor answers
8

8
My eye has been having clear discharge and some yellow, with crusting for a day and a half, how do I know if it is bacterial or viral conjunctivitis?

My eye has been having clear discharge and some yellow, with crusting for a day and a half, how do I know if it is bacterial or viral conjunctivitis?

Treatments vary: The symptoms can vary from allergic conjunctivitis to as you state, bacterial or viral conjunctivitis. Usually on slit lamp (microscopy) exam in the office the conjunctival surface and cornea can give us clues. If you have no pain or vision loss, you may want to try an otc allergy drop for a day, since it's sunday. If not better by the monday am, then see your provider in the morning. ...Read more

See 1 more doctor answer

Bacteria (Definition)

Are omnipresent single celled organisms which are the both the simplest form of life and the original form of life on earth. The are ...Read more

Get more personalized answers directly from real doctors!

Get help from a real doctor now
Dr. Stephen Scholand
Board Certified, Infectious Disease
17 years in practice
1.0M people helped
Continue
65,000 doctors available
Find us on Facebook