The Importance of Mucus

the importance of mucus

It’s almost that time of year again when everyone is sneezing and coughing. Do you know why? It’s because of all the mucus! Mucus is often seen as a disgusting and vile substance, but don’t worry, mucus is a good thing and it is actually very important for keeping the body healthy. In fact, it’s very important for our health. In this blog post, we will discuss what mucus is, the importance of mucus, and what it does for our bodies.

What is mucus?

Mucus is a slimy substance that is produced by the mucous membranes such as the nose, mouth, and throat. However, mucus extends throughout the “mucous membranes” in the entire body. This includes the digestive system, respiratory system, and even the reproductive system.

giant nose besides microscopic view of nasal mucosa

Mucu is composed primarily of water, but it also contains salts, glycoproteins, and lipids. The function of mucus is to lubricate and protect these mucous membranes. Although there is always mucus in your body, most people don’t notice their mucus unless they are sick.

This is because when you are sick, your body thickens the mucus in order to protect you from infection. Mucus traps bacteria and other foreign particles so that they cannot enter the body through the nose or mouth. It also contains antibodies that fight off infection.

In some cases, you may also notice that your mucus becomes colored. This is because it is picking up debris from the infection. For example, if your mucus is yellow or green, this usually means that you have a higher amount of white blood cells in your airways. White blood cells contain neutrophil, which can cause mucus to take on a yellow, white, or greenish color. You may also notice blood in your mucus from time to time.

The Importance of Mucus

Mucus is important for many reasons. The top three reasons are:

Protection

First, mucus protects tissues, especially those in the airway. The mucus found in our airways functions to moisten and warm the air we inhale. Mucus also ensures that cilia, the small hairs responsible for filtering the air we breathe, stay lubricated so they can function properly.

nose inhaling a variety of airborne particles

Acts as Barrier

Second, mucus acts as a barrier. It traps dust, allergens, bacteria, and viruses in the airway to prevent harmful substances from entering our bodies. The mucous membranes line all of our internal organs and act as a barrier to infection.

Prevents Disease

Third, mucus prevents disease. In addition to trapping viruses and bacteria before they can enter our bodies and cause illness, mucus also contains antibodies that fight infection. It can also function as a delivery system for white blood cells. This is why mucus can sometimes have a white or yellow color.

In Conclusion

In this blog post, we discussed the importance of mucus. Mucus is important for three main reasons: protection, acting as a barrier, and preventing disease. The next time you are sick, remember that mucus is there to help you! It may be gross, but it’s also very important since without it, you would be much more susceptible to illness and disease. Thanks for reading!

Lee A. Kleiman

Dr. Lee A. Kleiman is a double board certified ENT & plastic surgeon at Anne Arundel ENT in Annapolis, Maryland known for his superior clinical outcomes in all Surgical and Non-Surgical ENT, specializing in Sinus Care, Voice and Swallowing, Rhinoplasty and Revision Rhinoplasty, and Facelifts and Non-surgical Aesthetic. He also continues to attend conferences internationally and nationally to keep abreast of the latest treatments and technology.