COLDS and winter bugs are back with a bang for Brits.
Health bosses are warning a "flunami" is on the horizon, urging people to get their flu shots and be aware of seasonal viruses.
One thing that everyone will be doing a lot more of it blowing their nose now that germs are being spread more easily through a lack of social distancing.
Although it's a bit grim it's something worth paying attention to – your snot can tell you an awful lot about your health.
Taking note of the colour of what comes out of your nose is useful – it can indicate that you're not as ill as you might feel, or that you should get checked out.
So what are the colours and what do they mean?
This is what is considered normal or healthy.
Every day your body will produce about 1.7 litres of this discharge, but you usually swallow most of it.
The mucus is made up of water containing proteins, antibodies and salts – it's very important to help line and protect your nose and sinuses.
Once it gets into your stomach it dissolves.
Hay fever might also cause a more intense production of clear snot, and while you will feel ill you aren't infected with a virus.
It's just your body responding to irritants like fur, pollen or mites.
This kind of nasal discharge usually comes hand in hand with feeling congested or blocked up.
There also might be some swelling in your nose and a steady flow of snot.
This is because feeling stuffy can make the discharge lose its water content, and it becomes thicker and looks cloudy.
These are signs you may have a cold or an infection is about to rear up.
This means the cold has taken a bit more of a hold than you would have liked.
Yellow snot is produced when a virus or infection has really bedded in and your body is fighting back.
The colour is from cells, such as white blood cells, arriving to kill the germs.
Once they have done their duty they are discarded and expelled in the snot, which becomes a yellowish-brown.
If you have a bedded in infection it could take ten to 14 days to clear, but your snot can tell you when your body is winning the war.
This means your immune system is working extra hard to fight an infection that won't budge.
It's been forced to go into a higher gear, with snot turning green and thick due to the amount of dead white blood cells racing to fight the intruder.
It doesn't mean you should worry too much and head to your GP, but if you have been struggling with the infection for 12 days it might be time to call in some back up.
If its viral there isn't a huge amount that can be done other than helping your body stay strong to fight it, but if it's bacterial medication may help.
This happens when there is blood in your snot.
It can happen if you've been blowing your nose forcefully a lot or if there has been a blow to your noggin.
Pregnant women can also sometimes experience bloody snot, due to blood volume increases or swollen nasal passages.
But if it is happening to a child under two then give your GP a call or 111 if you're worried.
You should also see your doctor if you:
- have difficulty breathing
- bleed for more than 30 minutes
- produce more than about one tablespoon of blood
This is usually due to old blood coming out of the body.
Or it could simply be that you have inhaled something that has discoloured the snot.
It's not usually something to worry about unless you have been experiencing it for longer than seems normal.
Black snot isn't especially common so is worth paying attention to.
It could be the sign of a serious fungal infection, which people with compromised immune systems can be more susceptible.
Four types of fungal sinus infections could be to blame.
These are mycetoma fungal sinusitis, allergic fungal sinusitis, chronic indolent sinusitis and fulminant sinusitis.
Smokers or drug takers may also have black nasal discharge.
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