Get your health question answered instantly from our pool of 18000+ doctors from over 80 specialties
177 Doctors Online

By proceeding, I accept the Terms and Conditions

Dr. Andrew Rynne
Dr. Andrew Rynne

Family Physician

Exp 50 years

HCM Blog Instant Access to Doctors
HCM BlogQuestions Answered
HCM Blog Satisfaction

What causes running nose with thick yellow mucus?

Answered by
Dr. Michelle Gibson James

General & Family Physician

Practicing since :2001

Answered : 16701 Questions

Posted on Fri, 9 Jan 2015 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Question: my 3 year old has had a runny nose for a week . the discharge is yellow and thick and darker in the morning, when should i suspect a sinus infection?
Answered by Dr. Michelle Gibson James 38 minutes later
Brief Answer:
fluids, mucolytics,antihistamines would help

Detailed Answer:
Hi, thanks for using healthcare magic

Most upper respiratory tract infections (infections of the nose, throat, upper airways, sinuses) can eventually result in the discharge turning from clear to yellow and ,in some cases, green.
In some cases this may indicate a bacterial infection but in many it is only the progression of a viral infection.

In sinus infection there would normally be accompanying facial pain (because sinuses in face congested). The discharge may also have an odor. In addition there would likely to be persisting fever.

You may want to consider the use of : (1) fluids- enough fluids would help decrease the thickness of the secretions so that they are expelled more easily

(2)mucolytics- these are medications that also decrease secretion thickness
Eg are bisolvan, mucomyst, guaifenesin (found in robitussin)

(3)decongestant- either topical or oral would also help
Topical decongestants would be normal saline or oxymetazoline or xylometazoline
Oral would pseudoephedrine, phenylephrine

(4)oral antihistamines

You are likely to find over the counter medications combining the , mucolytics, antihistamines and oral decongestants.

If he has fever, facial pain or the discharge has significant discharge then he may need oral antibiotics

I hope this helps, feel free to ask any other questions

Above answer was peer-reviewed by : Dr. Chakravarthy Mazumdar

The User accepted the expert's answer

Share on
Question is related to
Diseases and Conditions
Drug/Medication ,   ,  
Medical Topics

Recent questions on  Sinus infection

doctor1 MD

The last couple of days I ve had episodes where it seems like my right side of my brain/head is sinking. It s almost like I m fainting, but only...

doctor1 MD

I m breathless all the time (even sitting at my desk now), I feel dizzy (bent over this morning to take my sinus nasal steroids and nearly passed...

doctor1 MD

Hi. I have a concern with my daughter. She is 5 years old and has always been very healthy. She had only had a few colds and a couple of infections...

doctor1 MD

My 12 year old has had ear drainage for about 4 months. Pediatrician found nothing. Developed a sinus infection four weeks ago, resolved with...

doctor1 MD

Can you take amoxicillin and Valtrex for shingles at the same time. I have a sinus infection and my shingles has returned. YYYY@YYYY

doctor1 MD

Hello Sir/Mam, My self XXXXXXX XXXX and i m 29 yrs old.I m accountant by profession.from last 1 yr i m suffering from Sinus problem.I DAILY FEEL...

doctor1 MD

I had a sinus infection about a month ago and right after i had a headache on the top back of my head. It was not severe but throbbing...