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Dry cough, sore throat, stuffed nose, ear pain. Dark yellow colored mucus from nose. Need to see a doctor?

I have been sick for over a week and it has progressed from a dry cough and sore throat to a very stuffed up nose , ear aches, and mucus in my lungs when I cough. When I blow my nose the mucus is a thick dark yellow and sometimes after I blow it drinks the dark yellow color like a nose bleed . I have been hoping drinking lots of water will help this cold pass and lots of sleep, but from the very strange color of my mucus I m starting to wonder if I should see a doctor and be on antibiotics. What should I do?
Asked On : Mon, 4 Mar 2013
Answers:  1 Views:  487
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Emergency Medicine Specialist 's  Response
Hello and welcome to Healthcare Magic. Thanks for your query.

From the description of your symptoms of coughing out thick, yellowish sputum, it ia possible that you are developing a lower respiratory tract infection or a lung infection. Since you say that your symptoms have been progressive and worsening, it would be a good idea to get yourself checked by a doctor to see if your infection is severe enough to need antibiotics.

Most of the times upper respiratory tract infections are viral infections which subside on their own with just supportive measures like proper hydration, bed rest. But sometimes there can be superimposed bacterial infections or the infection can spread to the lungs, in which case antibiotics are required.

As your nose is blocked with thick secretions and you are coughing out thick sputum I would suggest you to take a mucolytic / expectorant syrup, and to take steam inhalation twice a day to clear your throat and nose. Warning signs that you should watch for are breathing difficulty, wheezing, chest pain or high grade fever, in which case you have to seek urgent medical attention.

Wish you all the best.

Dr. Sheeba Stephen
Emergency Medicine Specialist
Answered: Mon, 4 Mar 2013
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