Health Encyclopedia

Mucus

Mucus

Mucus is a thick, slippery and usually clear substance that is produced in the lining of body cavities or canals, such as the nose, throat, sinuses, and airways of the lungs. Mucus protects and moistens the lining of body organs, such as the stomach and intestines, and traps dust particles, smoke, bacteria, and other irritants that enter the nose when a person inhales.

Mucus that becomes too thick and sticky can block the airway or digestive system or cause other problems in the body. Thick and sticky mucus is difficult for the body to remove and can increase the risk of infection.

Last Revised: September 12, 2012

Author: Healthwise Staff

Medical Review: Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine & Donald R. Mintz, MD - Otolaryngology

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