What It Really Means When Your Snot Is Green

Snot, otherwise known as mucus, might be kind of gross to think about for too long, but it serves important purposes. Mucus helps your organs stay lubricated, and its sticky nature makes it perfect for collecting bacteria and foreign particles. It's also filled with antibodies that work to prevent infections (via MedicineNet). Your body produces anywhere from 1 to 1.5 liters of mucus per day, and most of the time, it does its business quietly in the background.

That said, sometimes you might have a snotty nose or find yourself coughing up mucus. Most of the time, excess mucus is caused by colds, the flu, respiratory infections, and allergies. Your body can expel mucus from your lungs, nose, mouth, sinuses, and even your digestive tract, according to MedicineNet. You may have even noticed that your mucus is different colors, including yellow, tea-colored, and even green. So what exactly does green snot mean?

It could mean you have an infection

A common belief is that green mucus is a sign of an infection and bacteria is what gives the snot a green hue. However, that isn't always the case. It's more likely the color of the enzymes inside white blood cells, which your body sends to fight infections, according to WebMD. And if your immune system is in overdrive, your snot could contain a lot of white blood cells, making it appear really green, MedicineNet reports.

But green mucus is not always an indicator of an infection because you can have an ear or sinus infection and have clear or white mucus, per WebMD. If you do have an infection, you'll most likely have other symptoms that include fever and congestion. If you have had green snot for more than seven days and you feel particularly bad, it might be time for a doctor's visit, because lingering symptoms could be a sign that your body needs the help of antibiotics to fight the infection (via MedicineNet).