Avatar universal

Excessive yellow mucus from nose

I'm a 24 year old, relatively healthy male, and I recently (about a week ago) contracted the first cold of the season that was going around. This strain was a doozy, and sort of knocked me off my feet for the first few days; I had a fever, was exhausted, lots of congestion and coughing, etc.
After the first few days, I noticed that my upper teeth started hurting whenever I was walking. It was like the impact of my heel on the ground sent a shockwave up to my teeth, and my inflammed sinuses were sending referred pain into my teeth. This hasn't ceased since then.
Around that same time, I noticed that my snot suddenly changed from generally clear or milky in color to bright, highlighter yellow. It all appears to be from just my left nostril, and while most of it is thick, after I blow for a little bit, the thick stuff turns to a very runny, very yellow fluid that feels almost like a bloody nose dripping out of my sinuses. Sometimes, the color is just a normal, milky yellow, but most of the time it is very dark, and often almost orange. This morning, after blowing a little bit, I noticed there was a fair amount of blood in it.
I don't feel as though I have a fever, and most of the sinus headache I had a few days ago is gone. I don't feel the pain and tenderness that most people associate with sinus infections. It's just consistent stuffiness and large amounts of this intense, yellow junk in my nose, along with the teeth thing.

I have two main concerns about the color of this mucus, which I've never experienced before, and certainly not for this long.
The first is sinus infection. I've heard that bright yellow or green mucus can indicate the presence of bacterial infection, but of course, this isn't a definitive test. Also, I've only had the congestion for about six full days, and I know it may be hard to tell this early on if I'm dealing with just the cold or a secondary infection.
The second is the leaking of cerebrospinal fluid. I know that bright yellow fluid draining from the nose can be from a tear that causes cerebrospinal fluid to enter the nasal cavity and the ears and stuff. I haven't had any recent brain injuries, but the watery, neon yellow color of the stuff coming out of my nose is unnerving me. Also, I had to hold in a sneeze when the cold started because I had a mouth full of food, and afterwards, it kind of hurt to blow my nose on that same side of my face the yellow **** is coming out of, but only for a day. Is it possible to accidentally rupture something like that while holding in a sneeze?

I generally "feel" alright. I wasn't feeling all that great during the last week, but I'm back to about 80%, so I feel as though if it were a sinus infection, I'd be feeling more feverish and lousy. Am I wrong?

2 Responses
Avatar universal
Hi, your symptoms could be due to a sinus infection. Its unlikely to be due to CSF leak as there is usually a history injury for this to happen and CSF is usually colorless, so please dont worry. The pain can also be due to dental infections. I certainly think seeing an ENT is a good idea. Infected tooth roots from the upper teeth can go inside the maxillary sinus and cause sinusitis. You might need a CT of the sinuses for more information.  However, if you do have an infected tooth, you will still need to have this addressed as dental infections can be potentially life-threatening. Regards.
Avatar universal

Thank you for your response. It's given me some ease of mind.
My symptoms have started to abate; it's been two weeks, and I'm still a little stuffed up, but the mucus has reduced in volume significantly, and is no longer yellow and is either clear or a creamy greenish color. The dental pain is also no more, and seems to be mostly related to the previous sinus inflammation as far as I can tell.
However, something happened recently that's made me a little worried, simply because it was strange. Last night, I had just finished eating a hamburger, and soon after, I had a brief sneezing spell while in the restroom. When I went to blow my nose right after, something felt weird and more solid than usual going through one of my nostrils. What popped out the other side in my tissue was this ashy, crumbly gray/brown stuff. My first assumption was that it was bits of the hamburger brought up through the back of my throat by the sneezing, wedged into the back of my nasal passages, and then sneezed/blown out the front. However, and this may be kind of a stupid anxiety, given the strange resemblance to brain tissue, it kind of freaked me out.
1) Is it possible for brain tissue to come flying into the nasal cavity via a tear or unseen injury? My first thought is that if this was what was going on, I'd have pretty obvious and unavoidably severe symptoms...but I thought I'd ask.
2) If it is the hamburger meat, like I thought, is it a bad sign that I'm randomly shooting food through my nostrils given the right conditions? Is there some sort of structural issue in the nasal cavity behind this that I should be concerned about. Deviated septums and strange sinus maladies run in my family, it seems.
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