Mucus: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

Mucus: The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

14 Aug 2018

We all need mucus to keep our bodies functioning normally. But when you have too much mucus, that’s when the problems can start.

Healthy mucus helps to protect, moisten, and defend our airways. Mucus is a part of our body’s frontline defense against infection. It’s produced by the mucus membranes which line your mouth, nose, throat, sinuses and lungs, and it works with your cilia, the tiny hairs which line your airways. Mucus traps particles, such as:

  • dust
  • allergens
  • irritants
  • bacteria
  • viruses

to stop them entering your system. The cilia then transport the trapped particles and mucus back to the throat, where they can be coughed up or swallowed.

Sometimes your body starts producing too much mucus. This can be caused by infections such as colds and flu, but it can also be triggered by:

  • allergies
  • airborne pollution

So while many of us think excess mucus is a problem that only strikes during cold and flu season, it can actually be a problem at any time of year.

When mucus becomes too thick, dense or dry, it can build up in your airways, preventing the cilia from doing its work of transporting unwanted particles out of your body, and creating a home for bacteria. This leads to symptoms like:

  • Chest congestion: a thick, “heavy” feeling in your chest
  • Excess congestion when you wake up
  • More frequent respiratory tract infections (colds)
  • Wet cough, especially in the morning
  • Frequent throat-clearing
  • Hacking cough with mucus
  • Strong cough
  • Smokers cough
  • Chesty cough

All of these kinds of coughs are your body’s way of trying to break up and expel the excess mucus building up in your airways. The presence of excess mucus triggers your cough reflex, making you cough.

Symptoms like these aren’t just annoying – they can also affect your ability to get on with your day. Coughing can be embarrassing at work, and it makes social situations like eating out or going to the movies awkward and difficult. And of course, when your lungs and airways are clogged up with thick, heavy mucus it’s tough to be physically active and perform at your best.

Mucinex 12 Hour can help. It contains guaifenesin, an expectorant which works by stimulating production of mucus and reducing its viscosity, thinning and loosening the excess mucus in your lungs and airways. This helps your body get the mucus moving again by

  • making mucus thinner
  • thinning and loosening mucus, making it easier to cough up and remove

Mucinex 12 Hour also has a bi-layer tablet that lasts for 12 hours. The immediate release layer dissolves fast to start to thin and loosen excess mucus, and the extended release layer dissolves more slowly, and lasts for 12 hours.

Other medicines only last four hours. This kind of medicine may suit you if you’re looking for a short term option, for example to help you get through an important meeting or social event. But if you’re looking for a longer-lasting option, you’ll need to keep re-dosing throughout the day.

Just two daily doses of Mucinex 12 Hour gives you an all-day, all-night option for chest congestion, to help you shake off your symptoms and get on with your day.

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