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Learn about your yellow-green runny nose, including causes and common questions. Or get a personalized analysis of your yellow-green runny nose from our A.I. Symptom Checker. At Buoy, we build tools that help you know what’s wrong right now and how to get the right care.

Your Yellow - Green Runny Nose May Also be Known as:
Green snot
Green stuff in my sinuses
Purulent nasal discharge
Purulent runny nose
Sinus infection
Yellow runny nose
Yellow snot

Top 6 Yellow - Green Runny Nose Causes

  1. 1.Middle Ear Infection

    Middle ear infections, also known as otitis media, occur when the tubes that carry sound become clogged with debris like mucus.

    Your should go to your primary care doctor in the next day for an ear examination. It is likely your doctor will prescribe an antibiotic to treat the infection.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, sore throat, fever, new headache, mucous dripping in the back of the throat
    Symptoms that always occur with middle ear infection:
    ear canal pain
    Symptoms that never occur with middle ear infection:
    vertigo (extreme dizziness), face weakness, facial numbness
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  2. 2.Chronic Sinusitis

    Chronic sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinuses (hollow cavities behind the nose & cheeks) that lasts more than 12 weeks and can continue for months or years.

    You should visit your primary care physician, who may send you to a specialist to examine your nasal passages. A doctor may prescribe a topical or oral corticosteroid.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, trouble sleeping, headache, congestion, runny nose
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  3. 3.New - Onset Seasonal Allergies

    Allergic rhinitis, is an overreaction by the immune system to allergens in the air. While pollen often causes allergies, other culprits include dust, animal dander, and mold.

    Despite being quite bothersome, allergies are a benign condition that can be treated at home. Symptoms include runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes. If possible, avoid the triggering allergen. Over-the-counter antihistamines like loratidine (Claritin), or diphenhydramine (Benadryl) may be helpful.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    sore throat, congestion, cough with dry or watery sputum, mucous dripping in the back of the throat, fatigue
    Symptoms that never occur with new-onset seasonal allergies:
    fever, chills, muscle aches
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

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  4. 4.Acute Bacterial Sinusitis

    Acute bacterial sinusitis occurs when the sinuses become infected and, in turn, inflamed, which causes pain and other symptoms. The sinuses are air-filled cavities in the face that are generally clean and empty but when sick collect excess mucus and can become infected.

    You should visit a physician or urgent care facility in the next day or two. It’s likely your sinus infection is caused by a bacterial infection, which requires treatment with antibiotics. In the mean time, ibuprofen or acetaminophen can be taken to help with pain & fever.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, headache, cough, muscle aches, sore throat
    Symptoms that always occur with acute bacterial sinusitis:
    sinusitis symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with acute bacterial sinusitis:
    clear runny nose, being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Primary care doctor
  5. 5.Acute Viral Sinusitis

    Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus spaces behind the nose and cheeks. These spaces produce mucus, which drains into the nose. If the nose is swollen or if the mucus does not drain, this can block the sinuses and cause pain or infection.

    You can treat your symptoms at home using ibuprofen (for pain) and Tylenol (for a fever). Antibiotics for this diagnosis are not helpful because this is likely a viral infection.

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    headache, cough, sore throat, sinusitis symptoms, muscle aches
    Symptoms that always occur with acute viral sinusitis:
    sinusitis symptoms
    Symptoms that never occur with acute viral sinusitis:
    being severely ill
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment
  6. 6.Chronic Allergies

    Allergies are an overreaction by the immune system to something that does not bother most other people. Many people who have allergies are sensitive to pollen, but other things such as dust mites, animal dander, cockroaches, and mold can also cause a reaction.

    Allergies are a benign (but annoying!) condition, that can cause symptoms like a runny nose, sneezing, and itchy eyes. Treat by avoiding what you're allergic to, or with an over-the-counter medication such as loratidine (Claritin), or diphenhydramine (Benadryl).

    Rarity:
    Common
    Top Symptoms:
    fatigue, irritability, trouble sleeping, runny nose, cough with dry or watery sputum
    Symptoms that never occur with chronic allergies:
    fever, chills, muscle aches
    Urgency:
    Self-treatment

Questions Your Doctor May Ask About Yellow - Green Runny Nose

  • Q.Any fever today or during the last week?
  • Q.Are you experiencing a headache?
  • Q.Is your cough constant or come-and-go?
  • Q.Have you been feeling more tired than usual, lethargic or fatigued despite sleeping a normal amount?

If you've answered yes to one or more of these questions, check our yellow-green runny nose symptom checker.

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Yellow - Green Runny Nose Symptom Checker Statistics

  • People who have experienced yellow-green runny nose have also experienced:

    • 17% Cough
    • 6% Sore Throat
    • 5% Congestion
  • People who have experienced yellow-green runny nose had symptoms persist for:

    • 45% Less Than a Week
    • 21% Less Than a Day
    • 13% One to Two Weeks
  • People who have experienced yellow-green runny nose were most often matched with:

    • 2% Chronic Sinusitis
    • 2% New - Onset Seasonal Allergies
    • 1% Middle Ear Infection

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