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Ear, Nose, and Throat Disorders

Orange nasal discharge

03/06/2006

Question:

I am a 44 yr. old male who as of the past three weeks have suffered from stopped up sinus. Here where I live we are experiencing the worst drought that has been seen since the 40`s. I have been taking decongestants and antihistamines. I have an orange colored thick nasal discharge. I have never seen this color discharge before. What could be causing this?

Answer:

Very dry weather can cause some crusting and irritation in the nose.  This can lead to some infection around the crusts, and may produce some discolored drainage.  Sometimes there can be some associated bleeding, again more common when the nose is very dry.  This can add to the unusual color.  I would try a saline or salt water nasal irrigation, available in the drug store over the counter.  If this is not effective, then I would consult your physician. 

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Response by:

Allen M Seiden, MD Allen M Seiden, MD
Professor of Otolaryngology, Director of Division of Rhinology and Sinus Disorders, Director of University Taste and Smell Center, Director of University Sinus and Allergy
College of Medicine
University of Cincinnati