Happiness often sneaks in through a door you didn't know you left open. -John Barrymore
Question #3344 posted on 02/17/2004 midnight

Dear 100 Hour Board,
What is the purpose of mucus? In sickness and in health?
- 1st cold of the semester

A: Dear 1st cold of the semester,
Let's start with the nose, where the mucus comes from. The purpose of the nose is to warm, clean, and humidify the air you breath. A normal person will produce about two quarts of fluid each day (mucus), which helps keep the respiratory tract clean and moist. When you have a cold, the lining of your nasal tract is irritated, which causes it to produce even more mucus. Sometimes disgusting amounts of mucus. I'm empathizing with you. I'm just getting over a cold.