General Question

ladyv900's avatar

Why do old people snort and spit so much(even if it's the summer weather) early in the morning?

Asked by ladyv900 (713points) July 21st, 2010

My mother does it so much and it’s very annoying and sounds so gross.And the snort is VERY loud.Ugh.Why don’t some just blow their nose in a tissue.Also some spit in the sink in the sink and just leave it there.

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17 Answers

YARNLADY's avatar

Please contact her doctor, the symptoms you describe are not a normal part of aging and need to be addressed by the doctor.

JLeslie's avatar

Gross. She probably has some sort of infection, allergy, or inflammation that causes her to have more mucous. It is probably difficult to get rid of. She could try Augmentin or some sort of broad spectrum antibiotic if the mucous is yellowish greenish. As we get older our bodies don’t fight things off as well as our immune systems begin to break down so if it is a long standing mild infection it might get worse and worse. If it is related to allergies, figuring out what allergy is causing it might help.

augustlan's avatar

Mucus. It builds up in the lungs and throat, especially of smokers. It takes a concerted effort to get it up into the mouth and then spit it out. I’m pretty sure that’s what you’re hearing.

JLeslie's avatar

@ladyv900 Is she a smoker? @augustlan brings up a good point. Smoking paralyzes the cilia in the lungs. The job of the cilia is basically to move stuff out of the lungs and keep them clear. It takes about 6–8 hours for the cilia to wake back up after a cig, so in the morning, after not smoking for several hours the lungs start to come back to life and cough up all of the crap that is in there, pleghm, cigarette tar, pollutants, and then you have another smoke and your lungs quiet down again.

Berserker's avatar

I agree with the health reasons. I don’t think that’s normal, unless you’re a gangster wearing track pants seven sizes too big. :/ Ask her about it, see what she says.

meagan's avatar

I think shes talking about… hawking… hocking…(?) loogies.
Is there really a suave way to say that? Haha. Probably not.
But it might be allergies. I live with a cat that I’m allergic to, and when I don’t take my medication properly, the back of my throat itches so bad. Or it feels like pepper in the back of my throat.. I really can’t describe it.
If I weren’t so grossed out by it, I’d probably be spitting like this too.

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Adirondackwannabe's avatar

Does she do it in the winter? Spring and summer are pollen heavy seasons and it could be allergies. And oh, by the way YUCK!
GA’s for anyone that addresses loogies and old folks in one question.

Pandora's avatar

It happens to my mom and she isn’t a smoker. She does have allergies,sinus problems and acid reflux. Any one of them can cause her to react.

CaptainHarley's avatar

I suppose some would consider me to be “old,” but I do none of those things you mention. Seems to me as if you’ve bought into the “it’s ok to be prejudiced toward old people” belief system. Agism is just as ugly as is racism.

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gailcalled's avatar

The answer is just as mysterious as why teen-aged males do the same thing. I saw a kid outside the library spitting on the sidewalk when there was plenty of weedy areas to use.

I am also old and do none of the above. Neither do the people I see at my mother’s Staged Care facility (unless they do it in the privacy of their apartments).

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augustlan's avatar

[mod says] Please remember: This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

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