Having an uncomfortable sensation of something constantly running down the back of your throat? Do you have to cough after every few minutes to clear your throat? You may be suffering from Post Nasal Drip syndrome.
What is Post Nasal Drip?
Picture 1 – Post Nasal Drip
Source – nytimes.com
Post Nasal Drip is a medical condition in which the sufferer constantly feels a fluid accumulation at the back of his or her throat. The affected person feels that something is continuously running down the pharynx. This forces the person to cough intermittently and clear the throat. This condition of something dripping down the throat is known as “Post Nasal Drip” (PND).
The disease is also known by the name Upper Airway Cough Syndrome (UASD).
Symptoms of Post Nasal Drip
Sufferers of Post Nasal Drip Syndrome usually experience a number of discomforts like bad breath. Some of the common Post Nasal Drip symptoms are :
Lump in Throat
In people with Post Nasal Drip Lump in throat is a common problem. Having this condition makes you feel like you have a lump in their pharynx.
When you suffer from Post Nasal Drip voice problems are not uncommon. The condition affects the voice quality of the sufferers. Patients suffer from a hoarse voice which can make it difficult to understand what they are saying.
As aforementioned, people with Post Nasal Drip problems constantly feel the urge to clear their pharynx. Post Nasal Drip throat clearing is one of the major symptoms noticed in most sufferers.
In people with Post Nasal Drip sore throat is very common. Constant throat clearing is the cause of this problem.
Post Nasal Drip and cough are almost inseparable. Sufferers of the disease are seen to cough constantly to clear their throat and get relief from the uncomfortable dripping feeling. Post Nasal Drip cough is one of the most visible symptoms of this syndrome.
The urge to cough also disrupts sleep in people affected by this syndrome. People can suddenly wake up coughing from their sleep. This also causes a lot of problems for the affected persons’ family members.
The mucus running at the back of throat causes the sufferer to swallow it again and again.
Constant mucus flow also leads to a runny nose in the affected person.
The affected person also suffers from a blocked nose due to mucus accumulation in the nasal passage.
The sufferer also experiences respiratory problems because of mucus accumulation and nasal congestion.
Having this syndrome also makes you suffer from a burning sensation in the pharynx.
In many patients with Post Nasal Drip bad breath is a common phenomenon. Post Nasal Drip Halitosis is a very annoying symptom in many sufferers.
Discomfort in Stomach
People with Post Nasal Dripping suffer from an uncomfortable feeling in their stomach.
The uneasiness in stomach often leads to a nauseating feeling or vomiting sensation in affected people. Post Nasal Drip nausea causes a lot of discomfort.
In sufferers of Post Nasal Drip fatigue is commonly observed. Constant coughing and throat clearing are the prime reasons behind this.
Post Nasal Drip Causes
Excessive mucus accumulation at the back of throat is one of the main causes of Post Nasal Drip. It can happen due to various reasons like :
Rhinitis, whether due to allergic or non-allergic causes, can lead to an inflammation of the mucous membrane lining the nose and be a prime cause for this condition.
A swelling up of any of the sinuses adjacent to the nasal cavity can also give rise to this syndrome. In both acute and chronic cases of swelling of sinus Post Nasal Drip may appear.
Laryngopharyngeal Acid Reflux
This disease gives rise to heartburn and can be a factor behind the development of this syndrome.
Allergic attacks can also cause this disease. In many patients of Post Nasal Drip allergies are found to be the causative agent. Post Nasal Drip from allergies may be seen in some seasons or round the year.
Post Nasal Drip during pregnancy is also seen in a few cases. Pregnancy causes an imbalance of the hormone levels which may give rise to this disease.
Using birth pills can increase the level of estrogen hormones and be a causative agent for this condition.
Picture 2 - Nasal Polyps
Source - primehealthchannel.com
The presence of polyps or fleshy growths in the nasal passage can lead to the obstruction of the nose and cause this disease. Read more on Nasal Polyps
Post Nasal Drip Diagnosis
The diagnosis of the condition is mainly done by observation and checking the medical history of the patient. If determining the cause becomes difficult, an X-ray examination of the person’s nasal passage may be done to check if there is a sinus or nasal polyps.
Treatment for Post Nasal Drip
How to stop Post Nasal Drip? How to get rid of Post Nasal Drip? These are some of the common worries Post Nasal Drip patients suffer from. Fortunately, Post Nasal Drip treatment and cure can be possible through a number of ways. The treatment of Post Nasal Drip can be done with medications and surgeries.
Antibiotics, nasal steroids, antihistamines and decongestants are some of the common Post Nasal Drip medicines. These Post Nasal Drip medications are generally used for people having mild cases of the syndrome. Applying a piece of cloth soaked in warm water over throat at regular intervals can give relief from soreness.
Post Nasal Drip remedy depends on curing the factor causing it. If nasal problems are found to be a result of allergies or acid problems, necessary medications should be used as cures for Post Nasal Drip.
In some cases, nasal irrigation is carried out with to cure the blockage of the nose. This is done with the help of bulb syringes, neti pots and squirt bottles.
For worse situations like chronic Post Nasal Drip due to bacterial infections, surgery may be necessary for permanent treatment. Post Nasal Drip surgery is usually used as a last resort.
Post Nasal Drip Remedies (Home)
Patients can try a number of natural remedies for Post Nasal Drip cure. These are normally intended to thin and dry the mucus. Some of the remedies for Post Nasal Drip cure :
Drinking lots of fluids like water can help dissolve the mucus and flush it out. Hot drinks like soups and herbal tea can also help loosen Post Nasal Drip phlegm.
Gurgling with warm water containing a little baking soda and salt can also be a good cure for Post Nasal Drip mucus.
Taking your face over a bowl of boiled water and inhaling the vapors often proves to be a suitable way to treat thick Post Nasal Drip. For people suffering from Post Nasal Drip natural treatments like these are often found to be effective.
You can try these Post Nasal Drip remedies along with your medications for best effect.
Post Nasal Drip Prevention
Beverages and spicy foods are responsible for mucus production in excess. Mucus in throat is the cause of Post Nasal Syndrome. So you can avoid this disease by keeping away from spicy foods and beverages like caffeine, diuretics or alcohol. Avoiding spicy dishes and beverages will reduce mucus production and help you prevent this annoying condition. Dishes with chilies, green peppers and hot peppers are some of the Post Nasal Drip foods to avoid.
Post Nasal Drip Risk Factors
In some cases, Post Nasal Drip can involve an ear infection. This happens when excess mucus blocks the Eustachian tube leading to a build-up of fluids. Fluid accumulation builds up pressure in the ear cause Post Nasal Drip ear pain and hearing loss.
Constant phlegm in throat and mouth can also lead to a loss of gustatory sensation. This happens because of bacteria and other compounds present in mucus. The patient suffers from a metallic taste in mouth. The loss of taste is however, a temporary one. Gustatory sensation returns after post-nasal drip has been cured.
In addition, post-nasal drip can cause alterations in taste sensations, which can cause a loss in taste or a metallic taste in the mouth. Usually, after the post-nasal drip has been resolved, taste sensations will return to normal. Aberrations in taste are usually the result of bacteria and other compounds present in mucus.
If you note Post Nasal Drip in children or adults in your family or suffering from the disorder yourself, you should seek immediate medical collection. As aforesaid, the condition is not fatal but it can lead to discomfort and cause a number of complications. It may also appear as an indication of some other complicated disease. In serious cases, it may even impair daily activities. So you must seek immediate treatment at the first sign of this annoying condition.
Written by anirudh
on December 15th, 2010. The article was last updated on September 3rd, 2011