Our body produces a certain amount of mucus that is thin, light, and colorless everyday that keeps our nasal passage moist and protects us by from infections and germs because mucus blocks them when they try to enter through the nose.
In this way mucus acts an obstruction for germs, and bacteria causing infection from entering our system. This mucus does not cause any kind of discomfort to us at all and it gets swallowed so naturally that we don’t even notice it.
But sometimes, due to any of the reasons like, something getting stuck in the nose, to flu, cold, allergy, sinus infection, side effect of certain medicines, perfumes, smoke, dry air in the atmosphere, even anatomical problems, eating spicy food or dairy products etc, are some of the causes because of which the mucus may start getting over produced and turn thick, sticky and yellow and start running down our noses causing a great deal of discomfort.
Post Nasal Drip is a step further, a most common symptom of chronic cough, and is caused when this mucus starts running down through the back of one’s throat. People may feel soreness in the throat and even hoarseness. They may face this problem due to advancing age, blockage in nasal passage or even GERD. Post nasal drip however may not always occur due to reasons mentioned above.
Sometimes it also starts when there is no overproduction of mucus or anything, but the mucus just does not get cleared effectively. There is problem with swallowing and mucus starts accumulating. It makes the patient cough especially it increases at night.
People suffering post nasal drop also feeling the constant need to cough and swallow the mucus because such patients consistently feel mucus is in their mouth. And all this together causes a great deal of distress to the patient and the patient consistently feels like clearing his throat.
If post nasal Drip is allowed to develop and spread it can lead to upper respiratory problem, ear infection, and also sinus infection. Treatments for post nasal drip vary.
Depending on what has been the cause for it, treatment will be prescribed. If bacterial infection has caused it, antibiotics will be prescribed but if virus has caused it then probably antibiotics may not work.
Besides over the counter medicines to dry the cough, nasal sprays and steroid medications may also have to be prescribed if the condition has reached advanced stage or is caused due to allergy. The mucus that is sticky and thick, if its consistency can be turned thinner with some form of medication, it will reduce the discomfort and also bring the post nasal drip problem in control.
For thinning mucus various medicines, vaporizers, and nasal sprays are prescribed; if allergy has been diagnosed as the cause behind it try to avoid getting near it, by way of eating or coming in contact with that kind of allergic atmosphere like dust etc which can start post nasal Drip.
Use filters at home, vacuum cleaning on a regular basis etc are some of the things you can practice to keep the condition at bay. Person can bring variation while using pillow at night so that mucus does not cause discomfort while resting.
But for those of you for whom this post nasal drip like condition has been visible for around ten days or more and the discomfort has not got reduced ain anyway it is time to see a doctor.
Even if you feel feverish or there is strange foul smell in the mouth which even others can feel, i’s another sign the stage has advanced a step or two and doctor’s intervention should be seeked.
If post nasal drop condition is accompanied with blood stains, its worse, better not wait that long.
Generally doctors can bring the condition under control with nasal sprays and oral medication but sometimes they have to take steps further like having to drain the mucus.
Such patients may also be asked to see a specialist who will take them through CT scans and X-rays to treat the condition to find out the cause of breathing trouble if patient is facing it or checking if there is presence of tonsil stones.