It may not be pleasant to think about, but your body is a mucus-making machine. Your nose and throat together produce about 1-2 quarts of mucus each day, and glands that line your intestinal tract, stomach, and airways make even more.
Most of the time, you swallow this mucus without noticing it. But for some people, mucus builds up and drips down the back of the throat, causing a condition called postnasal drip.
Besides giving you the sensation that you have mucus running down your throat, postnasal drip can trigger other symptoms, including:
People don’t always get postnasal drip for the same reason. Understanding the cause of your excess mucus is a key part in creating an effective treatment plan.
At Jacksonville ENT Surgery with offices in Lake City, Florida, and multiple locations in Jacksonville, Florida, our board-certified ear-nose-throat (ENT) providers specialize in helping patients get to the bottom of their postnasal drip.
Keep reading to learn more about postnasal drip, some common causes of the condition, and how we can help you breathe easier.
Postnasal drip can be acute or chronic. When you have an upper respiratory infection, like the cold or flu, your nose naturally produces more mucus. This may lead to acute postnasal drip. Pregnancy, spicy foods, and changes in the weather can also cause acute postnasal drip.
Acute postnasal drip caused by a common infection typically goes away on its own once your infection clears or the cause resolves. You can help by drinking plenty of water and taking over-the-counter (OTC) medications to address your symptoms.
For patients with chronic postnasal drip, there are many possible causes. Here are some of the most common reasons people suffer from ongoing postnasal drip:
Nasal polyps, or non-cancerous growths in the lining of your sinuses and/or nose, can also trigger chronic postnasal drip. This is because they can block the flow of mucus and cause a buildup.
Yes! But treating postnasal drip means understanding the root cause. Your Jacksonville ENT Surgery provider first examines your ears, nose, and throat to better understand the cause of your postnasal drip.
Some patients may need a nasal endoscopy, a simple procedure that uses a small tube with a special camera to look inside your nose and throat, or X-rays to look at the structure of your nose.
Once your provider understands the cause of your postnasal drip, they create a personalized treatment plan to address your symptoms. If allergies are the root cause, they may recommend medications like antihistamines, steroids, or nasal decongestants.
Patients who develop chronic sinusitis that causes postnasal drip may get long-term relief from a simple nonsurgical procedure called a balloon sinuplasty.
If you have a deviated septum, your Jacksonville ENT provider may suggest a surgical procedure called a septoplasty to correct your nasal passages and permanently treat your postnasal drip.
Patients whose postnasal drip is caused by allergic or non-allergic chronic rhinitis may benefit from one of two procedures:
Tired of dealing with chronic postnasal drip? Get to the bottom of it and get the treatment you need to feel better by scheduling an appointment online or over the phone at the Jacksonville ENT Surgery location nearest you.