What is post nasal drip?
Post nasal drip is, "a condition in which mucus from the back of the nasopharynx drips down the back of the throat. It may be caused by sinusitis or other inflammatory disorders. Symptoms include the intermittent blocking of one or both nostrils and an unpleasant taste caused by the mucus." We would add that the sensation of dripping down the throat is quite annoying, so to make ourselves more comfortable we attempt to clear the nose and throat constantly by swallowing, coughing, spitting, etc. In the process, the throat can become quite sore and irritated. Normally, we produce mucus every day in our noses and throats; in fact we produce over a quart per day. Microscopic hairs lining the inner surface of the nose and sinus take care of the mucus, brushing it backward to the throat where we swallow it. During the process, dangerous particles such as bacteria and viruses are sent to our stomach where they are destroyed.
Increased phlegm and drainage
When phlegm increases we sometimes refer to the condition as “having a cold,” though phlegm can increase for several different reasons. At times, for example, we aren’t sure if the phlegm is coming from an allergy or infection. When phlegm becomes more “prodigious,” it can be characterized in two ways: thick and thin, and this characterization helps us to identify its origin. It helps to visualize these two categories in the form of a chart:
|Sinus infection - sinusitis|
|Medication (blood pressure)||Inhaled irritants|
Foods or spices
Deviated septum (structural)
|Virus||Heated indoor buildings|
Hormone change (pregnancy)
|Something stuck in nose (children)|
You will notice “sinusitis” listed above in the “thick phlegm” category. From personal experience, you may recall instances where you’ve had nasal discharge consisting with a green or yellow cast; this is typical of sinusitis which is acute. Since it is one of the most common health conditions in the United States, affecting almost 40 million people per year. Sinusitis is a prolonged inflammation of the sinus cavities caused by a cold, allergy, or bacterial infection. Symptoms include: stuffy nose, post nasal drip, sneezing, coughing, headache, bad breath, fever and chills, pain in the teeth and mouth, pain in the face.
Post nasal drip is the most common characteristic of rhinitis. Approximately 40 million people in the U.S. suffer to one degree or another from rhinitis. Allergic rhinitis is an inflammation of the lining of the nose caused by an allergen. There is also seasonal allergic rhinitis (hay fever); perennial rhinitis (year round); and infectious rhinitis.
Post nasal drip symptoms of rhinitis include:
• nasal congestion
• red or watery eyes
• loss of sleep • headaches
• itching throat
• coughing • runny nose • sneezing
Post nasal drip remedy and treatment
If you suffer from excess mucus, sinus congestion and post nasal drip there are essentially only a few different routes that you can take: Use medication and or drugs to dry up the sinuses and prevent mucus buildup. Medication and drugs may help prevent post nasal drip, but at what cost? There are dozens of different over-the counter nasal decongestants and antihistamines you can use to help relieve congestion and dry up excess mucus. Some of them are very good but create an extremely dry mouth, which exacerbates bad breath and when you stop taking the medication the problem comes back, almost always with a vengeance. This is because in some cases, your body will actually develop a resistance to any antihistamines or nasal decongestants, especially nasal sprays because many sprays are habit forming.
Nasal Irrigation is probably the most effective method of eliminating post-nasal drip at the root cause and helping to control sinus infections. The SinuPulse Advanced Nasal Sinus Irrigator is an FDA registered device. The unique pulsating irrigation of the SinuPulse helps to restore the natural ciliary function and relieve post nasal drip at the source. A short period of regular use can stimulate the cilia (the tiny hair-like fibers in the nasal sinus passages) to restore their natural protective "sweeping & cleansing" action.