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What is a Post Nasal Drip?


Post nasal drip is sometimes also written, postnasal drip, but either way you refer to it, it’s referring to the same pesky thing – mucus / phlegm that will not stop draining into your throat from your nasal cavity. The only way to clear it oftentimes is to swallow it. When mucus is thicker than normal it usually means you’ve been exposed to something in your environment that is causing some respiratory irritation.

Phlegm can accumulate in the throat for a variety of reasons and it does not always signal that you have an underlying problem per se. Examples of this include a post nasal drip being caused by a person who recently ate a very hot food, such as peppers. Milk also is known to cause more mucus. Anyone who has ever exercised after a long period of sedation remarks about how their sinuses typically are affected from a workout.

If you feel a thick sensation in the back of your throat you likely have a buildup of mucus that is draining down the back of your throat. If you’ve ever had a sinus infection, you likely have had this symptom as your sinuses release fluid and it drains down your throat. If you have to clear your throat often, you likely have a thick mucus covering the back your throat causing you to need to take that action to be able to speak clearly.

post nasal drip

Sinus Infection Post Nasal Drip

Many times, a post nasal drip is associated with a sinus infection, or after a person has been exposed to certain irritants in the throat be it, tobacco smoke or other smoke, pollen, and other known allergens. Mucus in the back of your throat sometimes can lead to a cough, or you’ll sound hoarse. Other times you may have a sore throat.

The issue with post nasal drip treatments is that they may clear out your throat of mucus leaving it very dry. Mucus serves a purpose in that it keeps our airways from drying out during the day. So while mucus is pesky, it is absolutely necessary. The problem of having a post nasal drip that will not quit is more an annoying one than anything. If you are exposing yourself to known allergens and toxins, such as tobacco smoke, or vape smoke, you should STOP now. Not just for post nasal drip, but because you are exposing your body to cancer causing toxins and smoking related deaths and illnesses can be avoided if you remove yourself from being around tobacco smoke, and/or smoking.

The best treatments for a build up of mucus in the back of your throat provide moisture to your sinuses, i.e. a humidifier or vaporizer that puts out a mist of moisture into the air in your space, a saline nasal nose spray or mist, and gargling with warm salt water. Learn more about over the counter sinus infection treatment.

SmartDocMD’s can answer your questions regarding sinus infection symptoms including a post nasal drip, or why that pesky phlegm just won’t stop draining into the throat. Fill out our quick online patient interview where you answer questions about your sinus issues. After submitting your interview, you’ll receive a free personalized health screening addresses your specific needs, and you can choose to continue your care with our online doctors by paying a small, one time fee for the one time online doctor visit. Our doctors are all United States board certified medical doctors / physicians that have passed all licensing exams and are licensed to practice medicine in the state of California. Our on demand doctors provide quality health care online, on your schedule. You’ll receive medical recommendations from a doctor. If your condition requires antibiotics for sinus infection, you will receive the necessary medicines to treat your issue. If you have missed school or work, we can give you a doctors note to release you from obligations that you need to be released from while you are suffering through the symptoms that you have.

We also treat other common conditions and ailments such as the common cold, urinary tract infections online, yeast infections, pink eye infections, and a cough that will just not go away.

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