Conditions We Treat: Post Nasal Drip

Mucus serves a very important function in the body: It acts as a hydrating, protective shield to the delicate tissues of the nose, mouth, and throat. It traps foreign particles like dust, pollen, and bacteria before they can enter the body and cause damage. We usually don’t pay attention to mucus until there is a lot of it causing a runny nose, wet cough, or post-nasal drip, but it is always present.

A diagram of an old lady suffering from post nasal drip


What Exactly Is Post-Nasal Drip?

When the sinuses produce excess mucus to flush an irritant out of the body, that mucus can leak into the throat. This is often a symptom of colds and allergies and is characterized by frequent throat clearing and coughing. A persistent post-nasal drip can also cause a sore throat. Sometimes the color of the mucus can provide a clue to its origin. Thin, clear mucus is usually a sign of allergic rhinitis, while thick yellow or green mucus often signals a bacterial or viral infection.


Is There a Treatment?

Because post-nasal drip is usually a symptom of another condition, the underlying problem will need to be determined by your physician. Dr. Samadi can perform a physical exam and throat culture to find out if there is an infection present. If so, antibiotics may be prescribed. For a stuffy nose and sinus congestion, over-the-counter decongestants are usually effective. If allergies are the culprit, antihistamines can both relieve nasal inflammation and thicken the mucus so that it doesn’t drip down the back of the throat.

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