You have a bothersome tickle in the back of your throat, which grows worse at night when you lie down to go to sleep. Or, perhaps your throat is getting more sore by the day as a result of constantly clearing your throat. These are a few of the more annoying symptoms of post-nasal drip.
There is, however, good news, and it’s this: There are treatment options that can bring you relief.
For more than two decades, ear, nose, and throat specialists Dr. Cecil Yeung and Dr. Marcus Hershey of Houston Sinus Surgery has helped a large number of patients get relief from post-nasal drip, and he can do the same for you. In this blog, he explains what can cause post-nasal drip and how you can get relief.
Behind the drip
Mucus in the back of your throat is hardly unusual, because your nose and throat glands produce a whopping 1-2 quarts each day in order to:
- Moisten and clean your airways
- Trap potentially harmful foreign bodies
- Fight off infection
- Provide moisture to the air you breathe
Under normal circumstances, this mucus mixes with your saliva and flushes easily through your digestive system without incident.
When these glands go into overdrive, however, your saliva can’t keep up since the mucus is not only more abundant, it can also become thicker.
There are many reasons why your glands may overproduce mucus, including:
- Allergies, especially seasonal allergies
- Bacterial or viral infections, such as a cold or the flu
- Hormonal changes
- Foreign objects in the nasal passageways
- Certain medications that cause your mucus to thicken
- Changes in temperature
- Nasal abnormalities, such as a deviated septum or nasal polyps
Some people even produce excess mucus when they’re exposed to bright lights.
Treating your post-nasal drip
The reason why we outlined the many ways in which post-nasal drip can develop is to underscore the importance of first properly diagnosing the cause of the issue. In most cases, post-nasal drip is a symptom of an underlying problem, and it’s important that we identify, and treat, that problem.
To manage the post-nasal drip in the short-term, we usually recommend nasal sprays, antihistamines, and/or decongestants.
With your post-nasal drip under control, we then look at addressing the root cause. For example, if you have a nasal abnormality, such as a deviated septum, we can correct the deviation to allow your nasal passageways to function more normally. If allergies are causing your post-nasal drip, we work with you to resolve or manage those allergies so you can avoid this symptom.
If the problem is related to a temporary event, such as a cold or flu, the good news is that your post-nasal drip should clear up with your respiratory infection.
To find out which approach is best for your post-nasal drip, we invite you to call 713-795-4886 or book an appointment online with Houston Sinus Surgery today.