‘Tis the season for Postnasal Drip!

Written by Faith Huang, M.D.
Adapted from article by Dr. Harold Katz

Postnasal drip tends to crop up during the holiday season—for many reasons!  Postnasal drip is when mucus runs down the back of your nose to your throat.

Normally, mucus mixes with saliva and drips in small amounts that is unnoticeable down the back of your throat. The glands in the lining of your nose, throat, airways and intestinal tract produce about 1 to 2 quarts of mucus a day to moisten these areas and trap foreign invaders such as bacteria and viruses before they can cause infection. However, when there is too much mucus made or it is not cleared effectively, this can cause the bothersome symptom of post nasal drip. Post nasal drips causes a feeling that makes you want to incessantly clear your throat.

What are some causes of postnasal drip?

  • Allergies (allergic postnasal drip)
  • Cold temperatures, changing weather or low humidity
  • Fumes from cleaning products, chemicals, perfumes and smoke
  • Sinus infections and upper respiratory infections
  • Pregnancy
  • Certain medications (such as birth control pills and blood pressure medications)
  • Spicy foods

How can you get rid of postnasal drip?

  • It’s important to identify the cause of the postnasal drip. You want to target the cause of the symptom!
  • Your board certified allergist can help you identify why you may be having postnasal drip by listening to your medical history and your symptoms, doing a physical exam to look for findings that may direct he or she to a specific cause of the drip, and sometimes doing allergy skin testing and imaging studies.
  • Depending on what the cause of your postnasal drip is, your allergist can prescribe an appropriate treatment regimen so you can enjoy the holidays, instead of being worried or bothered by this annoying symptom!

If you have any questions about postnasal drip give us a call at (949) 364-2900 to schedule your appointment today. You can also use our online Request an Appointment form to schedule a future appointment.

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