Post Nasal Drip and Nasal Polyps
Post Nasal Drip and Nasal Polyps
Post nasal drip can be a side effect of a serious case of Nasal Polyps. Post nasal drip happens when mucus accumulates in the back of the throat and nose, often caused by factors which can include infection caused by nasal polyps, sinusitis, rhinitis and allergies to name a few.
Post nasal drip makes you feel that you have to constantly clear your throat due to the annoying feeling that liquid is continually building up or running down the back of your throat. Quite often this liquid is a bit thicker than the consistency of water and in worse cases has a foul taste and or smell indicating some form of infection which should be seen to by your doctor.
Other factors that can trigger post nasal drip other than nasal polyps can include the onset of colds and flu, pregnancy, certain medications including blood pressure medication, a deviated septum, some foods and even a change in the weather. Now it isn’t necessarily that you are producing excess mucus but rather the mucus isn’t draining away like it should. Obviously if you have more than 1 of these conditions together the chance of post nasal drip can greatly increase.
Post Nasal Drip Symptoms
Symptoms of post nasal drip include constantly wanting to clear excess liquid (phlegm) from the back of your throat. Because the excess mucus contains inflammatory substances you can end up with a sore throat and sometimes a cough which can get worse at night. Your nose can, funnily enough, feel blocked or runny, in some instances you may even experience bad breath. The urge to snort to clear the excess mucus that can’t be removed through blowing your nose and also frequent spitting. If you have any or a combination of these symptoms you may have post nasal drip and should seek medical advice as soon as you can.
Post Nasal Drip Treatments
There are quite a few medical treatments that can be used to help relieve the effects of post nasal drip the underlying cause needs to be identified first in order to get the correct treatment. Medical treatments can including antibiotics for bacterial infections, antihistamine and decongestant medicines, and possibly even a nasal steroid spray.
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So what can you try before using medicines?
You can try to avoid the things that you have an allergic reaction with that trigger post nasal drip. If this isn’t possible or your symptoms are quite severe the immunotherapy could be suggested. This involves trying to desensitize you to the allergen by injecting small amounts of the offending substance over time gradually increasing the dose, it could take many months to completely desensitize you to the allergen though. 2 of the most common are dairy and wheat/gluten products. You can try removing these from your diet 1 at a time and see if you notice any improvement in your condition. If nothing changes then you can rule these out.
You can also try to thin the post nasal drip mucus by cutting out caffeine and alcohol as these cause dehydration and instead drink plenty of water. Drinking plenty of water keeps you hydrated and will thin the mucus so that it can drain as nature intended. Blow your nose frequently to try to remove the excess mucus. The use of a saline spray can help to dilute the mucus caused by post nasal drip and keep the nasal passages moist.
The addition of an Air Purifier and a Humidifier in your room can also help to reduce the symptoms of post nasal drip by keeping the air moist. This in turn keeps your nasal passages moist and reduces irritation in the sinus and nasal cavities. A direct result of irritated nasal cavities is the build up of excess mucus. The air purifier will help to remove the allergens that are present in your room. Gently massaging your sinuses can also help to alleviate the symptoms.
If you are unsure whether your have post nasal drip or other symptoms which may be associated with nasal polyps consult with your healthcare professional as soon as possible. You may have to undergo X-rays or a CT scan to determine the cause of the post nasal drip.