Tag Archives: post nasal drip

What is Post-Nasal Drip?

Everyday our bodies produce over a quart of mucus, but some people produce excess mucus or mucus that is too thick to easily swallow and it uncomfortably drips down the throat. This condition is called post-nasal drip (PND). Let’s look at some PND facts now:

  • What is mucus? It’s a thick substance that helps moisten the nose, throat, airways and intestinal tract and protect the body against potentially harmful or infectious foreign substances (like bacteria) by trapping them.
  • When this mucus goes haywire, uncomfortable issues ensue, like chronic coughing, an ever-present need to clear your throat and can even lead to an ear or sinus infection.
  • Many things can lead to PND, some common causes are: allergies, asthma, colds or flus, sinusitis or rhinitis, medications, a deviated septum or even pregnancy!
  • Weather changes or dry air can contribute to PND as well.
  • Spicy foods and dairy can lead to worsening of the condition.
  • Swallowing issues like GERD may cause a build up on mucus and can be misdiagnosed as PND.
  • There are various OTC and prescription medications to help treat PND such as: antihistamines, decongestants (for non-asthmatics), saline sprays or corticosteroid nasal sprays.
  • Breathing in steam or peppermint oil steam can help thin out the mucus and loosen it from the nasal walls and throat so you can get rid of it easier.
  • Invest in a humidifier for your room, as the humidity can help thin out the mucus.
  • Drinking plenty of water can also thin your mucus and make it easier to get rid of naturally.

Some natural remedies for PND include:

  • A natural nasal irrigation with baking soda and salt
  • Gargle with warm sea-salt water
  • Eat roasted garlic which is a natural anti-inflammatory
  • Drink ginger tea which has decongestant properties

If all else fails, try some good old fashioned chicken soup! This comfort food may help relieve you momentarily. Thanks for visiting DocChat, we hope you’ll return again soon!

Non-Contagious Causes of a Sore Throat (Part 2)

We’ve all had a sore throat at some point in time and wondered if we should visit a doctor or if it will go away on its own. Sometimes a sore throat is a result of a passing cold, but other times it may be a sign or side effect of an underlying health condition and treatment may necessary to help it pass. We checked out the bacterial and viral causes of sore throats in our last post, so now here are some other types of sore throat causes:

  1. Allergies can cause the mucus membrane to swell, leading to irritation and soreness or itching of the throat. A more serious allergy-related cause of an uncomfortable throat would be an anaphylactic (life-threatening) allergy response which can cause a swollen, painful throat, hives, swelling and difficulty swallowing or breathing. This condition is life threatening, so if someone is experiencing these symptoms seek emergency medical treatment for them as soon as possible.
  2. Idiopathic or hereditary angioedema (swelling of the lower layers of the skin) can cause swelling in all parts of the body, including the throat. Those with angioedema may have some trouble swallowing on one side of the throat but otherwise may feel okay. However, as with anaphylaxis, symptoms can quickly turn dangerous. If you experience extreme throat tightening, difficulty swallowing or breathing, it is important to seek emergency care as you may need to be given corticosteroid injections or IVs to alleviate the throat swelling.

  3. Sinusitis, rhinitis, and asthma are often affiliated with a related condition called post nasal drip (PND) where excess mucus slides down the back of the throat and gets stuck, causing frequent coughing, tickling and soreness of the throat. If you suffer from sinus issues or asthma and think you may have PND, talk to your doctor (or one of ours) about treatment options today.
  4. Injured muscles – Sometimes if someone has yelled too much or too loudly, or has injured their throat in some way, for example by swallowing a jagged piece of chip, it can be tender and painful for days afterward.

  5. GERD – Those who have gastroesophageal reflux disorder may experience the occasional sore throat due to the bilious acid that repeats back up the esophagus and sometimes into the mouth. This acid can mildly burn or irritate the throat if it happens frequently. Speak to your doctor today if you experience heartburn symptoms along with an intermittent sore throat, or if you know you have GERD but need treatment for your throat as well.
  6. Smoking and other irritants – smoking exposes your throat to thousands of chemicals and irritants, many of which are carcinogenic. It is common for smokers to experience a longstanding sore throat due to this constant exposure. Those who work in jobs involving pollutants and chemicals may experience similar throat issues.
  7. Rare causes – Rarely, a sore throat can be a sign of HIV or a malignant throat mass. If you sore throat doesn’t respond to antibiotics or other treatment and persists for weeks or months, be sure to see your doctor to rule out more serious issues.

There you have the common non-contagious sore throat causes. If you have any questions about the conditions listed in this post, feel free to sign up to DocChat today to speak to one of our experienced, board certified doctors!