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Post-Nasal Drip Causes, Symptoms & Treatment Guide

Table of Contents

The guide touches on a number of issues pertaining to post-nasal drip, including:

1. What promotes the onset of post-nasal drip?

2. How to recognize the symptoms of post-nasal drip

3. What to look for based on the color of mucus

4. When to see a physician about post-nasal drip

5. What your doctor might find, and how to treat it

6. Does weather affect post-nasal drip?

7. Swallowing and post-nasal drip

8. Some basic methods for controlling post-nasal drip

9. Post-nasal drip, tonsil stones and halitosis

10. Halitosis has no cure, but Dr. Katz is an expert at treating the causes

11. Summary

post nasal drip nose1. What promotes the onset of post-nasal drip

Post-nasal drip (PND) occurs for several reasons. The basic problem is that excessive mucus gathers in the throat and nose. From there, mucus can flow into a person's airway, collecting in the lungs. It may also drip into the stomach where it can be uncomfortable. A stomach invasion by PND creates many symptoms that mostly aren't dangerous but can cause considerable discomfort. Understanding what post-nasal drip is can help develop remedies.

Mucus plays a vital role in maintaining good health. Glands in your nose and throat produce up to two quarts of mucus each day. Mucus is responsible for moistening and cleaning nasal tissue. It also acts as a humidifier, captures foreign matter and combats infections. Mucus is a benefit to your good health. It is swallowed without being noticed, and only becomes a problem when it evolves into PND.

2. How to recognize the symptoms of post-nasal drip

Colds and flu cause abnormalities for mucus glands. They generally prompt the production of more mucus. The excess mucus created by the nasal mucosa can manifest itself for a number of other reasons. It may be the product of rhinitis, either non-allergic or allergic; sinusitis, acute or chronic; acid reflux, with or without heartburn; or it might be the result of a swallowing disorder. Excess mucus is a prominent factor in dealing with seasonal allergies, or even those disorders that continue throughout the year.

Birth control pills or pregnancy may increase PND for women due to the added amounts of estrogen hormones created by both situations. The symptoms run the gamut from post-nasal drip coughs to bad breath and a chronic sore throat. PND can be responsible for halitosis. Also, excess mucus can block the Eustachian tube between the nose and ear. That can lead to a serious ear infection and pain. Mucus drips may also plug sinuses, which can mean more infection and pain.

3. What to look for based on the color of mucus

Normal mucus is a thin clear fluid that increases in volume when the body senses a problem. Prime conditions for mucus include drinking plenty of fluids, keeping the air humidified and using saline nasal sprays.

While antihistamines can help decrease mucus production, be careful not to rely too much on over-the-counter nasal sprays. They make some people drowsy and there's a phenomenon called "rebound". That's when too much nasal spray causes nasal passages to rebel and close up rather than stay clear. Let your doctor advise you on the usage of antihistamines.

A common misconception is that green or yellow nasal fluids indicate a bacterial infection and antibiotics are needed. Not so! Colds and flu very often have clear nasal discharges for several days. These discharges can eventually become creamy yellow or green. Antibiotics won't help because colds and flu are viruses. So don't think a colored nasal discharge means antibiotics are required. Again, let your doctor order the correct medicines.

4. When to see a physician about post-nasal drop

Contact a doctor when nasal drainage has a bad odor, comes out of just one nostril or is colored something other than white or yellow. Immediately tell your doctor if nasal discharge accompanies a head injury. Also, let your doctor know if symptoms have lasted more than three weeks, or if a fever is evident with nasal discharge.

Children under three years old should see a doctor if symptoms persist more than 10 days. A child whose lung functions appear distressed should immediately see a physician. In addition to possible nasal infections, children often poke foreign objects into their noses, creating situations that require expert medical attention. A tip-off for determining if a child has blocked one nostril with a peanut or other item is the drainage of thicker-than-normal mucus from the open passage.

5. What your doctor might find, and how to treat it

A doctor may want you to undergo a physical examination if a mucus change persists. That will include examining ears, nose and throat. Your medical history might help determine what is affecting the condition of your mucus. The physician will want to know the condition of your mucus. He will also check for blood in the mucus, and if it is connected to a sore throat. Depending on what the physical exam uncovers, the doctor may order up a CT scan of your head. He might also want to see X-rays of your skull and sinuses. The treatments your doctor recommends will be made in response to what was found during your examinations. He might have to prescribe routine treatments that permit mucus to drain more effectively, especially if a motivating factor for the mucus problem can't be found.

6. Does weather affect post-nasal drip?

Winter can contribute to PND issues. They often happen because nasal passages don't appreciate heated air. Thick mucus also is evident when a bacterial sinus infection develops. Problems that affect swallowing may be the result of accumulated solids or liquids in the throat that could exacerbate or mimic PND. Nerves and muscles that control the mouth, throat and esophagus may stop acting as required because overflow discharges can interrupt those systems.

7. Swallowing and post-nasal drip

Swallowing problems occur for various reasons. As people get older, swallowing can become harder to do because muscles are getting weaker and coordination isn't what it once was. Swallowing while asleep occurs far less than when awake. That can create a pool of secretions that needs vigorous coughing to make breathing easier. Throat muscles can become spasmodic if nerves and stress hit overload levels. That stressed-caused lump in the throat won't go away with harsh throat clearing, and could actually get worse because of increased irritation. Acid reflux disease can also create swallowing issues.

8. Some basic methods for controlling post-nasal drip

Adhering to some basics can help. Elderly people need to drink more fluids to help keep secretions thin. Eliminating all caffeine and avoiding diuretics can help. There are also mucus-thinning drugs that work to relieve thickened fluids. It may be beneficial to use simple saline over-the-counter nasal sprays to keep nasal tissues moistened. Carefully examine the claims of any post-nasal drip remedy you might chose. Consult with your physician to determine the correct kind and amount of any medicine meant to deal with post-nasal drip.

A myriad of mucus-related problems can contribute to halitosis. And while there are dozens of treatments to help curtail it, there is no "cure" for halitosis. Experts say the human mouth is home to some 600 bacterial types. Your tongue, teeth, gums and palate have many billions of germs living on them. If bad breath could be blamed on just one or two microbes, scientists could probably come up with a vaccine to combat halitosis. That isn't going to happen any time soon. So it's important adopt to methods that have been found to effectively relieve the symptomatic reasons for bad breath.

9. Post-nasal drip, tonsil stones and halitosis

We have to rely on treatments that block the physical aspects of halitosis. That's where Dr. Harold Katz and his TheraBreath program have taken the lead in treating bad breath. His treatments for halitosis are based on solid research into its causes. One of the more intriguing bad breath factors Dr. Katz deals with involves tonsil stones. They are very often not diagnosed correctly and can occur at any time.

Tonsil stones are also known as tonsilloliths. They are the result of sulfur-making bacteria and muck that take residence in the tonsils. That debris can be at least partially built up by PND. The accumulated mess rots in the throat and spills into the tonsil crypts, little pockets that nestle on tonsil surfaces. Tonsil stones can join with sulfur compounds created by bacteria under the tongue to produce chronic halitosis. Even if your tonsils have been removed, there remains a distinct possibility that sulfur-producing germs under your tongue will produce bad breath. This all relates in part to PND, and why it is important to correctly diagnose and deal with that issue.

Dr. Katz doesn't recommend surgery to remove tonsils. His treatment for eliminating tonsil stones is safe, easy and effective. People with foul breath related to tonsil stones can use an oxygenating serum and nasal-sinus drops to get rid of the stones. This not only kills the need for a tonsillectomy, it also keeps halitosis at bay. Treatment with an oxygenating throat spray will rapidly help get rid of the offending bacteria living behind the tongue.

TheraBreath Nasal Sinus drops 10. TheraBreath for Halitosis Treatment

The TheraBreath program has put out a Bad Breath Bible that outlines the hows and whys of halitosis. It also recommends various methods and products for dealing with the causes of bad breath. It refers to tonsil stones by noting they can be effectively eliminated by regular use of an oxygenating toothpaste and mouthwash. It's also advisable to use a tongue scraper in order to reach the bacteria living at the very back of the tongue. Using oxygenating toothpaste and mouthwash has an added benefit. It bolsters the power of an oxygenating serum and nasal-sinus drops, which can help prevent tonsil stones from ever again being a problem. Clinical researchers say preventive measures in Dr. Katz's TheraBreath program produce a major reduction or total dismissal of tonsil stones.

11. Summary

The effect PND has on bad breath is often more than you may realize. Getting rid of it requires a strict regimen of post-nasal drip treatments, many of which are available with the TheraBreath system. The microbes responsible for halitosis use mucus as a dining table, where they begin to take sulfur compounds from amino acids that comprise the proteins evident in excess mucus. Preventing that full-course meal goes a long way towards controlling halitosis.

TheraBreath Nasal-Sinus Drops provide a fresh breath sensation that many people have not experienced in years. It halts the creation of sulfur compounds produced by the interaction between excess mucus and bacteria. Chronic sinus problems can be relieved by regular use of the Hydropulse. This device flushes the sinuses and works even better by adding two or three drops of AktivOxigen serum into each treatment.

The post-nasal drip remedies developed by the TheraBreath program represent a concentrated effort to eliminate the causes of bad breath. The oxygenating oral care products such as TheraBreath PLUS, AktivOxigen and TheraBrite target the basic reasons for mucus aided PND. Any number of over-the-counter medications and drugs might help control PND. But what happens when they work too well? They can contribute to bad breath by creating a dry mouth, which makes bad breath even more of a problem. They might also become habit forming. The more these drugs are used, the more your body resists them and the less you will benefit. That won't happen using TheraBreath products. The TheraBreath program has been designed from the start to produce notable improvement for a variety of bad breath issues. To learn more about TheraBreath programs, go online at www.TheraBreath.com, email info@drkatz.com, or phone 1-800-973-7374.