Post Nasal Drip Symptoms
|By Dr. Harold Katz - Bad Breath Expert|
A relatively common disorder among people with allergies and other conditions like acid reflux is a post nasal drip. A post nasal drip has several causes and symptoms that can disrupt your day and cause discomfort. Like any medical condition, it is important to get this treated right away if you have it. Knowing post nasal drip symptoms helps toward identifying what is wrong and being able to tell a doctor what you are experiencing. Post nasal drip symptoms are varied and can last a long time if they are not identified and treated. Some of the most severe signs of post nasal drip are similar to the signs of normal allergy irritation and may be ignored by some people. If you know the symptoms for this condition and experience any of them, it is important to let your doctor know.
One of the most common and severe post nasal drip symptoms is coughing. People with a post nasal drip tend to start out with a mild cough that is commonly mistaken for a cough from allergies or irritation. This cough can become severe and in some cases painful. Coughing associated with post nasal drip tends to be persistent and is often accompanied by wheezing. Wheezing is more commonly from the presence of post nasal drip than asthma. The excess mucus from post nasal drip can cause you to wheeze and cough frequently and the symptoms will not subside until the drip is corrected.
Constant swallowing is among the primary post nasal drip symptoms. Swallowing occurs so often with a post nasal drip because the back of your nose and throat will need lubrication. The excess mucus in the nasal drip can dry out the throat. This also tends to cause a feeling of fullness in the stomach and bad breath. Rhinorrhea is very common for people who have a nasal drip. This is a running nose which happens because of the mucus flow. This can cause frequent spitting as well, because some people snort to clear the mucus that does not come out of the nose when it is blown. The snorting clears the mucus from the back of the nostrils when blowing your nose does not clear everything. Most people will spit out this mucus rather than swallowing any of it.
People with a post nasal drip will also notice a frequent need to clear their throats and a cracking voice. This is because the throat will dry out or have some of the mucus from the nose drip into the throat. Since people with post nasal drips have so much going on in the throat such as clearing and coughing, they may also notice a burning sensation. This is because the throat will become sore with so much going on. The throat is sensitive and is not used to being subjected to so much activity. Difficulty in breathing is very common for people with this drip. All of the mucus buildup in the nose can make breathing through the nose very difficult and the burning and coughing can make breathing through the mouth difficult as well.
Congestion in the nasal and sinus passages is a classic sign of both allergies and a post nasal drip. Post nasal drip causes excess mucus which will clog the nose and build up in the sinuses. A post nasal drip can also be caused by sinusitis which would mean that the sinuses are already congested and have a buildup of mucus and bacteria. Many of the post nasal drip symptoms can be noticed by you and will likely send you to the doctor. Some of the other symptoms take a bit of looking into. You will be able to notice the coughing and wheezing, halitosis, snorting, sore throat and congestion. A few of the symptoms can be found by doctors unless you examine yourself very closely.
One of the symptoms that might go unnoticed until seeing a doctor is that there may be masses formed on the tonsils that are yellow or white. These are referred to as tonsil stones and are generally noticed by your doctor when your throat is being examined. Another symptom that might go unnoticed until seeing a doctor is the cobblestone-like appearance of the mucous membrane of the mouth. The coughing, wheezing and spitting can lead to gaps and breaks in the mucous membrane of your mouth.
Post nasal drip has a few different common causes that have different treatments. One of the causes of post nasal drip is rhinitis which is the medical term for a stuffy nose. This is inflammation and irritation in the nasal passages. Rhinitis can be caused by allergies or other irritations, and many people with allergies commonly miss signs of post nasal drip because the symptoms are so similar. Acute or chronic sinusitis can lead to a person developing a post nasal drip as well. Allergies can often cause a person to get a post nasal drip when the person is around allergens enough. Some birth control pills can lead to post nasal drip in women because these pills elevate estrogen levels.
If your post nasal drip symptoms come from allergies, it is important to take antihistamines and in some cases nasal steroids to take care of the problem. Sometimes a doctor will use allergy injections as a long term solution to post nasal drip caused by allergies. For the drips that are caused by birth control pills, your doctor may switch you to a different pill or recommend a different form of birth control. Sinusitis is one of the more serious causes of a post nasal drip and sinusitis is commonly treated with antibiotics, decongestants and sometimes nasal irrigation. In more severe and chronic cases, minor surgery may be needed to drain the sinus passages of built-up mucus and bacteria. If you notice an increase in coughing or wheezing during allergy season, or notice these symptoms in your daily life, see your doctor about treatment for post nasal drip.