The annoying feeling of constantly needing to swallow or clear your throat could be due to postnasal drip. This common problem is one the experienced team at Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. specializes in treating at their locations in Kittery, Maine, and Stratham, New Hampshire. They can determine the cause of your postnasal drip and address the source of the problem to rid you of those irritating symptoms. For relief from postnasal drip, call the nearest office or book an appointment online today.
Postnasal drip is a condition where mucus keeps trickling down your throat. Mucus is a natural fluid you produce in your nose and throat that keeps the tissues moist and prevents harmful microorganisms and debris from entering your body.
You would normally swallow this mucus automatically without thinking about it. However, if you're producing too much, you might become aware of the fluid building up and dripping down the back of your throat.
Having postnasal drip isn't a serious problem, but it can be annoying as it constantly makes you want to swallow or clear your throat. You might also experience:
A postnasal drip cough tends to be worse at night.
There are several conditions for which postnasal drip is a common complication, including:
Infections that affect your nasal passages and throat, like colds, flu, and sinusitis, are a frequent cause of postnasal drip due to the increase in mucus production.
Allergies like seasonal rhinitis (hayfever) and allergic responses to pet dander and dust typically cause a runny nose that can lead to postnasal drip.
A deviated septum affects mucus drainage because of a misalignment in your septum – the tissue that divides your nasal passages.
Other potential causes of postnasal drip include being in a dry atmosphere, pregnancy, eating spicy foods, and weather changes.
Treating the underlying cause of your postnasal drip can help mucus production return to normal. Decongestant medications such as pseudoephedrine are often effective in reducing postnasal drip, and nasal sprays containing saline help to keep your nasal passages and throat moist.
If your postnasal drip is due to an allergy, non-drowsy antihistamines like loratadine-pseudoephedrine could help. Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. also specializes in treating allergies using immunotherapy.
If your postnasal drip persists, your provider might prescribe a nasal spray containing steroid medication to reduce tissue inflammation.
In most patients, non-surgical treatments for postnasal drip resolve the problem. The only time surgery is likely to be necessary is if your postnasal drip is due to a deviated septum. In that case, the Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. team can perform septoplasty surgery to straighten the septum.
Although postnasal drip doesn't present a serious health risk, it can be frustrating. To find relief from irritating postnasal drip, call Family Ear, Nose & Throat, LLC. or book an appointment online today.