Postnasal Drip - Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Post-nasal discharge - Home Remedies

Post-nasal Drip, Postnasal Discharge,
Normally, the secretion (mucus) secreted from the mucosal epithelium that covers the nose is removed by moving backwards and the new one is regenerated. About 1-2 liters of mucus is produced daily and is unwittingly swallowed backwards. This is normally one of the body's natural defense mechanisms. Bacteria, viruses and foreign particles in the air taken through the nose are caught by the mucus cover on the nasal concha and are moved backwards to be destroyed. Apart from this, mucus also ensures that the nose is kept clean and moist and the breathing air is moistened.

Due to some factors, more mucus than normal may be produced or the mucus may become haha ​​with a thicker consistency than normal. When this excess amount of mucus begins to accumulate in the back of the throat, the symptom of "postnasal drip" or "postnasal drip" occurs.

Postnasal Drip  - Symptoms, Causes and Treatment

Postnasal discharge or postnasal drip of secretions originating from the nose and paranasal sinuses from the nostrils to the back, towards the nasopharynx. In the etiology, allergic and non-allergic rhinitis, sinusitis, contact with irritant gases, hot and cold changes, intranasal mass lesions, side effects of various drugs can be counted. Especially in patients with empty nose syndrome or who have undergone surgical trauma-related changes in nasal anatomic structures (such as abnormally enlarged intranasal air passage), thickening of the secretion or becoming more sticky can often be seen.

The most common complaints in patients with postnasal drip are the feeling of something dripping into the throat, a runny nose, frequent throat clearing, and a feeling of sticky secretion. Postnasal drip can cause chronic cough.

During otolaryngological examination, mucoid or mucopurulent secretion from the nasopharynx or oropharynx and a cobblestone appearance of the mucosa can be detected. Especially when there are sinus infections, postnasal inflammation, dark yellow or yellowish secretion may be seen during the examination. In patients with nasal discharge due to allergic causes, the color of the discharge is usually close to transparent.

Why does nasal discharge occur?

Normally, we swallow the nasal secretions unconsciously, and the microorganisms and particles trapped in the nasal secretions are eliminated by directly contacting the stomach acid.

Changes in the mucosa increase the amount of secretions responsible for moistening the surface, causing a backward discharge along the upper respiratory tract, which is expressed by patients as a "postnasal discharge". Sometimes, since this secretion creates a favorable environment for the reproduction of microorganisms, although it is a clear colored liquid at first, it may acquire an inflamed consistency over time, turn yellow-green, turn into foul-smelling breath and inflammatory postnasal drip.

When it flows, it is expressed as postnasal drip or discharge.

Causes of Post-nasal Drip

Although nasal discharge is mainly caused by inflammation of the upper respiratory tract or irritation as a result of various factors, it can develop as a result of a wide variety of reasons. The complaints of postnasal drip in patients are frequently observed for the following reasons:

- infections such as the common cold or flu
- allergens
- vasomotor rhinitis (nasal secretion increases in cold-temperature changes)
- hormonal disorders
- septum deviation
- consuming spicy foods
- use of certain medications
- smoking

Post-nasal Drip, Postnasal Discharge,

Post-nasal Drip, Postnasal Discharge,

Above is the oral examination photographs of two patients with upper respiratory tract infection and sinusitis showing postnasal drip.

Post-nasal Drip, Postnasal Discharge,

In the photo above, a patient who has been smoking for a long time shows signs of chronic pharyngitis, uvula prolongation and thick nasal discharge.

Conditions that cause an increase in the consistency of mucus

- breathing dry air (such as ambient air where air conditioners and heaters are located)
- sinus infections
- food allergies

Symptoms That Can Be Seen With Post-nasal Drip

Postnasal Drip  - Symptoms, Causes and Treatment
As postnasal discharge moves downward, complaints such as cough, hoarseness and a feeling of annoyance in the throat can also be seen. This way, infections can spread from top to bottom. Cough occurs as a result of the mechanical stimulation of cough receptors in the pharynx and larynx area by acne (this condition is also called "postnasal drip syndrome" / "PNDS" ).

- Cough
- Having a feeling of snagging when swallowing
- Runny nose
- Frequent spitting;
- Tickling sensation in the throat
- Burning sensation behind the throat
- Hoarse or grainy voice
- Shortness of breath;
- Nasal congestion
- Chronic sore throat
- Bad breath (bad breath);
- Cobblestone appearance of the oropharyngeal mucosa
- Tiredness
- Nausea
- Vomiting

Home Remedies For Post-nasal Drip

Treatment of nasal discharge is done according to the cause. In addition to treatments and measures for allergic diseases, treatments for upper respiratory tract infections, it will be beneficial to do the following as a precaution:

- Irrigation of the nose with saline water

- Making a steam bath

Especially after putting into boiling water from products such as menthol, eucalyptus containing buğuseptil, vicks, the entry of steam into the mouth and into the nose for 10-15 minutes accelerates the movement of mucus and facilitates the cleaning of the upper respiratory tract. Chamomile steam can also facilitate the cleaning of the airways. Herbal steam baths may be inconvenient for patients with severe asthma attacks.

- Increasing oral fluid intake

Thinner and more watery mucus can be produced by drinking water or consuming juicy fruits and vegetables.

- Use of cold steam machine in the room

You can find information about the use of cold steam machines in the "Information on Cold Steam Machines" link.

- Avoiding allergens such as animal hair, pollen, dust, etc. and cigarette smoke

This measure can increase the reduction of mucus production in particular.

- Avoiding consumption of spicy foods

(It says that consuming dairy products may be inconvenient in patients with postnasal drip, but the number of supportive resources is not sufficient)

Postnasal discharge is not a serious condition, but it can be particularly frustrating for children. Following the above measures, the complaint of postnasal drip usually disappears within a few days. If there is no sign of improvement after 10 days, an otolaryngologist should be consulted.

Murat Enoz, MD, Otorhinolaryngology, Head and Neck Surgeon - ENT Doctor in Istanbul

Private Office:
Address: İncirli Cad. No:41, Kat:4 (Dilek Patisserie Building), Postal code: 34147, Bakırköy - İstanbul
Appointment Phone: +90 212 561 00 52
Mobile phone: +90 533 6550199
Fax: +90 212 542 74 47