The glands in our noses continually produce mucus, because mucus keeps the nasal tissues moist, while also keeping them “clean.” Mucus is what helps the body fight infection, clearing what is inhaled, and moistening the air that you breathe. Most of the time, mucus is swallowed unconsciously. When you feel like mucus is gathering or dripping in the back of your throat, it is called Post-Nasal Drip.

Signs of Post-Nasal Drip can include:

  • Frequent swallowing or clearing the throat
  • “Lump” feeling in the back of throat
  • Throat soreness or irritation
  • Feeling mucus drainage
  • Bad Breath
  • Hoarseness
  • Swelling

What are the causes of Post-Nasal Drip?

Post-Nasal Drip is usually caused by environmental changes or changes within the body.

  • An individual may experience allergies or allergic reactions that increase mucus production.
  • When moisture in the air is low, the body overproduces mucus to make up for the change.
  • Breathing cold air will irritate the nose and throat; mucus is produced to warm the passages.
  • Illnesses, such as colds, sinus infections, and the flu increase mucus.
  • Eating spicy foods will cause the body react and produce more mucus.
  • Mucus production changes when coming in contact with chemicals, such as cleaning products.
  • Acid Reflux can increase mucus (or phlegm) causing hoarseness or trouble swallowing.

If you’re experiencing any of these systems continuously or during certain seasons of the year, you may want to schedule an appointment with your ENT. Although Post-Nasal Drip can be difficult to cure, there are several ways to treat the underlying causes. It may be that you have allergies you weren’t aware of, an infection the needs antibiotics, or perhaps you have Acid Reflux. It is important to identify the cause, so your ENT can make personalized recommendations for you. For questions, or to schedule an appointment, contact us today: (770) 237-3000.