Post Nasal Drip Causes Symptoms and Treatment

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Post Nasal Drip

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Post Nasal Drip - Causes Treatment and Explanation

Your Body Makes Mucous All Day
It is specifically made by the glands and cells lining the sinus passages. Its function is to trap tiny particles such as dust etc and stop them filtering into our breathing system. That is why it is sticky and thick. Although mucous normally is swallowed, occasionally it causes a sensation of dripping from the back of the nose. This sensation is called Post nasal drip (PND). This feeling can be caused by thickened mucous secretions or even excessive mucous, or even by throat or muscle disorders. The secret to clearing post nasal drip up in a healthy way is to thin the nasal secretions to allow them to drain more readily, whilst actively looking at the cause of the excess secretions.

When you produce to much mucous you will also cause swelling of the sinus lining, as well as bleeding, polyps and irritation. Excess mucous production or Post Nasal Drip (PND) will directly affect your breath as it is high in proteins and is an excellent food source for anaerobic bacteria. Excess mucous, once settled on your nasal and throat lining, can irritate, causing a sore throat, and the belief that you may be coming down with a cold.


Bad Breath And Post Nasal Drip
When I see patients at my Australian Breath Clinic with bad breath, the most common link in all chronic cases is that of Post Nasal Drip (PND) and excess mucus. This has led us to recommend hypertonic nasal washes daily for all bad breath treatments.

The sinus cavities are air filled spaces in the bones of the face and skull. When a virus or allergy penetrates the nose, we produce extra mucus to try and clear the irritant or infection away, but the tiny cilia hairs often become damaged as they attempt to move this mucus away, thereby impairing Mucocilliary flow. This means that extra mucus cannot be cleared and clogs up in the nose and nasal cavities. The narrow nasal passages of the nose become blocked with tissue swelling and thick mucus, resulting in congestion and even sinus pain and infection.

Post Nasal Drip is best understood as a flow of mucus from the nasal and sinus areas. This mucus then travels down the oro pharynx, where it can collect at the back of the throat and tongue. Most often it is caused or exacerbated by some form of chronic irritation or sickness or allergy. The situation can be made worse by dry mouth, mouth breathing, or medications.

Symptoms Of Post Nasal Drip
Needing to clear your throat;  This is probably the most common symptom of post nasal drip. When the mucous drains from the sinuses it will commonly collect at the top of the throat area. This can cause a hoarseness of the voice and the need to continually clear your throat.
Constantly swallowing
or feel that you have something trapped in the back of your throat.This would most likely be due to excess mucous and PND. Also if you feel like you have a lump in your throat, then once again this is most likely mucous collection. Patients describe it as a mucous plug.

Continual sore throats
that do not develop into illness. Post nasal drip can cause the cilia (tiny nasal hairs) to stop functioning properly. This causes a collection of crusty mucous on the nasal and throat lining. this in turn will cause inflammation and irritation. This clinically presents as a sore throat. Often medical doctors prescribe antibiotics for this condition in the belief that the person is coming down with a cold or sickness. But in fact this can make the problem worse. Once the antibiotics are stopped, most bacteria will return to normal levels, however we find the anaerobic bacteria will grow in greater numbers, as they are opportunistic in nature. This can take a PND problem and actually cause a significant bad breath problem.

Small white or yellow crystals lodged in your tonsils. If you have excess mucous this will cause an increase of anaerobic bacteria. These bacteria feed on the mucous as it is high in protein. They then make condensed sulphur granules called TONSILLOLITHS which are laid down in the back of the throat. Every time your tongue touches the back of the throat when you swallow, it will carry these Tonsiloliths into the crypts or folds of the tonsils. If you have ever picked these out with a Q tip you will notice the foul smell that they have. Tonsiloliths are not only a sign of post nasal problems, but also a sign of bad breath.
Nasal and Sinus Congestion;
If you are finding it hard to breathe through your nose, or if you are a mouth breather, then in general you will find that excess mucous or PND is causing your nasal congestion.

Post Nasal Drip Triggers
Inhaled Irritants; This is the most common cause of post nasal drip. As explained previously the function of mucous is to trap dust and  other irritant particles in the mucous created in the upper sinuses and therefore stop them spreading into our main breathing area. When there is a lot of dust or if the body is sensitive to these particles, this can cause an allergic reaction or rhinitis. This is a swelling of the nasal and sinus linings, and is extremely common especially in today's world of smog and dust.
Dairy Products; Such foods as dairy, milk, cheese, yogurt, and soy products, can cause mucous to thicken dramatically. This can then inhibit proper drainage.
Allergies to foods; Allergies to such things as wheat, eggs, milk or nuts. These will once again thicken mucous, and inhibit proper drainage.
Illnesses; Such as flu, colds, bronchitis, ear infections and tonsillitis are the main culprits in post nasal drip and excess mucous. If you are an asthma sufferer, not only can the excess mucous trigger asthma attacks but it can make breathing through the nasal passages difficult causing the asthmatic to breath through the mouth instead. This is very bad for asthma sufferers, as mouth breathing means that you have not warmed or humidified the air taken into the lungs, and this in turn can also trigger an asthma attack. Also an asthma attack can be triggered because mouth breathing means you have not filtered the air of impurities, as this is the function of the nasal and sinus cavities.

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