ENT health

Post-Nasal Drip Associated with Sinusitis

Written by Dr. Mashfika N Alam and medically reviewed by iCliniq medical review team.

 
Image: Post-Nasal Drip Associated with Sinusitis

Post-nasal drip is defined as the dripping of mucus from the nasal and sinus passages down the back of the throat. It is a common health condition affecting males and females equally and is becoming increasingly prevalent in our society.

It commonly affects people in the urban areas. It is invariably related to chronic rhinosinusitis and is common in people who are prone to allergy or with a family history of atopy or asthma. Frequent exposure to environmental pollutants and allergens cause repeated inflammation of the sinus and nasal mucus linings leading to a thickening of the membranes and an excess production of mucus.

This excess mucus accumulates within the sinuses and drips down the throat, causing a feeling of post nasal drip. It also provides a suitable environment for bacterial growth and infection.

Common Allergens Associated:

  • Dust mites.
  • Pollen.
  • Mold.
  • Smoke.
  • Animal dander.

Symptoms of Post-Nasal Drip:

  • A feeling of something dripping at the back of the throat.
  • A dry cough.
  • Tickle in the throat.
  • Itchy, sore throat.
  • Blocked nose and sinuses.
  • A feeling of phlegm or mucus stuck in the throat.
  • Chronic throat clearing.

Remedies That Provide Relief:

Avoiding repeated exposure to allergens can significantly reduce the symptoms of chronic sinusitis and post-nasal drip. However, the following measures can help treat the condition.

  1. Steam with menthol inhalation, several times a day - this is gold.
  2. Drinking a mixture of warm water with lime and honey, to clear the mucus stuck in the throat.
  3. Saline nasal wash.
  4. Steam bath.
  5. Antihistamines for short duration.
  6. Nasal decongestants for three to five days use.
  7. Intranasal steroid spray such as Budesonide or Fluticasone for short-term use.
  8. Cough suppressants can be used.
  9. Mast cell stabilizers are also prescribed to people with a family history of asthma or atopy.
  10. If there is bacterial pharyngitis from the stagnant mucus in the throat, antibiotics may be required.
  11. Moreover, it is important to treat the chronic sinusitis, in order to clear the excess mucus in the sinuses.

Complications:

  • Prolonged post-nasal drip can lead to pharyngitis and even tracheobronchitis.
  • It can interfere with work and day-to-day activities.
  • Constant coughing can be a source of irritation for both oneself and others.
  • It significantly affects the quality of sleep, as it frequently disturbs the patient's sleep.
  • Severe sinusitis and post-nasal drip can even lead to breathlessness or an inability to take a deep breath.
  • Post-nasal drip associated with chronic sinusitis can also cause a headache which can be mild to moderate in intensity.

For more information consult a sinusitis specialist online --> https://www.icliniq.com/ask-a-doctor-online/ENT-Otolaryngologist/sinusitis

Last reviewed at: 07.Sep.2018

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