Do you feel mucus running backwards? That is postnasal drip, but what does it mean?
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Postnasal drip is that feeling of excessive mucus in the back of the nose and throat. Glands in this area produce an additional amount of mucus that ends up falling into the throat leading to coughing and discomfort.
Why does the mucus run backwards? Actually, this is the natural process of how the organs of the nose and throat work. During the day, normal production of mucus is swallowed and expelled from the body without being noticed because it is mixed with saliva.
Problem appears when the mucus production increases and we can feel the passage of mucus in the back of the throat.
If you are interested in knowing how to relieve or remove the mucus from the back of your throat, please keep on reading this article. We will explain you more details.
Symptoms of postnasal drip
Postnasal drip produces other discomforts in addition to the feeling of mucus running down the throat, such as:
Any of these symptoms may indicate that you are suffering from postnasal drip. If you have no idea what to do about it, it would be a good idea to see a nose doctor who can help you find an effective solution.
What causes postnasal drip?
To understand the cause of this discomfort, it is important to know the usefulness of mucus as a human defense system. In the organs of the nose and throat, there is a gland responsible for producing mucus, which has the function of trapping microorganisms that come into contact with the body, thus filtering the air and keeping the body safe.
These glands produce a daily amount of mucus that goes unnoticed, but, when something stimulates them to produce an additional amount, we begin to feel the presence of mucus in our body that runs down the back of the throat.
By understanding this, the causes of postnasal drip are diverse, as follows:
When the body detects that an allergen is present in the air, its protective effect is to have a mucus barrier sufficient to prevent its entry into the body.
At the beginning of a cold, the first thing the body does is to defend itself from being infected by more microorganisms. That is the reason why when we suffer from the flu, we suffer from a series of symptoms, including the excess of mucus backwards.
A change in the environment that can dry the nostrils or throat will trigger the glands to produce mucus to moisten the area.
Chemicals that can irritate the nasal mucosa and even smoke can trigger a postnasal drip.
How to get rid of postnasal drip?
Note that to find an ideal solution it is necessary to have the advice of an ENT doctor who can observe, understand and recommend the best treatment option for your case.
In these cases, doctors commonly recommend a pharmacological treatment that includes antihistamines, nasal solutions with steroids and, in more specific cases, antibiotics.
Another recommended technique is nasal lavage with saline solution. This procedure cleans the nasal passages and helps to reduce the excess mucus that runs down the back of the throat.
The best prevention strategy against postnasal drip is personal hygiene to avoid the spread of viruses and bacteria. Also, you can avoid coming into contact with materials that generate allergic reactions.
Furthermore, developing the awareness that the chemicals we inhale can cause damage to our organism is another key measure to avoid developing this discomfort.
Postnasal drip is a method of defense of the body that wants to prevent you from catching microorganisms that can seriously affect it. Therefore, the excessive production of mucus is a warning sign that something in the environment wants to harm you.
Do you think it is time to see a specialist? Contact Dr. Lech, an otolaryngologist and nose specialist.