Postnasal drip also called as postnasal discharge is defined as the build up of mucus in the throat and the sensation of mucus dripping down from the back of the nose. Postnasal drip or PND can be caused by extreme or thick secretions or swallowing disorders. Cilia, tiny hairs like structures are present on the surface of the mucus membrane lining. They push the mucus backwards and it is swallowed involuntarily. This mucus lubricates and clears the nasal membranes, fights infection, humidifies air, helps in trapping and clearing inhaled foreign substances. The clearance and production of mucus is synchronized by a composite interaction of nerves, glands, hormones, muscles, blood vessels and cilia. There are various reasons responsible for the underlying medical conditions and hence there are various remedies for postnasal drip. It is a normal function of the glands lining the nose and sinuses to produce one to two quarts of thin mucus everyday. However, if you have chronic postnasal drips consult the medical specialist. Meanwhile the various remedies for a postnasal syndrome can differ from adjusting temperatures in your home to taking antibiotics, nasal irrigation, or sometimes even minor surgeries. If you are the one suffering from these symptoms, here are the causes for postnasal syndrome.
What Are The Causes Of Postnasal Drip
- Postnasal drip is characterized by common colds, running nose irritated nose or clogged nose.
- One of the causes of postnasal drip is the inflammation of sinuses due to infection and the infection usually goes away once it is cleared.
- Allergic reactions such as hay fever, dust, animal dander, dust mites, certain foods, and spices can be one of the causes of postnasal drip.
- Pregnant women are more vulnerable to postnasal drip as their body experiences a condition called pregnancy rhinitis due to hormonal changes in the body. In this condition, the nasal passage gets inflamed causing postnasal drip.
- People who are affected by nasal polyps or deviated septum also suffer from postnasal drip. In some cases, gastroespphageal reflux can be a cause of postnasal drip.
- Vasomotor rhinitis can cause a congested, blocked, or wet hyperirritable nose, which can be a cause of postnasal drip.
- Thick secretions of mucus result due to bacterial sinus infection and in children, it can suggest a presence of a foreign body in the nose such as bean or a rolled paper or some unsafe object.
- Environmental irritants such as pollutants, automobile fumes, and cigarette smoke can cause damage to the nasal mucus membrane resulting in thicker secretions than normally produced. This creates a false sensation of increased mucus and causes a postnasal drip.
- As you age, mucus membranes shrink and dry, causing secretion of thick mucus among the elderly people causing postnasal drip.
Thin Secretions Of Mucus Resulting In Postnasal DripAllergies
- Viruses and bacterial infections
- Cold temperatures
- Specific foods or spices
- Pregnancy or hormonal changes
- Side effects of drugs particularly high blood pressure medications
- Vasomotor rhinitis
- Structural problems like deviated septum and large turbinate
Thick Secretions Of Mucus Resulting In Postnasal Drip
- Sinus or nasal infections
- Low humidity
- Presence of foreign bodies
- Environmental pollutants and irritants
- Hormonal problems
- Side effects of drugs (histamines)
- Structural problems like enlarged septum and enlarged adenoids
- Age related throat problems