Chronic Nasal Drip, also known as post-nasal drip, can make the simple act of breathing consistently difficult. Post-nasal drip is when mucus made from the nose and throat starts to accumulate and drip into the throat, making it feel like you have a lump in your throat.
Your nasal mucosa is the membrane that lines your nasal cavity. It’s the nasal mucosa that secretes mucus, the substance that protects the nasal passages by preventing infection, trapping foreign particles, and humidifying the air. Unfortunately, when the mucus causes feelings of discomfort or irritation of the throat, Post-nasal drip occurs. For severe cases of Chronic Nasal Drip that involves bloody mucus, chronic coughing, stuffy noses, and infections, it’s essential that patients seek a specialist like an ears, nose, and throat doctor.
What Causes Chronic Nasal Drip
Post-nasal drip is most commonly caused by allergens, which if breathed in, can cause the nasal mucosa to generate inflammatory mediators that then procedure clear mucus. They can also be caused by a variety of conditions like sinus infections, the cold or the flu virus, and pregnancy. In some cases, chronic nasal drip is caused by hyperactivity of the nerves in the nasal cavity that creates an excess of mucus production (Vasomotor Rhinitis.)
Treatments for Chronic Nasal Drip
Oftentimes, the best treatment for post-nasal drip is treating the condition that caused it in the first place. If the post-nasal drip is caused by allergies, treatments can include a combination of a nasal steroid, antihistamine sprays, decongestants, and allergy shots if necessary. In the case of a bacterial infection, chronic nasal drip can be treated by antibiotics. For people whose thickened mucus are a result of a lack of hydration, drinking more water can help.
When Vasomotor Rhinitis is involved, this can usually be treated using an anticholinergic nasal spray, but in the case that this is ineffective, surgical intervention might needed.
Surgical Treatment for Post Nasal Drip
In the case that the nerves that innervate the nasal tissue and nasal blood vessels are causing the chronic nasal drip, the nerve can either be ligated or sectioned, meaning either tied off or cut. Surgical treatment for chronic nasal drip is incredibly sophisticated, and requires the skill and training of a sinus and nasal specialist. At HPCS, you’ll be able to work with surgeons who specialize in and have extensive experience on complicated sinus, nasal, and skull base issues.