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Post-Nasal Drip


Post-nasal drip occurs when there is an excess of mucus produced in the nose and throat. Post-nasal drip is not a medical condition itself, but rather a symptom of another condition such as an allergy or inflammation of the sinus tissue.      



Post-nasal drip can be caused by a range of different triggers, including:  

  • Cold or influenza,  
  • Allergic reaction,  
  • A change in weather such as cold temperatures or dry conditions,  
  • Fumes from perfumes, smoke or chemicals,  
  • Reaction to certain medications,  
  • Bacterial or viral infection, or  
  • Gastro-oesophageal Reflux Disease (GORD) which is a condition where acid from the stomach comes back up the oesophagus.  



Symptoms of post-nasal drip include a ‘dripping’ sensation down the back of the throat, frequent clearing of the throat, coughing and/or bad breath. Symptoms may vary depending on the cause of the problem, for example allergy sufferers may also experience itchy eyes and nose.  


Mucus secretions can vary according to the underlying problem. Most secretions are usually thin, however thick secretions may be indicative of infection, especially if they are yellow or green in colour.      



Treatment is dependent upon the cause of the problem so your health care professional will need to determine the underlying condition initially. Bacterial infections may be treated with antibiotics. Allergies may be managed by avoiding the cause of the allergic reaction. More generally, ensuring adequate consumption of fluids will help to thin excess mucus, as will avoiding diuretics such as alcohol and certain medications.  



The content displayed on this webpage is intended for informational purposes and is a guide only. It does not replace or substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Information contained on this webpage must be discussed with an appropriate healthcare professional before making any decisions or taking any action based on the content of this webpage.