Post-Nasal Drip

Can You Have Chronic Post-Nasal Drip?

March 12, 2020

4 minutes

Reviewed by Michael Kaplan, MD

If you suffer from other chronic sinus conditions, it is possible to experience chronic post-nasal drip. And whether your chronic post-nasal drip takes the form of a sore throat, the occasional cough and itchy ears, or a persistent cough with a sinus infection, it’s natural to want to get rid of chronic post-nasal drip and its attendant symptoms as quickly as possible.

The key to treating chronic post-nasal drip? Identifying what irritant or infection is causing your body to produce excess mucus. Learn about the primary triggers for chronic post-nasal drip and today’s top treatment options. 

Why do I always have post-nasal drip?

Believe it or not, post-nasal drip is a sign that your body is working hard to get healthy. Your body naturally produces mucus to help keep out irritants and allergens and keep your sinuses lubricated.

When your sinuses encounter an excess or irritants or are inflamed by an infection, they produce extra mucus. Post-nasal drip occurs when you feel this excess mucus draining down the back of your throat.

Conditions that can lead to post-nasal drip include but are not limited to:

  • Chronic rhinitis
  • Allergies (including seasonal allergies)
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Colds
  • Dry or cold weather conditions
  • Spicy foods

It’s also been shown that women have an increased chance of experiencing rhinitis and post-nasal drip during pregnancy. For more information, please read our article on post-nasal drip and pregnancy.

How long can post-nasal drip last?

You will likely continue to experience chronic post-nasal drip so long as the conditions causing the production of excess mucus don’t change or treatment is not sought. In the meantime, you may be able to temporarily relieve some side effects of post-nasal drip with OTC decongestants, antihistamines, Mucinex, or home remedies such as the use of a humidifier.

Is post-nasal drip serious? 

Both short-term and chronic post-nasal drip are rarely serious in and of themselves. However, post-nasal drip can cause frustrating side effects—post-nasal drip and nausea, chronic cough, and foul-smelling breath, for example—that can cause fatigue and discomfort over time.  

Additionally, chronic and severe post-nasal drip may indicate the need to treat a more serious underlying sinus issue.

If your post-nasal drip lasts more than 10 days or is accompanied by fever, foul-smelling drainage, or bloody mucus, contact your ENT as soon as possible, as these may be signs of a serious infection.

How do you get rid of chronic post-nasal drip? 

If you struggle with chronic post-nasal drip that doesn’t respond to traditional treatment, don’t give up. You still have options, including the minimally invasive, in-office procedure, balloon sinuplasty. Balloon sinuplasty uses small, endoscopic balloons to enlarge the sinus cavities and restore proper sinus drainage.

Balloon sinuplasty has proven especially effective at treating some of the main underlying causes for post-nasal drip, including sinus infections. With a high success rate (over 95%) and minimal recovery time (24-48 hours), balloon sinuplasty is fast becoming an increasingly popular option for eligible patients suffering from chronic sinus issues.

Treat your chronic post-nasal drip at Kaplan Sinus Relief

Kaplan Sinus Relief is one of the leading ENT practices in the Houston area. Our team has helped thousands of Houstonians find relief from sinus-related issues using safe, minimally-invasive treatments such as balloon sinuplasty.

Get back to living your life without chronic post-nasal drip. Call Kaplan Sinus Relief at 713-766-1818 or contact us online today to request an appointment.

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