Alexis Furze, MD
Otolaryngology & Facial Plastic Surgery located in Newport Beach, CA
Most everyone experiences postnasal drip at one time or another, but ongoing problems with this symptom may signal a larger problem. As a board-certified nasal specialist, Alexis Furze, MD, understands the many conditions that can lead to postnasal drip. At his office in Newport Beach, California, Dr. Furze works with you to find long-lasting solutions. For relief from postnasal drip, schedule an appointment online or by phone today.
Post-Nasal Drip Q & A
What is postnasal drip?
Postnasal drip isn’t a condition, but a symptom of a problem in your nasal cavity. Your nose contains glands that produce up to a quart of mucus a day, which circulates throughout your nasal cavity, trapping harmful substances like bacteria and viruses and keeping your nasal cavity moist.
Under normal circumstances, you aren’t aware of this circulating mucus as it quietly performs its job and then mixes with your saliva and slides down your throat into your gastrointestinal tract for processing and elimination. However, if you have an excess of mucus or your mucus is thicker than normal, it can become more noticeable as it drips down the back of your nose into your throat, leading to postnasal drip.
On its own, postnasal drip can cause discomfort, but it can also lead to:
- Cough, which may worsen at night
- Sore throat
- A scatchy throat that needs constant clearing
- Bad breath
Most people experience postnasal drip at times throughout their lives, but it’s usually circumstantial and short-lived. Ongoing issues warrant a closer look by Dr. Furze.
What causes postnasal drip?
Postnasal drip can develop during a cold or flu, and typically resolves itself as the viral infection clears your body. But, in many cases, persistent problems with postnasal drip can stem from:
- Deviated septum
- Sinus infections
- Environmental factors (dry air, cold temperatures, polluted air)
In less common cases, the problem may not be a postnasal drip, but your inability to clear your airways properly.
How is postnasal drip treated?
Because postnasal drip is a symptom, Dr. Furze first sets out to find the cause before recommending treatment. After a thorough evaluation of your nasal cavity and your symptoms, he identifies and treats the problem.
Your treatment plan will depend entirely upon the underlying cause of your postnasal drip. For example, if a deviated septum is behind your postnasal drip problems, Dr. Furze may recommend surgical correction of your septum.
If chronic sinusitis leads to nagging postnasal drip, Dr. Furze offers several innovative solutions to help with sinus drainage, including a balloon sinuplasty.
Should your problem be environmental, not structural, Dr. Furze arms you with the right medications and at-home recommendations, including filtering and moisturizing your air, as well as routinely rinsing your sinuses. When allergies are causing your postnasal drip, Dr. Furze recommends you to an allergist for a more comprehensive treatment of your allergies.
If you’d like to free yourself from persistent postnasal drip, call Alexis Furze, MD, or schedule an appointment online today.