Chicago, IL, Dec. 10, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Mucus...just the sound of the word may make you cringe as thoughts of post-nasal drip, chronic throat clearing, and chronic cough fill you with dread. The constant swallowing, sore throat, and incessant irritation in the back of your throat that accompany post-nasal drip make it one of the most annoying symptoms of the season. We all experience varying degrees of post-nasal drip, but it is important to understand it as a symptom, not a condition. Proper treatment of your post-nasal drip starts with finding the root cause.
Chicago allergist, Brian Rostkoff, MD, of Clarity Allergy Center sees a wide range of patients complaining of post-nasal drip. Post-nasal drip can be caused by a variety of factors. Sufferers have often had a cold, the flu, or have experienced allergies. It can also be a side effect of certain medications. When you have post-nasal drip, mucus is typically thicker and harder to swallow and sits in your throat. This causes the urge to frequently cough, clear your throat, and swallow. If left untreated, chronic throat clearing or chronic cough could develop.
"By the time a patient makes it into the office, the irritation of the mucus from post-nasal drip may have already developed into a variety of other symptoms," explains Dr. Rostkoff. "Chronic throat clearing is a frequent result of prolonged post-nasal drip."
What causes post-nasal drip?
Mucus gets a bad rap, especially around this time of year when many of us are sniffling, coughing, and clearing our throats a little more often than we would like. But the fact is that our bodies produce mucus - about 1 or 2 quarts a day - to protect us from contaminants such as bacteria and viruses. The mucus coats the lining of our nose, throat, airways, stomach, and intestines. When there is an overproduction of mucus due to a variety of factors, your nose runs to remove the excess, resulting in post-nasal drip.
"Mucus is multifunctional; our bodies produce mucus for our protection and well-being," says Dr. Rostkoff. "If we were to compare our bodies to cars, mucus would be the engine oil and air filtration system."
Fix the drip
Laryngeal Sensory Neuropathy (LSN) is a common condition that frequently leads to post-nasal drip, throat clearing, or a chronic cough. LSN is caused by inflammation of the throat and upper airway cough receptors and causes the cough reflex to become hypersensitive. It occurs frequently with other common triggers of throat irritation such as allergies and acid reflux.
If you suffer from post-nasal drip for longer than 10 days or if you feel that your drip just won't stop, talk to sinus and allergy expert Dr. Rostkoff. Chances are your post-nasal drip is much more than a lingering cold and could be a chronic condition.
CONTACT: Clarity Allergy Center Dr. Brian Rotskoff, MD T: 773-877-3500 Web: http://www.clarityallergycenter.com/ North Chicago Office 4801 W. Peterson Avenue, Suite 306 Chicago, IL 60646 Chicago Office 3000 N. Halsted St, Suite 611 Chicago, IL 60657 Arlington Heights Office 125 South Wilke Road, Suite 100 Arlington Heights, IL 60005 http://www.clarityallergycenter.com/contact/
Source: Clarity Allergy Center