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Ask The Expert


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Post Nasal Drip and Allergies
 

Post nasal drip (PND) is the backward flow of mucus from the sinus cavities down the back of the throat. When one has post nasal drip, they may feel nauseous and feel as if there is something stuck in the back of their throat.

How do you know you have Post Nasal Drip?
 
The following symptoms may symptoms may be experienced with post nasal drip:
  • A sore throat
  • The continuous flow of mucus down the back of the throat
  • A gruff voice
  • Always wanting to blow one’s nose

Causes of Post Nasal Drip:
 
  • Dairy Products - These foods may cause mucus to thicken, it can cause irritation to the mucous membrane and nasal linings thus increasing their production of mucus.
  • Inhaled Irritants - These particles cause swelling of the nasal and sinus lining and originate in areas with a high concentration of smog and dust.
  • Colds and Flu - The immune system is lowered when one is suffering from a cold/flu. This makes it easier for a person to develop post nasal drip and a sinus infection.
  • Eating Foods that you are Allergic to – Certain foods will cause nasal mucus to thicken, resulting in inadequate mucus discharge and congested nasal passages.
  • Smoking - May cause irritation and inflammation of the delicate mucous membrane linings of the nasal passages.
  • Caffeine products and Alcohol - These substances may cause mucus to dry out and thicken.

What is an Allergy?
 

Allergies are disorders that involve the immune systems response of our bodies to non-harmful irritants. When the body does not agree with the harmless substances that invade the body, it takes action by bringing forth an allergic response. Our immune system can identify and destroy many foreign invaders, as well as cells that are infected internally with viruses however it can also sometimes make mistakes and misidentify a substance; this is because our immune system is very sensitive. It may be very difficult to tell the difference between a cold and an allergy because they have similar symptoms.

Symptoms of Allergies:

  • Sudden drop of energy
  • Irritability
  • Pain
  • Dizziness
  • Sneezing and itchiness of the area affected
  • Headaches
  • Heart palpitation
  • A runny nose

There are different types of Allergies such as:
 
  • Immediate Hypersensitivity - This is a very quick reaction of the immune system to foreign substances; it takes 15 minutes to become obvious; this kind of allergy is mainly caused by hay fever, allergic asthma and an allergy to foods.
  • Delayed Hypersensitivity - This as a much slower reaction of the immune system, normally taking a day or two to manifest. This type of allergy mainly causes a rash to appear and can result from jewelry, watches and even clothes and cosmetics.

Some of the common Allergens include:
 
  • Dust mites
  • Pollen
  • Mold
  • Certain foods

None-Serious allergy symptoms that can lead to Chronic Sicknesses
 
  • Sneezing
  • A Runny Nose
  • Itchy eyes/ears
  • A Sore Throat
 
Symptoms of Food Allergens:
 
  • A general feeling of being unwell
  • Stomach Cramp
  • Swirling or swishing noises originating from the stomach
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

The Relationship between Post Nasal Drip and Allergies:
 

An allergy can be one of the main reasons behind post nasal drip as the exposure to an allergen can result in excess nasal mucus production that drains through the throat, causing a tickling and itchy feeling which causes mucus to build up or even congestion and blocked nasal passages when the mucus is unable to drain.

There are many allergens that cause post nasal drip such as:
 
  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Foods
  • Mold
  • Mildew
  • Pet hair
 
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