Causes and Symptoms of Post Nasal Drip

Are You Experiencing Post Nasal Drip? Call Us Today

Causes and Symptoms of Post Nasal Drip
Postnasal drip is a type of sensation where you feel the dripping or accumulation of mucus in your throat. This can result in coughing or a sore throat due to the irritation. If you are experiencing this sensation, our ENT doctor in Los Angeles can help you to determine what triggered an increase. Seeing a specialist is a good idea since they will have more comprehensive knowledge regarding determining the cause and treatment.

Potential Causes of Postnasal Drip

Prior to determining the best chronic nasal mucus treatment, your doctor has to figure out what is causing your symptoms. The following are possible causes:

Flu or Cold

Both of these viral infections are respiratory. Nasal congestion can occur with both infections and this is what can lead to a post nasal drip. It is due to increased mucus production. It either comes out of your nostrils or it can drip down into your throat.

Sinusitis or Sinus Infection

Mucus can accumulate when you have a sinus infection. When it builds up, it can start to trickle down your throat, causing a post nasal drip.

Nasal Polyps

A nasal polyp is a type of growth that is not cancerous and they affect about three percent of adults. They may develop on the lining of your sinuses or nose. When mucus gets into the area where the polyp is located, it may get blocked, causing it to essentially drain backward down your throat.


When you are pregnant, the mucous membranes in your body experience an increase in blood flow. This includes the ones in your nose. When blood flow is increased, swelling can result and cause a watery drainage and stuffiness. When this drainage drips into your throat, it may cause a post nasal drip.

Deviated Septum

Between the nostrils in your nose is the nasal septum, which is a thin wall of tissue. It is considered deviated when it is off-center. When this occurs, one of your nasal passages becomes smaller which can make it hard to breathe, especially if the deviation is severe enough to obstruct airflow.
When your septum is displaced, this can sometimes cause issues with sinus drainage. As mucus accumulates, it can start to drip down your throat and cause it to happen. There is also a chance that a deviated septum can cause frequent sinus infections.

Certain Foods

Spicy foods are associated with post nasal drip. In some cases, eating foods that are very hot, such as just out of the oven, can trigger this too. When you are eating these foods, there is a stimulation of the trigeminal sensory nerve. This results in your nose starting to run which can result in postnasal drip.


Seasonal allergies are among the most common causes of postnasal drip, especially pollen allergies. When pollen spores get into your nose and nasal passages, your body naturally works to try and expel them by producing extra mucus. This extra mucus can accumulate and start to drip down into your throat.

Object in Your Nose

This cause is most often seen in children, especially under age five. If the object is not removed, it may cause blood or discharge to accumulate in the child’s nostril. If the child gets a stuffy nose or develops an infection, it is possible for a post nasal drip to occur as a result.

Certain Medications

Some medicines may cause post nasal drip as a side effect. Some of the most common types to do this include medications for blood pressure and birth control drugs.

Weather Changes

When the air is dry or the temperature is cold, there is a higher likelihood of postnasal drip. When you breathe in dry or cold air, your body works to warm and humidify your nasal passages by producing mucus. This can help to ease any irritation caused by your environment.


The fumes from certain things may cause throat irritation and trigger post nasal drip. Fumes from the following may be a culprit:

  • Chemicals
  • Cleaning products
  • Perfumes
  • Smoke

What Are the Symptoms of Postnasal Drip?

Your doctor will assess your symptoms as part of the workup. One of the most common symptoms is feeling like you have to clear your throat frequently. This is due to the mucus accumulating and causing irritation. Other possible symptoms include:

  • Scratchy or sore throat
  • Excessive swallowing or spitting up of mucus
  • Coughing that tends to worsen during the night
  • Extra mucus accumulating in your stomach may cause nausea
  • Bad breath

When to Visit a Doctor

If your postnasal drip is interfering with your comfort, you should visit a doctor. There are other circumstances that make it a good idea to have your postnasal drip evaluated:

  • The mucus is discolored since this can indicate an infection. If the infection is bacterial, you may need to take antibiotics to clear it up.
  • If the mucus smells foul since this can indicate an infection.
  • Your symptoms last for at least 10 days since you may need medical treatment to clear it up.
  • You have a fever since this could be due to an infection that might need medical treatment.

Postnasal drip can be uncomfortable, but a head and neck doctor can help you to determine the cause and the proper post nasal drip treatment in Los Angeles. There are several medical and home treatments that might help to reduce the mucus so that it is not dripping and irritating your throat.

Contact US


Phone Number*

Email *

Question Or Message

Our Services

1301 20th Street Suite 510
Santa Monica, CA 90404

3831 Hughes Avenue Suite 704
Culver City, CA 90232


© Copyright 2013 - 2023 | West Side Head & Neck | All Rights Reserved.

Call| Text