Post Nasal Drip
Post nasal drip is a sensation of mucous build up in the throat. Sometimes you may even feel a dripping sensation from the back of your nose. The cause is over-production of mucous by glands in the nose and in the throat.
At a healthy level those glands produce around two quarts of mucous each day. Most, if not all, of that is swallowed without knowing it. The mucous, however, serves a healthy purpose at this level, cleaning and moistening nasal passages, trapping foreign matter that has been inhaled, moistening and humidifying the air you breathe, and even fighting infection.
At an unhealthy level, mucous becomes either excessively thick or excessively thin, possibly due to irritation, infection, or allergic reaction. Those who have difficulty swallowing normally may especially need to be cautious, because build-up may fester and cause infection.
There are some things we cannot control. For example, more than 90% of irritants and bacteria which cause infection enter the body through the nose. Much of it will remain in the nasal passages and seek to live and grow there.
The body will react to the infection by sending its defense system of white blood cells to the nasal passages to trigger more mucous production in order to "wash out" the bacteria, irritants, or foreign matter. But this tends to further congest the nose. What makes matters worse, we often blow our noses, swallow the phlegm, or cough to relieve the congestion, but these actions force bacteria to other places in the body, including the sinuses, the throat, or the ears, causing further sickness.
Other complications that result from these beginning stages include sore throats, swelling tonsils, upper respiratory infections, ear infections, sinusitis or sinus infections, and dry mouth. Many may be shocked to know that studies show post nasal drip as a cause of bad tastes and even bad breath, but when bacteria settles in it extracts sulfur compounds from amino acids in proteins.
Preventing post nasal drip is surprisingly simple. Most of us recognize the need to frequently wash our hands in order to avoid germs that can easily be picked up by what we touch, but most of wouldn't remember to wash out our noses every once in a while in order to flush out the bacteria that can easily be taken in with the air we breathe. But that's all that is necessary to avoid most of the problem.
When searching for nasal cleaners or sprays, be sure to look for xylitol as a main ingredient. It is a natural threat to bacteria, keeping the bacteria from performing its normal routine of attaching itself and living in membranes of the nose and the throat.
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