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Post-nasal Drip

by Bradley Block, M.D.

Contrary to popular belief, post-nasal drip is a symptom and not, in fact, a diagnosis. Post-nasal drip is the sensation that excess mucus is dripping down the back of the throat from the nose. This can be due to excess mucus from an upper respiratory tract infection, allergic, or non-allergic rhinitis, from a sensation of mucus in the throat that is being incorrectly attributed to a nasal issue, or even hypersensitivity to normal mucus.

The key to proper treatment and relief is the correct diagnosis. The expertise of an ear, nose, and throat specialist may be required to identify the diagnosis and recommend proper treatment. Sinus headache Sinus headache is a misleading term that can lead individuals to treat them in a way that is less than optimal. Almost 90% of people that see an ear, nose, and throat specialist for pain or pressure over the sinuses actually have a headache, not a sinus condition.

They have likely been self-treating for years before being seen. Many over-the-counter medicines are advertised as treating "sinus" conditions, and the relief achieved is due to treating the headache, which further reinforces the misconception that there is a sinus condition. Evaluation by an ear, nose and throat specialist is essential to arrive at the correct diagnosis, so proper treatment can begin and the patient can maximize relief.