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What is postnasal drip?

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Every day, glands in the linings of your nose, throat, airways, stomach, and intestinal tract produce mucus. Your nose alone makes about a quart of it each day. Mucus is a thick, wet substance that moistens these areas and helps trap and destroy foreign invaders like bacteria and viruses before they cause infection.

Normally, you don't notice the mucus from your nose because it mixes with saliva, drips harmlessly down the back of your throat, and you swallow it.

When your body produces more mucus than usual or it’s thicker than normal, it becomes more noticeable.

The excess can come out of the nostrils -- that’s a runny nose. When the mucus runs down the back of your nose to your throat, it's called postnasal drip.

From: What Is Postnasal Drip? WebMD Medical Reference

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: "Post-Nasal Drip."

Chao, T.  , 2008. The Journal of Laryngology & Otology

St. John Providence Health System: "Postnasal Drip."

Mason R. , 4th ed., 2005. Murray & Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine

Chung, K.  , April 2008. The Lancet

Pratter, M.  , January 2006. Chest

 

 

Reviewed by Louise Chang on August 6, 2018

SOURCES:

American Academy of Otolaryngology -- Head and Neck Surgery: "Post-Nasal Drip."

Chao, T.  , 2008. The Journal of Laryngology & Otology

St. John Providence Health System: "Postnasal Drip."

Mason R. , 4th ed., 2005. Murray & Nadel's Textbook of Respiratory Medicine

Chung, K.  , April 2008. The Lancet

Pratter, M.  , January 2006. Chest

 

 

Reviewed by Louise Chang on August 6, 2018

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