Believe it or not, glands in your nose and throat naturally produce 1-2 quarts of mucus daily. That mucus helps to humidify the air you breath, fight infection, moisten and clean nasal membranes, and rid your airway of foreign particles that you inhale.

You typically swallow normal amounts of mucus unconsciously. When you get that feeling like mucus is accumulating at the back of the throat or behind the nose, that’s called post-nasal drip.

Post-nasal drip is caused by mucus that is produced in excess of the normal amount or is thicker than normal. Some swallowing and muscle disorders also may contribute to post-nasal drip.

Increased thin mucus secretions can be caused by allergies, illness like cold or flu, cold temperatures, pregnancy, hormonal changes, spicy foods, some medications, and nasal structural abnormalities, like a deviated septum.

Thick mucus secretions can be caused by allergies (especially food allergies), excessive dryness, or bacterial sinus infection. Thick secretions in children can indicate any of the above, or could also be a sign of a foreign object being stuck in the nose. Seek medical attention immediately if you suspect that something is stuck in a child’s nose or throat.

Treatment for post-nasal drip depends on what is causing it. At-home remedies for mild post-nasal drip include drinking more water during the day, spending some time in a steamy shower, and propping up pillows at night so that mucus doesn’t pool in your throat. If symptoms persist, see an Orlando ENT specialist.

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