How does nasal discharge pass?
Nasal discharge passes every day in the human body, the glands in the lining of the nose, throat, respiratory tract, stomach, and intestinal tract produce mucus. Mucus is a thick, wet substance that helps trap and eliminate foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses without causing infection while moisturizing these areas. Nasal discharge is the extra mucus felt on the back of the nose and throat caused by the glands in these areas. People normally do not feel the mucus in their nose because the mucus mixes with saliva, drips harmlessly on the back of the throat, and is swallowed. However, if the body produces more mucus than it should or if the mucus produced is thicker than normal, the mucus becomes palpable. When this excess mucus comes out of the nose, there is a runny nose. Nasal discharge occurs when mucus flows from the back of the nose to the throat, not from the nose.
What is a nasal discharge?
The question of what is nasal discharge is asked quite a lot, especially during seasonal transitions. It is a common condition that affects almost everyone in some part of people’s lives. To fight infection, filter foreign substances, and moisturize the nasal membranes, the glands in the nose and throat constantly produce mucus. Normally, this mucus produced is ingested by people unnoticed. When the body starts to produce extra mucus, it is felt that this mucus accumulates in the back of the throat and that the accumulated mucus drips into the throat from the nose. Sometimes, nasal discharge is not caused by excessive mucus production, but by not doing the necessary cleaning. Nasal discharge can sometimes cause different diseases such as rhinitis, sinusitis, and reflux. Although this discharge is mostly interpreted as a disease; It is said by some scientists that the flow of mucus from the nasal cavity towards the back of the throat is a normal physiological process that can be seen in all healthy individuals. In some cases, discharge can last for months, and this is a common diagnosis. This can be caused by allergies, viral infections (including colds), sinus infections, airborne irritants (such as smoke or dust). Even less often, nasal discharge occurs as a side effect of a substance stuck in the nose (this is more common in children), pregnancy, or some medications. Regardless of what the cause is, there is a constant discharge of mucus from the back of the sinuses that irritates the throat.
What are the symptoms of nasal discharge?
Nasal discharge is a condition that makes people feel the need to clean their throats constantly. It often triggers a cough that gets more intense at night. In fact, one of the most common diseases that cause coughs is nasal discharge. Too much mucus can cause the voice to become hoarse, and with it, symptoms such as a sore throat. If mucus blocks the eustachian tube connecting the throat to the middle ear, a painful ear infection can occur. Even often, this condition is accompanied by a sinus infection. Along with these, there is a great decrease in the breathing quality of the patients due to nasal discharge. Therefore, the feeling of clearing the throat often occurs. Due to the dense mucus produced in the stomach, there is a possibility of nausea in some patients. Again, there is a constant desire to spit to remove the dense mucus from the throat. Also, mucus swallowing is observed constantly. Wheezing while breathing is also a very common symptom. Coughing or wheezing in the throat may also be accompanied by a tickling. Although it is rare, discharge can cause bad breath in patients and this is normal.
What are the causes of nasal discharge?
When it is said that it causes nasal discharge, many factors can be counted. The disease called rhinitis, which causes inflammation of the inner part of the nose is among the most common causes of postnasal drip. Rhinitis is often linked to allergies and this allergy is also called hay fever. However, rhinitis may also occur due to the common cold, hormonal changes, and side effects of some medications. Sinusitis also causes cough, loss of smell, runny nose, and postnasal drip. Acute sinusitis is a disease usually caused by viral or bacterial infections. Chronic sinusitis is the inflammation that continues between the nose and sinuses for more than 12 weeks. Burri polyps occur in these people and this causes postnasal drip. Postnasal drip is also common in patients with upper respiratory tract cough syndrome. The nerves behind the throats of patients with this syndrome become sensitive over time, even if there is no increase in mucus, a feeling of mucus increase may occur. This condition can be caused by allergies and inhaled irritants. Both situations can cause postnasal drip. There may be changes in the thickness of mucus in the nose and throat due to temperature and humidity changes during seasonal changes. Sometimes mucus production may increase due to cold weather or mucus may thicken due to unnatural heating methods. These situations also cause postnasal drip. Besides these;
- Excessive consumption of spicy food,
- Objects stuck in the nose,
- Irritating chemicals from perfumes, cleaning products, or environmental fumes,
- Birth control pills and blood pressure medications,
- Chronic respiratory conditions such as COPD can also cause postnasal drip.
How is nasal discharge diagnosed?
The examination for the diagnosis of nasal discharge is usually simple. The doctor asks questions about whether the patient has symptoms that may cause the discharge and obtains information about the patient’s medical history. Also, the patient’s nose and throat are examined. A diagnosis is usually made based on symptoms after other possible diagnoses have been ruled out. In cases where the detection cannot be made by examination, an allergy test is applied to detect allergies such as hay fever. These tests include prick tests and blood tests made on the skin. Also, tests such as chest x-ray, lung function tests, and complete blood count can be applied. CT scans can also be done to diagnose any problems in the nose or sinuses. If there are persistent or difficult-to-detect symptoms, the doctor may refer to an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist for further evaluation. The specialist can refer to a nasal endoscopy using a special device with a camera to examine the inside of the nose and throat. This test is used to diagnose nasal polyps and other problems in the nose and throat.
What are the treatment methods for nasal discharge?
The answer to the question of how nasal discharge passes is more than one. The inside of the nose can be moistened with saline nasal sprays that the patients can prepare at home and the symptoms can be reduced. Sleeping a little higher with the head reduces symptoms in terms of less discharge during sleep. Warm and hot drinks such as tea or chicken broth can thin mucus and prevent dehydration. Also, drinking plenty of water thins mucus and keeps the inside of the nose moist. This allows the symptoms to decrease. If the disease continues for more than 10 days, it is important to see a doctor. Pungent mucus, fever, or wheezing in the throat can be a sign of other illnesses. In such cases, the doctor seeks help from antibiotics to treat diseases that trigger symptoms. For the treatment of postnasal drip caused by diseases such as rhinitis or sinusitis, the underlying causes should be investigated, that is, rhinitis and sinusitis should be treated. Antibiotics, pain relievers, and sprays are also recommended for the treatment of these diseases. Antihistamines are used in the treatment of patients with upper respiratory tract cough syndrome. Thus, the treatment of the disease is aimed. Nasal discharge in babies shows the same symptoms as adults. Families can tell if the baby wheezes while breathing. Keeping the room where the baby is kept moist will make the baby’s respiratory tract moist and the symptoms will disappear. Also, breastfeeding strengthens the baby’s immune system and helps to thin mucus. Thus, there is a self-recovery. It is also important to consult a doctor if symptoms persist for more than 1 week or 10 days. The doctor will ensure that appropriate treatment is made according to the underlying disease. However, it is often necessary not to worry and to follow the baby’s nasal discharge calmly.
Nasal discharge is a disease that can be controlled at home, but if it continues constantly, it will lower the living standard of people. You can get rid of this disease as soon as possible before your quality of life decreases and you can live a healthy life.