Could Post-Nasal Drip Make My Asthma Worse?
Approximately 25 million people in the U.S. have asthma. This chronic lung condition causes inflamed airways, leading to coughing, wheezing, and difficulty breathing. Cold air, allergens, illnesses, and exercise can provoke asthma attacks. If you’re one of the millions of Americans livinga with asthma, you probably want to understand how to manage your triggers and symptoms. During cold/flu and allergy seasons, asthma sufferers may be particularly concerned about post-nasal drip. Does post-nasal drip make asthma worse? If so, what can you do about it?
What is Post-Nasal Drip?
Ever feel mucus trickling down the back of your throat? That’s post-nasal drip. When your sinuses overproduce mucus, it has nowhere to go but out. Thanks to gravity, that mucus tends to travel downward into your throat. You’ll likely feel a constant need to clear your throat or cough, as well as some mild to moderate irritation. Post-nasal drip can be a symptom of allergies, viruses, or sinus infections. Air pollutants and chemical exposure can also trigger it.
Can Post-Nasal Drip Cause Asthma?
Since post-nasal drip can make you cough and wheeze, some people may confuse these symptoms with asthma. However, just because you’re coughing, doesn’t mean you have a chronic lung disease. Asthma is more than just throat irritation; it’s a serious inflammatory condition. Schedule an appointment with an allergist to get a confirmed diagnosis.
Though no one knows the exact cause for asthma, researchers believe that genetics and environmental triggers play a role. There is no reason to believe that post-nasal drip will make someone develop asthma. However, this doesn’t mean that they aren’t connected. If you have allergic asthma, allergens can trigger post-nasal drip and asthma simultaneously. Also, post-nasal drip from allergies or infections can trigger or exacerbate asthma symptoms.
How to Manage Post-Nasal Drip
You can help your mild post-nasal drip with simple at-home remedies. Drink plenty of water and warm liquids to thin the mucus out. Honey can also soothe throat irritation. Humidifiers and hot showers do a great job of loosening mucus, but may not be the best solution for asthma sufferers (since humidity is a common asthma trigger). There are also plenty of OTC medications available to help clear mucus and manage allergy symptoms.
If your post-nasal drip is severe or is worsening your asthma symptoms, you should consider seeing a nose doctor. An ENT specialist will be able to figure out what is causing the sinus drip and offer treatments to remedy it. If you suffer from overactive nerves in your sinuses, Clarifix could be the best solution for your post-nasal drip. Immunotherapy is another potential treatment for allergy-induced sinus dripping.
Post-Nasal Drip Making Your Asthma Worse? Breathe Clear Institute Can Help
Post-nasal drip can seem like a minor issue. But for asthma sufferers, it can make life unbearable. At Breathe Clear Institute, we want to see you breathing better and living life to its fullest. Our medical professionals will treat you with a holistic approach, determined to get to the bottom of your sinus symptoms and present the right treatment plan. Relief is possible! Schedule your appointment today.