This section is intended to answer general health questions only. For specific problems, details of each patient, please contact the doctor to be examined directly. Many other practical and useful information about health is also broadcast on Radio Sunday Morning Story in Orange County, California, every Sunday morning from 6 to 9 am, in the program “Sunday Morning Health Story” Japan.” Many other useful health information can also be found on the websites www.nguyentranhoang.com and www.radiochuyensangchunhat.com.
Doctor Nguyen Tran Hoang
Every day, the mucus glands lining the nose, throat, airways, stomach, and intestines produce mucus. Mucus is a thick, moist substance that helps retain moisture in these areas, helping to bind and destroy “foreign invaders” such as germs and viruses (viruses) before they can cause harm to the body. .
Only in the nose, each day secretes about a liter of mucus.
Normally, we don’t feel these mucus from our nose, because it mixes with saliva, and we swallow it into our stomach without noticing it.
When our body makes more mucus than usual, and when this mucus is more mucus (thick) than usual, it becomes uncomfortable causing us to “notice” it more.
When this mucus comes out of our (front) nostrils, we call it a runny (or runny) nose. When it runs back into our back nostrils, it’s called postnasal drip.
Cause cooh (work) mucus backing up in the throat
There are many possible causes of excessive mucus production:
- Allergic postnasal drip
- Influenza (flu)
- Change in weather (maybe cold or too dry air)
- Certain foods (for example, some people will have a runny nose if they eat spicy food)
- Smoke, perfumes, cleaners, or other chemicals
- Sinusitis (sinusitis)
- Side effect of some medications (such as birth control pills, some high blood pressure medications.) This side effect only occurs in a small percentage of people taking the drug, not everyone who takes it will experience this side effect.
- Foreign object stuck in the nose (more common in children)
- Deviated septum in the nose (the wall between the two nostrils)
Sometimes mucus is bothersome, but it’s also because our body has a reduced ability to clear this mucus, causing it to stagnate, not because it secretes too much. For example, when the ability to swallow is reduced, due to some obstruction in the upper gastrointestinal tract (throat, esophagus, stomach), due to age, due to acid reflux from the stomach esophagus (discussed below). before).
Mucus backing up in the throat can cause:
- The feeling that something is always stuck in the throat causes us to clear our throats constantly.
- Cough, usually worse when lying down, when sleeping (because when lying down, mucus from the nose is easier to back up into the throat).
- Hoarse voice.
- Sore throat feeling.
- Itchy throat.
- If mucus from the nose is blocking the tube from the nose to the middle ear (Eustachian tube), we can have ear pain due to otitis media (discussed in another article).
- Sinusitis (discussed in another post), if mucus blocks the passage from the nose to the sinuses.
Treatment almost always consists of two main parts, treating the cause and treating the symptoms. Depending on the cause, as mentioned above, treatment may vary.
Therefore, antibiotics are not always needed. Antibiotics only need to be used when there is a bacterial infection. When not needed, taking antibiotics is not only unhelpful, but also causes a very dangerous drug resistance.
Even if the nasal discharge is discolored, yellow or green, if there is no fever, no infection, we do not need, and should not take antibiotics.
If we have a cold or flu, we need to treat a cold or flu (as discussed in previous articles on colds and flu.)
Anti-allergic drugs (such as Zyrtec, Claritin, Allegra…) can help in cases of mucus backing up in the throat due to sinusitis and viral infections, in addition to treating the cause of allergies.
If the cause is an allergy, the doctor can prescribe medicine and we should apply the measures that are described very carefully in the article on allergic cough.
In the elderly, over-the-counter antihistamines (eg, Benadryl, Chlor-Trimeton) are often not appropriate. Because these drugs can thicken mucus, making symptoms worse; as well as can cause lightheadedness, dizziness, dry mouth … more than newer generation drugs.
It is best to see a doctor, to be given medication appropriate to the age and underlying medical condition (chronic diseases) of each patient.
One simple way to make mucus less sticky is to thin it out by:
- Drink enough water (make sure the urine is clear, not yellow). In healthy people, without heart disease and some other diseases that need to be limited in water, enough water usually means about 2 liters per day, including water and broth, pho broth, chicken soup…
- Small salt water
- Use nasal irrigation devices, which are usually available at drugstores.
- Use a humidifier (vaporizer, humidifier) in the seasons when the air is too dry.
- Warm steam in a warm bath (don’t be too hot), is also a simple way to moisten your nose.
- Another simple way to “sneeze,” is to arrange a paper funnel just enough, so that the large part of the funnel is facing the glass of water, the small hole is just enough for us to inhale the moisture from the steam in a glass of hot water ( medium heat, so as not to burn the nose, and care should be taken that the glass of water does not burn the body.)
- Some “sputum expectorants,” such as guaifenesin.
Lying your head high to make it harder for the snot to flow back into the throat is also an easy to understand and simple way, which can be combined with the above ways to help prevent mucus from flowing into the throat, making it itchy and coughing in the evening.
Call your doctor right away if you notice blood in your nasal discharge, or have a fever, wheezing, trouble breathing, foul-smelling nasal discharge, severe illness, or (not serious) lasting for more than ten days.
Usually GPs can treat most cases of cough caused by nasal mucus backing up into the throat. In more severe cases, enough and correct use of the above methods and still no relief, we may need to see a specialist.