February 1, 2018

Postnasal Drip: Can It Make You Queasy?

The Short Answer from an otolaryngologist

Postnasal Drip: Can It Really Make You Queasy?

Q: Does postnasal drip make you queasy?

A: Our bodies make a fair amount of mucus and saliva. These fluids drain from our nose, mouth and sinuses into our throat, and help to lubricate it. We are typically unaware of this “drip,” and normal throat drainage does not make us feel queasy.

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However, certain conditions increase throat drainage and may cause queasiness, including:

What’s often overlooked is that conditions which inflame or irritate the throat — such as sore throat and sometimes acid reflux — simply make us aware of normal drainage. If swallowing food or drink becomes difficult, drainage can take longer to go down and therefore becomes bothersome.

Certain medications can also change the character of the drainage, heightening our awareness of it. And irritating fumes and spicy foods can trigger increased mucous flow.

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Otolaryngologist Tom Abelson, MD

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