Have a symptom?
See what questions
a doctor would ask.

Postnasal drip

Postnasal drip: Introduction

Postnasal drip is a condition in which the sinuses produce excessive amounts of mucus. This excessive mucus accumulates in the back of the nose and drips into the throat. Postnasal drip is a symptom of a variety of conditions and diseases. Conditions and diseases that commonly cause postnasal drip include allergic rhinitis and sinusitis. Other causes of postnasal drip include non-allergic rhinitis, pregnancy, taking birth-control pills, laryngopharyngeal acid reflux, and esophageal motility disorders.

When sinusitis causes postnasal drip, an infection of the sinuses results in the development and discharge of extra mucus from the nose. This mucus can also run down the throat, causing symptoms of postnasal drip.

When postnasal drip is due to allergic rhinitis, allergens breathed into the nose trigger an allergic reaction. This leads to a release of chemicals, including histamine, which cause inflammation and the production of extra mucus. This mucus can also run down the throat causing symptoms of postnasal drip.

The severity and types of symptoms of postnasal drip vary between individuals. Typical symptoms of postnasal drip include a feeling of mucus in the back of the throat, sore throat, and coughing to clear the mucus. Complications include the development of a chronic sore throat and halitosis. To learn about additional symptoms and complications, refer to symptoms of postnasal drip.

A diagnosis of postnasal drip begins by taking a thorough health history, including symptoms, and performing a physical examination that focuses on the nose, throat and sinuses.

If allergic rhinitis is the suspected cause of postnasal drip, allergy testing (skin patch testing) may be recommended. In a skin patch test, small amounts of common allergens are applied methodically to the skin to determine what substances are triggering an allergic response, leading to the allergic rhinitis and postnasal drip.

If sinusitis is the suspected cause of postnasal drip, diagnostic testing may include imaging tests, such as an X-ray or CT, which can confirm a diagnosis and reveal the severity of the condition.

Additional diagnostic testing may be performed for other suspected causes of postnasal drip.

It is possible that a diagnosis of the underlying cause of postnasal drip sinusitis can be missed or delayed because the symptoms can be mild enough that some people do not seek medical care. Symptoms of underlying diseases or conditions can also be similar to other diseases. For information on diseases and conditions with symptoms that mimic symptoms of other diseases, refer to misdiagnosis of postnasal drip.

Treatment of postnasal drip varies depending on the underlying cause, the severity of the condition, and other factors. Depending on the cause and severity, treatment may need to be administered by a specialist, such as an allergist or a gastroenterologist. Treatment may include nasal irrigations, medications, lifestyle changes, and surgery in some cases. For more information on treatments, refer to treatment of postnasal drip....more »

Postnasal drip: Misdiagnosis

A diagnosis of the underlying cause of postnasal drip can be missed or delayed because in some people symptoms can be so mild or occur so infrequently that they do not seek medical care. In addition, the symptoms of underlying causes of postnasal drip can be similar to symptoms of other diseases and conditions. These include upper respiratory infection, influenza, ...more misdiagnosis »

Causes of Postnasal drip:

The following medical conditions are some of the possible causes of Postnasal drip. There are likely to be other possible causes, so ask your doctor about your symptoms.

» Review Causes of Postnasal drip: Causes | Symptom Checker » | Assessment Questionnaire »

Home Diagnostic Testing and Postnasal drip

Home medical tests possibly related to Postnasal drip:

Postnasal drip: Symptom Checker

Listed below are some combinations of symptoms associated with Postnasal drip, as listed in our database. Visit the Symptom Checker, to add and remove symptoms and research your condition.

Symptom Checker

Symptom Checker

Postnasal drip Treatments

Treatment of post nasal drip varies depending on the underlying cause, the age and general health of the patient, the severity, and other factors. A common general treatment is gently irrigating the nose with a sterile saline solution.

When the underlying cause of post nasal drip is allergic rhinitis, treatment begins with the prevention of exposure to the specific allergens or ...Postnasal drip Treatments

Review further information on Postnasal drip Treatments.

Alternative Treatments for Postnasal drip

Alternative treatments or home remedies that have been listed as possibly helpful for Postnasal drip may include:

Message Boards for Postnasal drip

Symptom specific forums: The following patient stories in our interactive forums and message boards relate to Postnasal drip or relevant symptoms:

Diagnostic tests for Postnasal drip:

Various tests are used in the diagnosis of Postnasal drip. Some of these are listed below :

Postnasal drip: Animations

Postnasal drip: Comorbid Symptoms

Some of the comorbid or associated medical symptoms for Postnasal drip may include these symptoms:

Causes of General Symptom Types

Research the causes of these more general types of symptom:

Research the causes of related medical symptoms such as:

Causes of Similar Symptoms to Postnasal drip

Research the causes of these symptoms that are similar to, or related to, the symptom Postnasal drip:

Assessment Questionnaire: Questions your doctor may ask (and why!)

During a consultation, your doctor will use various techniques to assess the symptom: Postnasal drip. These will include a physical examination and possibly diagnostic tests. (Note: A physical exam is always done, diagnostic tests may or may not be performed depending on the suspected condition) Your doctor will ask several questions when assessing your condition. It is important to openly share any pertinent information to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis.

It is also very important to bring an up-to-date list of all of your all medical conditions, medications including dosages, and names of numbers of any specialist you see.

Create your printable checklist here.

See Postnasal drip Assessment Questionnaire (8 listings)

Postnasal drip: Deaths

Read more about causes and Postnasal drip deaths.

Misdiagnosis and Postnasal drip

Sinusitis is overdiagnosed: There is a tendency to give a diagnosis of sinusitis, when the condition is really a harmless complication of another infection, such as a common more »

Whooping cough often undiagnosed: Although most children in the Western world have been immunized against whooping cough (also called "pertussis"), this protection wears off after about more »

Postnasal drip: Research Related Doctors & Specialists

Other ways to find a doctor, or use doctor, physician and specialist online research services:

Definitions of Postnasal drip:

Chronic secretion of mucus from the rear of the nasal cavity into the nasopharynx
- (Source - WordNet 2.1)

Organs affected by Postnasal drip:

The list of organs typically affected by Postnasal drip may include, but is not limited to:

Detailed list of causes of Postnasal drip

The list below shows some of the causes of Postnasal drip mentioned in various sources:

How Common are these Causes of Postnasal drip?

This information refers to the general prevalence and incidence of these diseases, not to how likely they are to be the actual cause of Postnasal drip. Of the 41 causes of Postnasal drip that we have listed, we have the following prevalence/incidence information:

  • 7 causes are "very common" diseases
  • 1 causes are "common" diseases
  • 0 causes are "uncommon" diseases
  • 0 causes are "rare" diseases
  • 0 causes are "very rare" diseases
  • 39 causes have no prevalence information.

Conditions listing medical symptoms: Postnasal drip:

The following list of conditions have 'Postnasal drip' or similar listed as a symptom in our database. This computer-generated list may be inaccurate or incomplete. Always seek prompt professional medical advice about the cause of any symptom.

Select from the following alphabetical view of conditions which include a symptom of Postnasal drip or choose View All.

View All A C D E H M N P R S








Join in at the forums

Ask or answer a question about symptoms or diseases at one of our free interactive user forums.

Medical story forums: If you have a medical story then we want to hear it.

See a list of all the medical forums

Doctors and specialists: Who should I consult about Postnasal drip?

Depending on the seriousness of the onset of Postnasal drip, you may want to consult one of the following medical professionals.

Important:In extreme cases, always seek advice from emergency services :

Classifications of Postnasal drip:

Medical Conditions associated with Postnasal drip:

Throat symptoms (3410 causes), Nose symptoms (2080 causes), Head symptoms (10192 causes), Face symptoms (8109 causes), Mucus symptoms (766 causes), Mouth symptoms (6864 causes), Respiratory symptoms (5166 causes), Mucus membrane symptoms (832 causes), Breathing symptoms (3381 causes), Breath symptoms (3023 causes)

Symptoms related to Postnasal drip:

Runny nose (754 causes), Blocked nose (712 causes), Stuffy nose (106 causes), Throat symptoms (3410 causes), Cold-like symptoms (712 causes), Common cold (712 causes), Allergies, Hay fever (16 causes), Mold allergies, Pet allergies, Reflux, Heartburn (163 causes), Sinusitis (319 causes), Chronic sinusitis (28 causes)

Medical articles on signs and symptoms:

Doctor-patient articles related to symptoms and diagnosis:

These general medical articles may be of interest:

Evidence Based Medicine Research for Postnasal drip

Medical research papers related to Postnasal drip include:

Research More Evidence-Based Medicine at

Related medical articles from our Disease Center for Postnasal drip:

More Ways To Research Medical Signs and Symptoms:


By using this site you agree to our Terms of Use. Information provided on this site is for informational purposes only; it is not intended as a substitute for advice from your own medical team. The information on this site is not to be used for diagnosing or treating any health concerns you may have - please contact your physician or health care professional for all your medical needs. Please see our Terms of Use.

Home | Symptoms | Diseases | Diagnosis | Videos | Tools | Forum | About Us | Terms of Use | Privacy Policy | Site Map | Advertise