ZocdocAnswersDoes swallowing a lot of mucus mean I have a post nasal drip?

Question

Does swallowing a lot of mucus mean I have a post nasal drip?

I always wake up swallowing a lot of mucus. It goes away after a few hours. Is this it?

Answer

Let me reassure you that this is a very common complaint in the otolaryngologists (ENT) office. I think that a visit with an ENT is the best place for you to start. They will take an in depth history, and perform a thorough physical exam. Part of what they will do when they examine you is likely perform a flexible nasopharyngoscopy and laryngoscopy where they use a small flexible fiberoptic scope to take a look inside of your nose and see your nasopharynx. This will give some idea about whether there is a significant amount of mucous or drainage from the nose/sinuses (which can be from allergies, chronic rhinosinusitis, etc). At the same time they will be able to see all the way down to your larynx (voice box) and will be able to get an idea whether there is inflammation in your voice box that might be from reflux that can give a "globus" sensation which can feel like mucous in the throat. Plus the benefit of having a thorough exam is that (hopefully) your physician will be able to make sure that there is not something more serious going on. I wish you all the best, and as mentioned previously I would recommend a consultation with an ENT.

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