Chronic Rhinitis and Post-Nasal Drip
Siamak T. Nabili, MD, MPH
Dr. Nabili received his undergraduate degree from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD), majoring in chemistry and biochemistry. He then completed his graduate degree at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA). His graduate training included a specialized fellowship in public health where his research focused on environmental health and health-care delivery and management.
William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR
Dr. Shiel received a Bachelor of Science degree with honors from the University of Notre Dame. There he was involved in research in radiation biology and received the Huisking Scholarship. After graduating from St. Louis University School of Medicine, he completed his Internal Medicine residency and Rheumatology fellowship at the University of California, Irvine. He is board-certified in Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD
Melissa Conrad Stöppler, MD, is a U.S. board-certified Anatomic Pathologist with subspecialty training in the fields of Experimental and Molecular Pathology. Dr. Stöppler's educational background includes a BA with Highest Distinction from the University of Virginia and an MD from the University of North Carolina. She completed residency training in Anatomic Pathology at Georgetown University followed by subspecialty fellowship training in molecular diagnostics and experimental pathology.
- What is the purpose of the nose?
- What are rhinitis and post-nasal drip?
- What causes rhinitis?
- Is rhinitis always related to allergies?
- What conditions cause an abnormal production of nasal secretions?
- What conditions cause an impaired clearance of nasal secretions?
- How can chronic rhinitis and post-nasal drip be treated?
- What medications can be used to treat rhinitis and post-nasal drip?
- What can be used to treat non-allergic rhinitis?
- Does salt water have any role in the treatment of rhinitis and post-nasal drip?
- What are other options for the treatment of rhinitis and post-nasal drip?
- Chronic Rhinitis & Post-Nasal Drip At A Glance
- Patient Comments: Rhinitis - Causes
- Patient Comments: Chronic Rhinitis and Post-Nasal Drip - Causes
- Patient Comments: Chronic Rhinitis and Post-Nasal Drip - Treatments
- Patient Comments: Chronic Rhinitis and Post-Nasal Drip - Describe Your Experience
- Find a local Ear, Nose, & Throat Doctor in your town
What is the purpose of the nose?
The purpose of the nose is to warm, clean, and humidify the air you breathe as well as help you to smell and taste. A normal person will produce about two quarts of fluid each day (mucus), which aids in keeping the respiratory tract clean and moist. Tiny microscopic hairs (cilia) line the surfaces of the nasal cavity, helping to brush away particles. Eventually the mucus blanket is moved to the back of the throat where it is unconsciously swallowed. This entire process is closely regulated by several body systems.
Structurally, the nose is separated into two passageways (left and right nostrils) by a structure called the septum. Protruding into each breathing passage are bony projections, called turbinates, which help to increase the surface area of the inside of the nose. There are three turbinates on each side of the nose (inferior or lower turbinates, middle turbinates, superior or upper turbinates). The sinuses are four paired, air-filled chambers which empty into the nasal cavity. Their purpose is not really known, but may help to lighten the skull, reducing its weight.
What are rhinitis and post-nasal drip?
Rhinitis is a very common condition and has many different causes. Basically, rhinitis may be defined as inflammation of the inner lining of the nose. More specifically speaking, it may be defined by the presence of one or more of the following symptoms:
- Rhinorrhea (runny nose)
- Nasal itching
- Nasal congestion
Post-nasal drip is mucus accumulation in the back of the nose and throat leading to, or giving the sensation of, mucus dripping downward from the back of the nose. One of the most common characteristics of chronic rhinitis is post-nasal drip. Post-nasal drip may lead to chronic sore throat or chronic cough. Post-nasal drip can be caused by excessive or thick secretions, or impairment in the normal clearance of mucus from the nose and throat.
Next: What causes rhinitis?
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