Let's just say if I had one wish, it would be permanently getting rid of my bad breath. Chronic post nasal drip has been haunting me for my whole life. I could be at least 6 feet away from someone & they could smell my bad breath due to the constant mucus draining down my throat. Only being 14, it prevents me from expressing myself. I feel trapped! I don't come into contact with anyone but my family on weekends and can't even speak at school. IT'S A LIVING NIGHTMARE. I actually have to stop breathing and pray that when I exhale people won't cough and turn away. Having tried every method it seems like, I don't experience any relief. My mom does not see how this is an issue. She had brought me to an ear, nose & throat specialist and he simply said 'You need to drink more water, thats all.' Bs. I drink gallons a day & it doesn't change anything. My very last resort is to go to a different doctor & ask a billion questions until I get the answers I want, there's absolutely no way I'm leaving there with a generic, unhelpful answer. Any suggestions?! I have no idea what the cause is, I've tried everything!
This may not help you much, but it's not the post-nasal drip causing your bad breath. Chronic PND is usually caused by allergies or acid reflux, and given your age allergies is a more likely culprit, so you may want to get tested for allergies.
Beyond that you probably need to talk to a more helpful ENT (the bad breath could be caused by a chronic sinus infection, tonsil stones or infected tonsils) and to your dentist (it could also be caused by gum disease).
I think you probably do need to find another doctor and you shouldn't be afraid to ask a million questions, you obviously want to get this taken care of, and that's totally understandable.
I had visited my doctor about a year ago & told me my tonsils were fine, in fact they were smaller than most peoples' and he said that wasn't the problem. For allergies I have tried Claritin but it did no good. What would my doctor be able to do about my allergies, if that were the problem, besides suggesting a medication to "dry up the mucus."?? I have thought about acid reflux, but have never done much research on it. As stomach issues a symptom of this acid reflux, because I never experience any of that? Thank you so much for your help!!
Okay, I'll try posting there too. Out of the symptoms you've listed, I only have a lot of excess mucus which I constantly have in my throat. However, I never feel any pressure in my sinuses so maybe it does have to do with my stomach, I'll do some research on LPR. Thanks!
Could the 'upside-down nasal irrigation method work'? I've heard it may be dangerous if you do it incorrectly. When I irrigate my sinuses now I feel like I am not getting far enough in them to help the affected area. If so, what solutions should I use. I now use baby soap, mixed in saline with some grapefruit seed extract because it's supposed to kill bacteria & fungus. Does anyone know any info on this upside down irrigation?
Because you don't have chronic sinus infections it's unlikely that the "upside down" sinus irrigation method would help (though I confess I'm not a big advocate of that method as my ENT thought it was absolutely crazy and told me that it was likely to do more harm than good).
I really think you need to figure out what's causing your post-nasal drip and treat the cause, not the symptoms.
Because the most likely cause of PND is allergies, I would recommend that you try taking an antihistamine EVERY day for at least two weeks to see if your PND improves. Your best bet is probably Zyrtec (the generic version is called cetirizine) because it's available without a prescription, won't make you tired, and is stronger than Claritin. Your doctor might also prescribe a steroid spray for allergies (Flonase, Rhinocort AQ, etc.) which will help shrink the swollen tissues in your nose and help decrease the PND.
PND can be a major pain but it is manageable if you sort out what is behind it rather than trying to treat the symptoms.
Does anyone know if 'upside down nasal irrigation' is effective? I wouldn't dare use peroxide like most people do. Could I use grapefruit seed extract? It's supposed to kill bacteria & fungus. Whenever I irrigate now, it feels like I'm not getting deep enough into my sinuses. Could this be beneficial?!
It's really hard to say whether it would be beneficial but it's unlikely to do any harm if you're going to irrigate with grapefruit seed extract (it's the hydrogen peroxide that is the big cause for concern).
There are a couple of things you should probably consider:
- If you look at a picture of the anatomy of the human sinuses you'll notice that it's the frontal sinuses that are most likely to benefit from upside down irrigation. Your ethmoid and maxillary sinuses probably won't benefit much and it's unlikely that the sphenoid sinuses will benefit much either. Again, it's probably not going to hurt anything but might get some liquid into your ear canal which might cause a problem.
- You might try irrigating with a WaterPik and an Ethicare tip instead of using a bottle (though combined they cost around $60 and the Ethicare tip has to be ordered online so it may take several days before you can try this). Irrigation using the WaterPik/Ethicare tip is more aggressive than a squeeze bottle and does a better job of getting the irrigation liquid into the hard-to-reach areas (just be sure to order the correct tip attachment based on the model of WaterPik you get).
Have you had any luck getting your hands on some Zyrtec to see if allergies might be behind your PND?