Hello. I've been developing certain symptoms recently that all point towards post nasal drip stemming from a possible sinus infection but I wanted to post this and run my symptoms past the community to see if anyone could perhaps spot anything that suggests one way or the other what it might be.
Presently my problem is that every single morning without exception, and for about the past 3 to 4 weeks I have woke up with a sore throat which feels completely congested and a stuffy blocked nose. I then get the urge to cough and hack and spend about 10 minutes hacking up sticky, thick, green mucus/phlegm from my throat (NOT CHEST). They are best described as chunks of mucus I'd say. Quite often dry and hard but sometimes slightly less thick. Then obviously I blow my nose and clear that which produces the same green mucusy mess. This carries on in smaller amounts throughout the morning and gradually gets better as the day goes on. The most worrying thing for me is that there is usually small amounts of blood in the mucus. And every time I blow my nose there is blood coming from the left nostril only (left from my perspective). Not huge amounts but enough to get me slightly concerned. Certainly about my nose as there constantly seems to be blood present in the nostril or coming from the nostril when i blow my nose throughout the day. Another thing worth mentioning is that when i look at the back of my throat in the morning under a light there is usually a considerable amount of visible thick mucus/phlegm literally stuck to the back of my throat which i have to try and clear. My throat also looks very irritated and red constantly.
By late afternoon, evening, my symptoms have pretty much disappeared (occasional coughing/clearing of throat). Later at night though my throat gets irritated again and when I'm lying in bed ready to sleep I start coughing. It's best described as a tickly annoying cough. And then the whole thing repeats the next morning. Now, It's important to note I don't feel like i have a cold or flu or a fever or anything like that. My chest feels okay and i'm fairly confident it's not coming from my chest. I DO smoke and have done for 8 years, which I know is bad but I'm not a heavy smoker at all and smoke a maximum of 6 lights a day. Used to be 10 but cut down. Sounds quite presumptuous of me but I just really don't feel like it's the smoking that is causing this. But I know i need to stop regardless and will soon. And I very much doubt it's helping with the situation.
Another important point to note is that for about a year leading up to this I've had this constant nagging feeling of something stuck in the back of my throat. Pretty much constantly. Causing me to spend a lot of time coughing or trying to clear my throat but to no avail. It was accompanied by this really weird taste in my mouth every time i tried to cough or clear it. The best way I can describe it is sweet, slightly eggy or sulphuric tasting and it was constantly there. I did go to the doctor about this and at first he said he thought it was due to stress and gave me nothing. Then i went back and he changed his mind and said he thought it was possible Acid Reflux causing it and to try gaviscon before bed. This didn't relieve it. I have been during the 3 week period of my most recent symptoms and again he didn't seem very concerned, listened to my chest, said it was completely clear. Looked in my throat and said there is some congestion but just to try steaming olbas oil in hot water which really hasn't helped much.
Anyway, sorry about such a long message. Just wanted to try and be thorough in my explanation. If anyone could help me try and pinpoint what exactly this is then it'd be much appreciated.
I've been developing certain symptoms recently that all point towards post nasal drip stemming from a possible sinus infection
Post nasal drip simply refers to mucus draining down the back of your throat from allergies, acid reflux or some other condition that affects your sinuses. Usually treating the underlying problem addresses the PND so you'll probably be better off focusing on what might be causing the PND.
for about the past 3 to 4 weeks I have woke up with a sore throat which feels completely congested and a stuffy blocked nose. I then get the urge to cough and hack and spend about 10 minutes hacking up sticky, thick, green mucus/phlegm from my throat
You could have a sinus infection of some kind but that would generally be accompanied by a mild fever, pain in your sinuses and feeling run-down. If you don't have any of those symptoms it's most likely something else.
Another important point to note is that for about a year leading up to this I've had this constant nagging feeling of something stuck in the back of my throat. Pretty much constantly. Causing me to spend a lot of time coughing or trying to clear my throat but to no avail. It was accompanied by this really weird taste in my mouth every time i tried to cough or clear it. The best way I can describe it is sweet, slightly eggy or sulphuric tasting and it was constantly there.
What you describe here are classic symptoms of acid reflux, particularly a form of acid reflux called laryngopharyngeal reflux or LPR, which many people have without any heartburn. Acid from your stomach may be irritating your esophagus, which causes the lump in your throat (swelling due to irritation) and post nasal drip (as your body tries to protect the irritated area by producing extra mucus to coat the area). The taste may well be stomach acid.
Your best bet would probably be to try taking Omeprazole for a couple of weeks to see if your symptoms improve. Most people with LPR notice a significant improvement in their sinus symptoms once the LPR is addressed.
The Following User Says Thank You to gcsjr For This Useful Post: andrew88 (04-08-2012)
Good advice from gcsjr.
I find the advice of olive oil in hot water rather strange. You would do better to try some Olbas- Oil in hot water, also Sudafed is very good for Congestion and mucus in the throat. If this dosent help and Acid-Reflux medication dosn't help you should ask your Dr to refer you to a Gastrologist or an E.N.T consultant. Either Acid-Reflux or a Nasal related condition could be your problem.
The Following User Says Thank You to solofelix For This Useful Post: andrew88 (04-08-2012)
Good advice from gcsjr.
I find the advice of olive oil in hot water rather strange. You would do better to try some Olbas- Oil in hot water.
I'm really sorry, I meant Olbas Oil, of course. My mistake. Thanks for pointing that out. Have corrected it in the original post. Thank you both so much for the responses. Very helpful. I didn't expect anyone to actually read through the whole thing. I'm glad to say my symptoms have slightly cleared up in the last couple of days in as much as I'm not actually coughing up the chunks of green mucus in the morning, although their certainly still feels like congestion in the throat so I'm not sure if that just means it's too deep to actually cough up. It was very difficult to shift out my throat and cough up in the first place. In a way I kind of wish I was still coughing it up because it's better out than stuck in as far as I'm concerned. I think a lot of it is being half cleared higher into the throat and then I'm swallowing it. Feels like I've swallowed a lot of the stuff over the past few weeks. but their doesn't seem to be any blood coming from my nostril when I clear my nose anymore so that's encouraging.
Throat still looks very agitated with white patches or kind of stains in the back of my throat. They have been there for a really long time and I'm sure it's where mucus has stuck to the back of my throat. Other than that just looks very red and irritated. White and patchy on the roof of my mouth. Doesn't look like a happy throat at all which is strange because I really don't have symptoms of a throat infection or a particularly sore throat except for in the morning after waking.
I'll certainly take both of your brilliant advice and see how I go, but most importantly I think I'll book another doctors appointment for next week. The only problem is he hasn't seemed very keen on treating it or getting to the bottom of a cause at all. I HAVE had problems with an excessive amount of acid in my stomach before and taken medication for it on one occasion (PPi's I think?) but have never ever really been told why it happened or what the cause was. I'm fairly confident this is some kind of acid reflux problem that is affecting my food pipe and throat and ultimately my sinuses. (Curiously I drank a few too many beers lately, which i don't do very often at all and had a really adverse reaction to the alcohol which has never happened before. I got really sick/Diarrhea a day after. Now, it could have been a coincidence and I happened to get a stomach bug the following days after i drank but I really suspect it was something to do with acid in my stomach reacting badly to the alcohol. I don't know.
Anyway guys thank you for your help. Anymore suggestions or reaction to what I've said here, please don't hesitate to reply.