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Phlegm build up in throat (Sinuses Clear)
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Phlegm build up in throat (Sinuses Clear)

I keep getting this phlegm build up in the back of my throat. It's been happening for about 5 months now.  It feels like it is building on my vocal chords. My nose and sinuses are clear. I'm not having any trouble breathing. Occasionally I cough it up from my lungs but it's mostly in my throat. Somedays it's light and other days heavy. It tends to get heavy after I eat. Sometimes it's difficult to clear my throat, I have to let it build up to clear it out.  There isn't any color to it. I don't smoke. I'm not in any pain. I've tried antihistamines, decongestants, vic's rub and nothing seems to work. Sometimes I can clear my throat and it will stop for a few hours. What can be causing this? I can't go to the doctor yet (until my benefits are approved). Any advice would be appreciated.
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Postnasal drip is drainage from the nose and sinuses dripping down the back of the throat.  There could be several reasons for this drainage.  One is an allergic reaction to inhaling something.  A second reason is a non-allergic, non-infectious inflammation in the sinuses that can linger after a cold.  A third reason is chronic sinusitis.  You may experience the postnasal drip as a feeling of phlegm build up in the back of your throat or on your vocal cords.  As long as you are not on a fluid restriction you should be drinking 6 to 8 8-ounce glasses of non-caffeine non-alcoholic fluid daily.  This will thin the phlegm so that it moves more easily.  A nasal wash helps remove phlegm from the nose and sinuses.  This can temporarily reduce the postnasal drip.  Please read our Nasal Wash MedFact at http://www.nationaljewish.org/medfacts/nasal.html for more information about this technique.  Share this information with your doctor to see if you would benefit from this daily treatment.

After your benefits are approved, if you are still having trouble, ask your doctor about a trying a prescription nasal steroid spray.  This decreases nasal swelling and phlegm production and may prevent the postnasal drip.  To get the most out of a nasal steroid spray use it after doing a nasal wash.  A nasal steroid spray does not provide immediate relief of symptoms.  It may require several weeks of routine use to become effective.
19 Comments
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Avatar_n_tn
it may be acid reflux.....you could try tums or some sort of antacid and see if that works..........
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the same exact problem, Phlegm building in back of my throat and it also affects my vocal cords because some times I have problems speaking. I can`t go to a doctor because i have to wait for my benefits to kick in. If anyone has experience this before any advises will be greatly appreciated. or email them to me @ ***@****
Thanks Everyone!
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Avatar_n_tn
OK I tried tums and zantac and both did not work. I still have the same problem anymore Ideas???
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Avatar_n_tn
I have the exact same thing with my throat. I get up in the morning and things appear normal.  After about an hour of getting up I am clearing my throat for the rest of the day. It is definately worse after eating and by the time it seems I have cleared all out of the way it is back. It is very unattractive and annoying when sitting in a quiet room. I have tried it all as well. I am on an inhaler for my doc thought it was related to asthma. I have tried the nose sprays, clariting and other things but nothing has worked.  I am frustrated and need to find the cure or something close to it.  Any advice or support let me know.  ***@****
Thanks
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Avatar_n_tn
i also have trouble with my phlegm which literally has been residing in my throat for more than 15 years. I've been diagnosed as having a sinusitis and i was even advised to go through surgery for correction of some parts inside my nose that cause uneven amount of air getting in through my nostrils which then causes my sinusitis.

I am so annoyed especially every morning after bedtime when i could taste the phlegm that has been stuck in my mouth overnight.
I figured it is the phlegm that's involuntarily coming out of my throat particulary in the evening when you're sleeping.

On the other hand, i am not sure if my voice which sometimes get almost lost is connected to this ailment. I easily get my voice almost lost even if i am just having a not so long conversation. I could feel that i have a problem because the persons i am conversing with though they talk more than i do don't get their voice almost lost like mine.

Can anybody share some advices? i would really appreciate them. thnx! =)
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Avatar_n_tn
I also get this recurring/ongoing sensation. Up until very recently I went by what my doc said and took medication to combat post nasal drip brought on by sinusitus. I took this prescription nasal spray (Nasonex) for three weeks (eventhough I thought my nose wasn't all that plugged). According to the medicine, symptoms should begin to go away after about 2 weeks. I didn't really notice anything change except my nostrils clearing up. I stopped the sprays for fear of doing more harm than good to myself after the 3. That was a couple of months ago.

Today I still have that sensation about midway down my throat. However, my nasal passageways still feel clear right now. Also whenever I try to clear my throat (by hoarking, coughing, swallowing, even massaging my throat externally) I have no success what-so-ever. I drink a lot of coffee (suger, cream or milk, 3 or 4 a day) and I'm wondering if thats causing irritation in the throat bringing on the mucus.

I also heard it could be a sign of GERD (reflux disease) but I'm not aware I have that (but it could be the case considering all the coffee and other junk food I have). I heard from GERD its a sensation only (from stomach acids rising up your throat) rather than actual phlegm in your throat. Not sure if this is true though.

One other thing I am wondering about is my neck size (no joke). I am under the impression it has gotten larger as my throat seems pretty tense (swollen but not sore) from the outside. Am I just imagining things here or have others also experienced this before?
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Avatar_n_tn
I also get this recurring/ongoing sensation. Up until very recently I went by what my doc said and took medication to combat post nasal drip brought on by sinusitus. I took this prescription nasal spray (Nasonex) for three weeks (eventhough I thought my nose wasn't all that plugged). According to the medicine, symptoms should begin to go away after about 2 weeks. I didn't really notice anything change except my nostrils clearing up. I stopped the sprays for fear of doing more harm than good to myself after the 3. That was a couple of months ago.

Today I still have that sensation about midway down my throat. However, my nasal passageways still feel clear right now. Also whenever I try to clear my throat (by hoarking, coughing, swallowing, even massaging my throat externally) I have no success what-so-ever. I drink a lot of coffee (suger, cream or milk, 3 or 4 a day) and I'm wondering if thats causing irritation in the throat bringing on the mucus.

I also heard it could be a sign of GERD (reflux disease) but I'm not aware I have that (but it could be the case considering all the coffee and other junk food I have). I heard from GERD its a sensation only (from stomach acids rising up your throat) rather than actual phlegm in your throat. Not sure if this is true though.

One other thing I am wondering about is my neck size (no joke). I am under the impression it has gotten larger as my throat seems pretty tense (swollen but not sore) from the outside. Am I just imagining things here or have others also experienced this before?
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Avatar_n_tn
I also get this recurring/ongoing sensation. Up until very recently I went by what my doc said and took medication to combat post nasal drip brought on by sinusitus. I took this prescription nasal spray (Nasonex) for three weeks (eventhough I thought my nose wasn't all that plugged). According to the medicine, symptoms should begin to go away after about 2 weeks. I didn't really notice anything change except my nostrils clearing up. I stopped the sprays for fear of doing more harm than good to myself after the 3. That was a couple of months ago.

Today I still have that sensation about midway down my throat. However, my nasal passageways still feel clear right now. Also whenever I try to clear my throat (by hoarking, coughing, swallowing, even massaging my throat externally) I have no success what-so-ever. I drink a lot of coffee (suger, cream or milk, 3 or 4 a day) and I'm wondering if thats causing irritation in the throat bringing on the mucus.

I also heard it could be a sign of GERD (reflux disease) but I'm not aware I have that (but it could be the case considering all the coffee and other junk food I have). I heard from GERD its a sensation only (from stomach acids rising up your throat) rather than actual phlegm in your throat. Not sure if this is true though.

One other thing I am wondering about is my neck size (no joke). I am under the impression it has gotten larger as my throat seems pretty tense (swollen but not sore) from the outside. Am I just imagining things here or have others also experienced this before?
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Avatar_n_tn
I also get this recurring/ongoing sensation. Up until very recently I went by what my doc said and took medication to combat post nasal drip brought on by sinusitus. I took this prescription nasal spray (Nasonex) for three weeks (eventhough I thought my nose wasn't all that plugged). According to the medicine, symptoms should begin to go away after about 2 weeks. I didn't really notice anything change except my nostrils clearing up. I stopped the sprays for fear of doing more harm than good to myself after the 3. That was a couple of months ago.

Today I still have that sensation about midway down my throat. However, my nasal passageways still feel clear right now. Also whenever I try to clear my throat (by hoarking, coughing, swallowing, even massaging my throat externally) I have no success what-so-ever. I drink a lot of coffee (suger, cream or milk, 3 or 4 a day) and I'm wondering if thats causing irritation in the throat bringing on the mucus.

I also heard it could be a sign of GERD (reflux disease) but I'm not aware I have that (but it could be the case considering all the coffee and other junk food I have). I heard from GERD its a sensation only (from stomach acids rising up your throat) rather than actual phlegm in your throat. Not sure if this is true though.

One other thing I am wondering about is my neck size (no joke). I am under the impression it has gotten larger as my throat seems pretty tense (swollen but not sore) from the outside. Am I just imagining things here or have others also experienced this before?
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Avatar_n_tn
I too have been suffering from a constant cough, which is worse in the mornings.  About an hour after I get up it starts.  It feels like I have phlegm in the back of my throat but nothing comes up. It has been so worrysome that I developed a lower-type of cough that does not seem to be as hard on me.  I was told it is probably from reflux or hiatal hernia.  But I have no heart burn whatsoever.  I went to the doctor who told me I have ashtma.  I have no symptoms of asthma.  The doctor put me on an expensive Advair type inhaler for $120 a month which just made me cough more.  Other inhalers did no good either.  Some days I clear my throat all day long and try to cough something up.  It's like there is something down there that just won't come all the way up.  When I use the low cough something comes up far enough to swallow.  I tried the no coffee, chocolate, reduced fat diet, which helps a little, but those are my favorite goodies.  Some days, with no change in diet I have no problem and then think the whole thing is is my head.  When I get a cold these symptoms get worse. Does anyone else have these exact symptoms?  

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Avatar_n_tn
Hello I'm a trumpet player, and I believe I'm having the same problems with my throat always being clogged.  But I don't know how serious it is and it doesn't hurt, nor is it really annoying to me.  I just don't like it because I believe it's affecting my trumpet player.  
     Whenever my throat feels clogged, I don't play as well, for obvious reasons, and this clogging of my throat is happening all the time.  On the the other hand, when my throat feels clear of the clog, I play great, everything feels open.  
     I guess my question to you is if I can be cured of it.  I surely hope so.  
     Or if you could just give some information on it so I can learn from it that would be great as well,

     Thank you very much

               GREG
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Avatar_n_tn
Hello I'm a trumpet player, and I believe I'm having the same problems with my throat always being clogged.  But I don't know how serious it is and it doesn't hurt, nor is it really annoying to me.  I just don't like it because I believe it's affecting my trumpet player.  
     Whenever my throat feels clogged, I don't play as well, for obvious reasons, and this clogging of my throat is happening all the time.  On the the other hand, when my throat feels clear of the clog, I play great, everything feels open.  
     I guess my question to you is if I can be cured of it.  I surely hope so.  
     Or if you could just give some information on it so I can learn from it that would be great as well,

     Thank you very much

               GREG
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Avatar_n_tn
If any of you are taking an ACE inhibitor drug, that could be the cause of your cough.  My health insurance changed and it would not cover Diovan, which I was taking for high blood pressure - with good results.  I started taking Lisinopril in January 2004 because that's what my new health insurance would cover.  I was between bouts of bronchitis, so the coughing, scratchy throat & phlegm (phlegm that was in my throat, NOT my chest) seemed like something that would eventually go away.  I just discovered a few days ago, after taking Claritin for 5 weeks because I was desperate for relief (and got none), that certain ACE inhibitors can cause that dreaded tickle-cough syndrome.  My symptoms are exactly those described by others who have taken Lisinopril.  My doctor is trying to get the insurer to approve Diovan because of my reaction.  I've read that 5-20 percent of Lisinopril users have "the cough."  I hope this may help some of you.  I am thrilled to have discovered the source of my cough, because it certainly does affect the quality of everyday life.
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Avatar_n_tn
I agree that some medications can cause cough. So can bad air quality.

Also, GERD (gastro esophageal reflux disease) can cause coughing and breathing problems. The high up type of reflux that does this, is called LPR (laryngo pharyngeal reflux).

LPR is a high up kind of reflux that usually DOESN'T cause any heartburn symptoms! LPR can be "silent". Or, LPR can cause subtle symptoms like wet burps that taste bad ("reguritation"), without nausea, and with no warning.

There are many dietary and "life stle" measures that can lessen reflux.

See a good doctor, like an ENT (ear, nose & throat doc), who is familiar with the (not always obvious) connection between digestive problems, and cough, and breathing problems.

And, you can call a LUNG LINE nurse, weekdays, at 1-800-222-LUNG(5864) for advice and doctor recommendations in your area, if you can't be seen at Nat'l Jewish (in Denver, CO)!

Good luck!

Concerned lady
http://cantbreathesuspectvcd.com
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Avatar_n_tn
HELLO, LIKE MOST OF YOU I HAD BEEN SUFFERING TERRIBLY WITH PHLEGM SITTING IN MY THROAT ALMOST TO THE POINT OF BEING UNBEARABLE( THIS IS HOW I CAME TO VISIT THIS SITE TO SEE IF I COULD GET SOME ANSWERS ).CONSTANT SWALLOWING AND COUGHING TRYING TO CLEAR MY THROAT, IN FACT AT ONE STAGE I COULD NOT SWALLOW ANY MORE,AND FOR THE FIRST TIME IN MY LIFE I HAD A PANIC ATTACK WHICH WAS TRULY FRIGHTENING!MY SYMPTOMS WERE THE SAME AS YOU HAVE ALL DESCRIBED, BUT NOW I HAVE RELIEF AS OUTLINED BELOW.
IN DESPERATION I RANG A FAMILY FRIEND WHO IS A SPECIALIST ( EAR ,NOSE AND THROAT)AND HE ADVISED ME TO TAKE A NASAL SPRAY CALLED " NASONEX " ( MOMETASONE FUROATE 50 ug/SPRAY ( AS MONOHYDRATE))NASONEX IS A AQUEOUS NASAL SPRAY 0.05%.( NASONEX CONTAINS BENZALKONIUM CHLORIDE 0.02mg/SPRAY AND PHENETHYL ALCOHOL 0.25mg/SPRAY AS PRESERVATIVES).
TO MY RELIEF THIS SPRAY FIXED MY PROBLEM ALMOST IMMEDIATELY,THANK GOD !!!
THE REASON WHY I HAVE DESCRIBED NASONEX IN SUCH DETAIL IS BECAUSE I LIVE IN ADELAIDE, AUSTRALIA AND I AM NOT SURE IF YOU HAVE THE SAME PRODUCT IN AMERICA ( I HOPE YOU DO ).GOOD LUCK!
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Avatar_n_tn
I too have this throat clearing problem occuring roughly 30 minutes after eating and around one hour after arising from bed, since June 2001 (no previous problems prior to this date). I usually have three phases of throat clearing per day, one after breakfast, lunch, then supper. The mucus does not feel as if it approaching from the back of the nose (no post nasal drip sensation - that's not to rule it out though) - I'm not sure where it is coming from. Starts with mild constriction and a tickle at the base of my throat, and gradually turns into a build up of phlegm. I rarely cough up anything substantial, usually just something very small, cloudy colour and sticky. I have red spots at the back of my throat (pharangytis from phlegm).

Here is the order of diagnosis I've had so far:
- Asthma dx by MD (2001 - non-steriod inhaler - I consider a
   false diagnosis!..based on slightly low exhilation test)
- Sinusitis diagnosis by MD ( 2002 - tried antibiotic/steriod
   spray combo but failed)
- Rhinosinusitis by ENT ( 2002 - Nasonex steriod spray failed)
- GERD by ENT (since Feb 2004 up to present day - Lansoprazole
   30MG per day - no significant improvement yet).

ENT has put an endoscope down my nose and said there was nothing to see. CT scans showed nothing. Even had a septoplasty December 2003 which did absolutely nothing. I've had allergy tests for grasses, trees etc but I'm not allergic, nor do I have any known stomach/digestion problems. I'm a 25 yr old male in the UK.

I'm 90% sure it's either PND or GERD but how can a definateley tell ? Anyone else had any joy at fixing this problem ?

This pretty much sums it up: www.doctorhoffman.com/xglobus.htm
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Avatar_n_tn
I also have this same problem with phlem in my throat, about 2 hours after I awake, sometimes it lasts all day, other times part of the am, and somedays not at all. I had a little bronchitis a few months ago, was given a z-pack, it did not realy clear it up, now I am back to all this phlem, clear in color, but I do not smoke, have no allergies, no problems in the nasal area, just the clearing of the throat all the time. I have noticed that several other people in my immediate and extended family have it, and others in my family never have the problem. Some are old and some are young, it doesn't seem to matter the age, but I think it is inherited.  I do think drinking alot of water helps some.
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I have the same problem with the phlems and it afects my voice had it for 3 months but with a few shots of tequila it cleard it all and never came back .. I say 2 shots evry night or you can have a cup of hot tea and add  to it a shot . The alcohol in the hot tea will work really good for the throught ..seriously... it works try it for about a week . Hot tea you can add a spoon of honney and a shot of tequila .. .  
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A related discussion, Phlegm in the throat - clear sinus was started.
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