Re: Constant phlegm / nasopharynx area
I had the feeling something was lodged in my nasopharynx for about a week, but prior to that, I had the thick mucous plugs that I just couldn't seem to either spit up or swallow--for probably a year.
I tried everything, neti pot, antihistamines, throat lozenges, gargling--then came the medications--albuterol inhaler (for asthma like problem that developed), dulera (corticosteroid), topamax (migraines), hydrocortisone (I was given a "magic mouthwash" that had this in it), lidocaine---NOTHING WORKED. In fact, I began having the most horrendous panic attacks in the middle of the night, I was afraid of going to sleep. THAT brings about a vicious cycle all it's own (fatigue).
Turns out, after much distress, ENTs (inner ear infections, tinnitus, esophagitis, constant fluid in my ears, dizziness, migraines, tooth/facial pain, sinusitis, asthma like symptoms, gagging)---lump in my throat, began to have the burning behind my sternum (which felt more like pressure, not burning), absolutely no way to get rid of the mucus plugs I could "feel" in the back of my throat and up into my sinuses---
It's something called "Silent Reflux" or laryngopharyngeal reflux. It is NOT the same as GERD--as GERD is confined to your esophagus--and you have that typical heartburn or knot behind your sternum. What happens is that the acid from your stomach (usually from sleeping flat and having structural/motility problems in your esophagus) is washed up into the back of your throat, into your eustachian tubes, up into your sinuses and even INTO YOUR LUNGS. The epithelium in these passages is VERY DIFFERENT than in your esophagus. You are literally burning the lining off of all of the delicate surfaces in there---and you can damage your ears/hearing permanently by the acid going into your auditory tubes.
Try this and see if anything changes. Put a wedge or a few cases of canned goods under the head of your bed--maybe just put blocks under the feet of the frame at the head--make sure it's up a good 6-8". PILLOWS DO NOT WORK. This is about GRAVITY. Don't get sucked into the "gerd pillows". GET A WEDGE UNDER THE MATTRESS and make an INCLINE.
In the a.m. start on some type of proton pump inhibitor--Prilosec or one of the OTC types. This usually is a 14 day regimen.
Look at your meds. Some effect the tone of the smooth muscle of the esophagus--like topomax does. Get off of them if you can.
Don't eat after 6 p.m.--and if you do, DO NOT LIE DOWN for at least 30 minutes post meal.
Watch your intake of acidic foods--I went no acid completely at first and have been adding small amounts of things I really like--but for the most part--watch the caffeine, tea, citrus fruits, spicy foods.
Until you find out what may have caused the motility or structure problem in your esophagus--remember all of that acid (hydrochloric acid is what resides in your stomach) as well as anything you eat is coming back up when you are horizontal.
The reason you (and I) still feel it in the daytime is because the lining is damaged--reddened, but not infected. You're bathing all of your sinuses, inner ear, lungs and mouth with hydrochloric acid. The mucus is a defense mechanism--your body trying like hell to protect your delicate passages from the acid.
Use your nasal washes if you like, but after the first 2 days of this routine, the fluid in my ears drained (the acid reflux at night literally goes into your eustachian tubes), the back of my throat began to heal, the knot in my chest began to dissipate, no more headache...and I could swallow. NO MORE MUCOUS FORMATION.
Look up the term Laryngopharyngeal Reflux--and you will see that the misdiagnosis is because an ENT doesn't cover that, a GI guy doesn't cover that, a Pulmonologist doesn't cover that. There is actually a new field emerging to deal with this problem.