POSTNASAL discharge should be considered as a complaint rather than a specific infection. It is one of the commonest and most troublesome ailments, from the viewpoint of both the patient and the rhinologist. Many textbooks mention chronic nasopharyngitis, catarrh and postnasal drip as being synonymous, but, strictly speaking, this is not true. Nasopharyngitis alone often produces postnasal drip, but infections in many other areas cause a similar secretion. By the term postnasal discharge is meant the persistent discharge over months or years that is so distressing to patients and not the temporary discharge following a cold or the thin watery fluid due to vasomotor changes from hot and cold temperatures.
Numerous causes of such persistent discharge are known, many of which can be removed or at least improved, but there are other causes that are influenced by one's mode of living, and these cannot be eliminated. Before one considers the
TREMBLE GE. MECHANICS OF THE NOSE, WITH SPECIAL REFERENCE TO NASOPHARYNGEAL DISCHARGE. Arch Otolaryngol. 1950;51(2):205–214. doi:10.1001/archotol.1950.00700020226006
Coronavirus Resource Center
Customize your JAMA Network experience by selecting one or more topics from the list below.
Create a personal account or sign in to: