Are you clearing your throat daily? Are you coughing continuously throughout the day? If so- you may have allergies and post nasal drip. I must encounter 30 patients a week who have post nasal drip, sore throat, voice hoarseness, nighttime coughing, etc. All asking for help.
Why Is This Occurring?
There are many allergens (something that causes allergies) in our environment and these allergens can trigger our immune system. In the past one hundred years, thousands of human made chemicals have been introduced to the human body. Whether its the synthetic glue on our desk, furniture, carpets or the airborne pollution caused by cars, planes (jet fuel) and factories - our bodies working overtime trying to fight off all these chemicals. Household dust, dust mites (see our photos) and airborne pollen can also cause problems. Whatever the cause, the result is post nasal drip, drainage and annoyance.
How Does This Occur?
When we breathe in these substances, our nasal tissue (also known as nasal mucosa/turbinates) becomes irritated and inflamed. The result is the mucous producing cells start to work overtime and excess mucous drains down the back of our throat causing us to cough and clear our throats. Many people can also develop sore throats, hoarse voice and even increased acid reflux. If your symptoms persists, you should see your physician as the above symptoms can sometimes be the cause of something serious, ie voice hoarseness may be the sign of throat cancer, especially in smokers.
How To Prevent?
Obviously, avoiding these chemicals would be the best way. Unfortunately this is not an easy thing to do but working towards this goal should be priority. Other options include using items that help minimize exposure to the triggers. You should discuss your options with your health care professional.
First, I would recommend the filters on your home heater/air conditioner are changed regularly. This can help minimize household dust/pollen exposure. When that is not enough, using a home HEPA filter of Ionizer can also be helpful. These items can help clean the air from airborne particulates and may help you get a more restful sleep. Read more about air purifiers here.
Second, if you have a lot of symptoms when you are driving, eliminate and odor fresheners and strong interior cleaning supplies which can cause a lot your symptoms to become worse. If that is not enough, consider a car air purifier/ionizer or an allergy mask.
Last resort should be medications. There are over the counter preparations such as sudafed, zicam and saline nasal sprays that may be helpful. If those don't work, consider talking to your doctor about prescription allergy medicines. These include Allegra, Zyrtec, Claritin. Also, nasal sprays have been shown to be effective against allergies (Nasonex, Flonase, Nasarel, Rhinocort and Astelin).
Disclaimer: The above is only my opinion and not to be taken as medical advice. Always seek care from your physician if you have any questions.