Now For a Rather Embarrassing Health “Issue” – Advice/Suggestions Needed

I’m looking for some advice or suggestions from anyone who might also have this particular issue or know someone who does and thus have experience with it, because this is really getting old quickly (and I’ve suffered from it most of my life).

Ever since I can remember I’ve struggled with horrible postnasal drip. I know allergies contribute to it a fair bit but even when I’m not in the middle of an attack it’s still there and I find myself clearing my throat almost nonstop. It’s gross and embarrassing, especially in any kind of public setting. Perhaps I wouldn’t be so self-conscious about it had I not been relentlessly teased for it in school (all the other kids just had to make a loud, dramatic “ahhhh-ahhheeemmmmm!!!!!” when they walked past me in the hall just to make fun of me) but it’s still bothersome nonetheless.

I also wouldn’t be so worried about it if I was one of those tone-deaf, amusic people but I’m not. I don’t have the prettiest of singing voices (never have) but I do like to sing karaoke and at home with a guitar (and have been known to play open mics in some intimate coffee shop settings and such). I don’t think much of my own voice but everyone who ever hears me sing reassures me I’m better than I give myself credit for so I keep on. Of course, the problem arises in that constant throat clearing can do some major damage to the vocal cords (by repeatedly causing them to come together forcefully) and can even have a fairly noticeable degradation f one’s speaking voice, much less one’s singing voice.

Now, I’ve not totally dismissed the slight possibility that it’s an autistic hypersensitivity in that I react that way to even the slightest thickening of mucus on my vocal cords but I doubt it as I can usually feel things loosening up and moving around when I make that “ah-ahem” noise. I do try to limit it as much as possible in any kind of social setting but of course then I tend to go really croaky if I wait too long and then I’m hacking forever. It’s like a losing battle.

Again, surely I’m not the only one who struggles with this so if anyone else does please chime in with your suggestions because I’m tired of it and I’d especially like to not struggle when I’m trying to sing. It has a way of making life somewhat miserable.

I’m getting desperate. Any suggestions from anyone, please say something.

4 thoughts on “Now For a Rather Embarrassing Health “Issue” – Advice/Suggestions Needed

  1. How frustrating for you Lynn! What has your doctor said about it? Have you tried anything to alleviate your discomfort?

    I don’t have chronic nasal drip. I’m sorry I don’t have any advice for you.😞


    • Every doctor I’ve talked to swears it’s allergy related. I’ve never gotten any definitive answer than that.

      For what it’s worth, I’m lactose intolerant so I don’t consume dairy products and I also have a mild egg allergy so I don’t eat many of those either. Cigars don’t seem to have any effect on it either – even retrohaling doesn’t make the problem better or worse.

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      • Maybe so but unfortunately those aren’t covered by health insurance so not in the budget right now.

        I do have a friend who is a functional medicine “doctor” (not a MD, more along the lines of a naturopath) and she thought I might be gluten intolerant, but I’ve been tested for that and I do not have a gluten allergy.

        Interestingly enough, the only thing I’ve found that has helped moderately is vaping. Since I can’t smoke cigars at the office (not that I would, I refuse to smoke indoors at places that don’t have adequate ventilation systems) I reach for the next best thing. My only thought is that the propylene glycol helps loosen the mucus. I still have to clear it out but it takes much less effort to do so – more of a normal “mm-hmmm” type throat clear as opposed to an aggressive, loud, grating, drawn-out one.

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