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Soft palate/mucus problem
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tdt1974 posted:
Hi, I wonder if you can help me figure out what is going on. I have been fighting a cold and as the cold was leaving and breaking up, the mucus first settled on my vocal chords, giving me a deep bass voice. Then the next day, I think perhaps it moved because my voice became very, very nasal and it appears that my soft palate is not completely shutting off my nasal passage when I swallow: I found that everything I drink comes out of my nose unless I tilt my head back. Swallowing is a little tricky with food or water (but otherwise fine). I went to a general doc to make sure my airway was not in danger. He said it looked fine, that he saw no swelling, not even of the tonsils or uvula, but he couldn't tell me why when liquids are coming out my nose. I noticed that this cold had particularly thick mucus--so much so that it would almost choke me when trying to spit it out. So... I am guessing that I have some very dense mucus lodged in the back of my nasal passages by the soft palate? I find it very annoying and energy-taxing to speak and have to really concentrate when I eat or drink to swallow.When I speak, I sound like I am plugging my nose or I sound like a cleft palate patient. The doc prescribed Afrin and an antibiotic. I started doing a netti pot today. Should I wait this out or go see an ENT doc ASAP? I am also taking Mucinex. I really don't like taking so many drugs but I know that sinus problems can be dangerous with the brain lining, correct? I am a graduate student too, so I need my voice back ASAP.
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tdt1974 responded:
Also, I forgot to mention that I can breathe through my nose, so if I am congested it is deep in the back perhaps... Also, someone proposed that maybe I am allergic to the Mucinex? Perhaps it's just coincidence but it was about 18 hours after taking it that this happened.. I was already having lots of mucus which is why I began taking it... thanks!!
 
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
Seeing an ENT would be the next logical step. An ENT has the ability to use a fiberoptic scope to examine your entire nasal passageway and determine if you have sinusitis. Since I have no ability to examine you first-hand, I cannot make any determination as to the cause or a solution to your problem. It is not likely you are allergic to Mucinex.

In the meantime until you can see the ENT, water is your friend.....drinking lots of fluid, using saline nasal spray (the Neti Pot is fine, too), and humidifing the air in your environment.


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