I often, especially when in the shower have the feeling of choking on mucus. Am able to clear my throat and expell it. also have to blow my nose alot. it sounds like there is alot of stuff coming out, but sounds worse than it is. it is usually clear but it seems to keep coming no matter how long I stand in the shower. It is really gross sounding and annoys me and everyone who has to hear it. Is there something I can do?
I have tried decongestant and it really doesn’t do much. I’ve also used nose sprays and that works for only a little while.
The steam from the shower reduces some of the intranasal swelling (swelling inside the nose) which along with the moisture, loosens up the mucus. Although you apparently make some unusual sounds, you appear to be clearing out the excessive secretions. That’s usually a good thing.
The problem is that you continue to over-produce mucus. This is a common characteristic of rhinitis (nasal inflammation). There are many types of rhinitis. The most common one is allergic rhinitis. Allergy triggers may cause the symptoms you are suffering from. Some people have no allergic triggers. They may have non-allergic rhinitis which can be caused by indoor and outdoor pollution, fragrances, fumes, tobacco smoke, wood smoke, dry air, drafts, weather changes and even certain prescribed and over the counter medications (this is not a complete list).
Another possible cause of chronic mucus production is infection (chronic sinusitis). An x-ray of your sinuses may be helpful.
My recommendation is for you to see a board certified allergist if you have already been evaluated by your primary doctor. Learn more about allergic rhinitis here.
An allergist will likely ask you questions about your environment (home/work/school). Once your trigger factors are identified a treatment plan can be generated. You should have allergy testing after a thorough interview to address your upper airway problem.
J. Thompson, MD