CLEAR NASAL DRIP - Houston Advanced Nose & Sinus
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CLEAR NASAL DRIP

CLEAR NASAL DRIP

The most common cause of clear nasal mucous drip is inflammation inside the nose. There are many different causes of inflammation like allergies and sinus infection and non-inflammatory causes like cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak and overactive mucous production from excessive nasal nerve stimulation. There are so many different and dangerous causes of clear nasal drip and that’s why you need to see a nose specialist at Houston Advanced Nose & Sinus. Dr. Kuperan is one of the few fellowship certified Rhinologists in all of Texas with specialized expertise, experience, and skills in treating patients with all causes of clear nasal drip.

UNDERSTANDING CLEAR NASAL DRIP

Most commonly, allergic triggers in the air cause the nasal mucosa to generate inflammatory mediators that produce clear mucous. This is commonly referred to as allergic rhinitis. Sinus infections can also increase inflammation inside the nose and cause increased clear mucous production or even discolored mucous. In some cases the clear fluid can be cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) that surrounds the brain but can intermittently leak from around the brain through the sinuses and into the nose. This is more common in patients with a history of head or facial trauma from an accident, but can also occur spontaneously. In some patients, a very clear watery nasal drainage that drips quickly from the nose can develop due to hyperactive nasal nerve stimulation. This is called vasomotor rhinitis and it often presents in situations that also stimulate oral salivation such as eating orsmelling particular strong odors like perfumes. Symptoms associated with clear nasal drip that are concerning include:

  • Salty taste in the mouth associated with the nasal drip
  • Nasal drip that is excessive and is associated with a cough
  • Severe headaches or neck stiffness associated with the nasal drip

  • Nasal drip that started soon after a head/facial trauma or sinus surgery
  • Excessive nasal drip that occurs unpredictably or is embarrassing

TREATING CLEAR NASAL DRIP

If clear nasal drip becomes frequent and problematic it is always essential to consult a Rhinologist immediately for an accurate diagnosis and treatment plan. Nasal endoscopy (looking inside the nose with a small camera) is essential to better assess the problem and determine the source of the nasal drip. For allergic causes of clear nasal drip sometimes a nasal steroid or antihistamine spray can be very effective. If a sinus infection is the cause then the infection must be treated. If a cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) leak is suspected based on a history of head/facial trauma or prior sinus surgery then a CT scan (x-ray) of the sinuses must be done to look for any small bony fractures or defects that are the source of the fluid leak. For excessive clear mucous production from hyperactive nerve stimulation, or vasomotor rhinitis, an anticholinergic nasal spray can be very effective. If this does not work a highly specialized procedure called a vidian neurectomy can be performed to transect the nerve responsible for the excessive mucous production. The key is choosing an approach tailored to the severity and cause(s) of your clear nasal drip. There is not one single solution that is correct for every patient, and that’s why Houston Advanced Nose & Sinus is unique. We don’t promote a “cookie-cutter” approach to treatment like some other practices. Dr. Kuperan’s super specialized expertise and experience as a Rhinologist will make sure you get the best treatment to quickly resolve your clear nasal drip.