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Severe Throat Mucous and Voice Box Irritation

18 months ago we moved to Southport NC, near the coast between Wilmington, NC and Myrtle Beach, SC. Starting in December last year and lasting for about 3 months, I had continuous problems with throat mucous, coughing and voice box "dryness." I was treated for virus, flu, etc. with various combinations of antibiotics, antihistimes, nasal inhalers, etc. but with little success.

I then went to an allergist and was tested. I was told that this is a very allergic area. My allergy tests indicated high reaction to grass mix, giant ragweed, mite D. farinae, fusarium moniliforme mold, alternaria tenuis mold. The allergist prescibed Claridin D 24 hr. pills. At the time (March/April), they seemed to work.

I had no problem from April through November. Now it seems to be back - same symtoms, etc. I do not want to go through another three months of hit or miss dignosis, during which time I am coughing, gagging up mucous at night, loosing my voice, etc. The doctors here all have different ideas and medications. My internal medicine doctor doesn't think allergy medicine or shots are effective, my allergist feels that I have an unusual reaction to accumulative allergens in the winter - I have no typical hay fever nasal reactions, just post nasal drip that affects my throat, etc.

Can you help? Is there something in my area that is prevalent in winter that affects me? What do you suggest?

Thank you for asking about winter time allergy symptoms in N.C.

Dust mite allergens can become predominant in late fall and throughout the winter heating months in your area. For this reason, if allergy is the cause of your excessive mucus in the throat, then environmental mite control measures would be advised along with sufficient medications to control your allergy symptoms.

Many patients however develop a drip in the back of the throat and also a clearing of the voice due to acid reflux into the lower esophagus from the stomach. If acid in your lower esophagus is the cause of your throat mucus, then antacids are the treatment of choice. President Clinton has both allergy and acid reflux disease for example. His voice tells you how he is doing.

In any case, you need to discuss your situation with your Allergy Specialist and get his/her opinion. Allergy injections do work, as does environmental control and medicinal Rx.

Good luck.

Steve Kagen, M.D.