If you are a person with Parkinson’s have you been experiencing nasal discharge frequently throughout the day? You’re probably thinking it is “allergies.” You’re either trying to ignore it, or are trying to treat it with OTC remedies, but the problem may continue to escalate.
Before going to your neurologist you might consider going to your General Practice doctor, and/or an Ear Nose and Throat specialist to rule out allergies, polyps, Sinus infections or other obtrusions or maladies. You should also consider going to a dentist specializing in TMJ who has an understanding of the neurology involved between the TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint) and the Ear Bone.
Rhinorrhea or abnormal nasal flow remains an understudied problem. The prevalence of Rhinorrhea in Parkinson’s may be up to 20%. Along with other autonomic symptoms, rhinorrhea is four to five times more common in patients with Parkinson’s. Many patients with Parkinson’s have a reduced sense of smell accompanied with rhinorrhea.
Some individuals with Parkinson’s may notice sudden production of rhinorrhea at specific times of the day or during certain activities. There may be worsening of the rhinorrhea during or after eating, as well as at night leading to multiple night-time arousals due to choking sensation. These sleep interruptions at night can cause excessive day time sleepiness. Rhinorrhea may be the cause of post-nasal discharge, coughing or sneezing in many individuals.
Caregivers of individuals with Parkinson’s may be emotionally affected by the presence of the rhinorrhea. Frustration comes from not being able to help the symptoms related to rhinorrhea that the patient is experiencing. People with Parkinson’s may find it difficult to participate in social meals due to the looming occurrence or recurrence of the rhinorrhea which sometimes worsens while eating. Rhinorrhea can cause embarrassment, annoyance and can have many social implications.
Keeping the head up, a handkerchief handy to help wipe the nose, and straight posture may be helpful leading to a better quality of life. One more reason we should want a cure for Parkinson’s.