Posted 9/9/2013 7:02 PM (GMT -6)
I don't sneeze with this either, but the salt solution rinses help because it will keep any inflammation down in the sinus area, and kill any bacteria that may be growing/festering in there especially in any deviation's or canal type area's, and in turn it drips down the back of your throat, helping the throat, its all connected, ears/nose/throat, so that's why the rinse helps.
The freaking out is totally understandable, you have a swollen neck/throat, and are coughing up dark stuff. I totally understand it, you're forgiven!! I'm in the same boat with ya, last year when this started.. I was in the E.R. about 6 times, no joking and seen 2 specialists, and on 1 of them, I went to their office a week ahead of my appointment demanding to see them as this was an emergency I felt. lol So, I totally hear ya.
The phlegm is caused by the sinuses dripping into the throat, causing the throat to get swollen and such, even if you aren't noticing it, then, the throat gets irritated, then the post nasal drips into the bronchial area and irritates them, causing them to produce phlegm to get rid of the irritant, OR the allergies are irritating to your lungs and they respond by producing phlegm, it's how they get rid of bacteria, pollutants and irritants, so you cough it up and out.
Do you smoke at all?