What is post-nasal drip and how does it affect a sore throat?
Post-nasal drip is when there is thick or excessive amount of mucus that tends to drip in the back of the throat causing irritation and slight discomfort. While post-nasal drip is not normally painful, the sore throats that can be caused by this drip can be. You can get sore throats because of constantly trying to clear it to relieve the mucus. Some of the most common symptoms of post-nasal drip are tickling in the throat, coughing, snorting, constant clearing of the throat and difficulty breathing along with having a sore throat. Usually when a person leaves their post-nasal drip untreated they tend to have a greater risk of developing a sore throat as opposed to those who seek treatment right away.
Determining what is causing your sore throat
There are many reasons why we get sore throats, but one of the common reasons relates to post-nasal drip. A sore throat can also be caused by illness including a cold, which is normally the first sign, along with a runny nose and sneezing to follow. It can also be associated with strep throat, which is an infection that causes the throat to hurt severely. Some people even find that they get sore throats when their allergies start up. All of these cases can be treated with the proper medication and end up clearing up within a few days. Post-nasal drip sore throat is not as serve, but tends to linger as long as the constant dripping sensation stays in the back of the throat.
What causes post-nasal drip?
Normally post-nasal drip can be caused by either an illness such as a cold or the flu, along with nasal allergies. A sore throat will occur many times with post-nasal drip because of the constant snorting, coughing, and clearing. You may also experience post-nasal drip if you live in a dry area, have certain food allergies or are a smoker. Pregnancy and birth control pills can also be the culprit for having this problem as well.
Symptoms of post-nasal drip
While stated above, a sore throat is one of the most common symptoms of post-nasal drip along with coughing and clearing the throat. However, there are other symptoms to watch out. If you are experiencing any of the following, you might be someone who is suffering from post-nasal drip:
- Upset stomach due to mucus running into the digestive system
- Bad breath
- Sneezing and coughing up mucus especially in the morning
Treatments for post-nasal drip sore throat
To rid your sore throat that is associated with post-nasal drip, you’ll need to first be sure to try to concentrate on stopping the drip altogether. Determining why you have post-nasal drip can be the best way to go about getting treatment. There are many reasons why someone might have this very common problem such as allergies or illness. Once the cause is determined for the drip, you can then understand which type of treatment will work the best for you. Some of the popular treatment options include:
- Nasal sprays
- Throat lozenges
- Surgery for severe cases
- Cough syrup
It is also essential to try to clear throat mucus but without constantly clearing the throat. Certain mouth rinses can help rid the throat of excess mucus, even just warm salt water can do the trick or hot tea with honey. A humidifier or air purifier is a great way to add moisture to the dry air that can be causing your post-nasal drip and sore throat that follows.
Why get treatment?
While post-nasal drip is not anything life threatening and is not contagious, it can be very irritating and uncomfortable and yet some choose to not get any treatment. Those who leave the post-nasal drip and do not get any needed treatment can end up having worse symptoms that include a severe sore throat, laryngitis, fever, fatigue, and swollen lymph nodes in the neck. You can also get an ear infection because of the backup mucus in your throat, which is very uncomfortable and can be quite painful. With so many easy treatments that can be found over-the-counter at your local pharmacy, it doesn’t make sense not to treat your post-nasal drip before it gets worse and becomes a painful sore throat or worse.
What to avoid with post-nasal drip
There are some things that should be avoided if you are experiencing post-nasal drip and a sore throat. It is essential to stay away from certain dairy products including milk that tends to attract more mucus, making it much harder to swallow. Certain foods can also help flare the postnasal drip such as anything spicy. Instead, be sure to stay hydrated with plenty of water and some fruit juices will also help keep the mucus from getting worse.
Preventing post-nasal drip sore throat
To efficiently prevent getting a sore throat from post-nasal drip, you need to be sure to treat the post-nasal drip before it gets worse. The best way to go about treating post-nasal drip is by preventing it. Start working to prevent post-nasal drip today by making sure you clean your environment at least once a week. This means dusting thoroughly and vacuuming along with mopping and washing your sheets, dust covers, furniture covers and small rugs. Getting rid of any allergens such as pet dander and dust can help you from having any allergy flare ups which will then help prevent your post-nasal drip from acting up. Using a saline nasal spray is also a great idea so that you keep your nasal passages clear, clean and moisturized. Air filters keep the air less dry which can be a huge culprit of post-nasal drip and having a sore throat. Prevent your post-nasal drip today so you won’t have to deal with a sore throat associated with it again.
These are the products that my patients find most effective at neutralizing the odor caused by post-nasal drip
These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.