It's normal to have mucus producing in our systems. Mucus helps keep the body protected from infection and bacteria, so it is essential to have but when the mucus gets too thick and provides discomfort is when there is something to take note of. We don't normally notice mucus in our bodies because it is so thin. It's when we are sick and there is a great deal of phlegm produced is when we actually see the mucus and notice its existence.
You might find that some days you wake up feeling fresh and healthy, but other days you feel a bit fatigued with a sore throat and cough that is producing a mass amount of phlegm. You might also find that you have a constant tickle in the back of your throat that just won't quit that makes you want to constantly clear your throat to try to clear it. Fear not, you're most likely not dealing with anything life threatening but instead suffering from irritating symptoms from post nasal drip. Thankfully, there is plenty to do to help stop the symptoms and you can even find that some post-nasal drip remedies can be very helpful. These remedies can provide comfort, relief and even help treat post nasal drip.
What is post-nasal drip?
While post-nasal drip is nothing out of the ordinary, it can be a big nuisance. Post-nasal drip is when you have more mucus than usual and itt is thick and excessive. You will notice that the mucus causes a constant dripping feeling in the back of your throat that makes you feel you need to clear your throat often. Many post-nasal drip remedies can help eliminate the mucus and dry it up so that you don't have to suffer with this feeling.
What causes post-nasal drip?
There are a few causes for a person to get post-nasal drip, but the main two reasons are due to someone having an upper respiratory type illness including a cold or the flu that produces a lot of mucus, sneezing and coughing or it can also be triggered by nasal allergies. Other causes for post-nasal drip can include certain medications and birth control pills, food allergies, chemical fumes, dry air, pregnancy and a deviated septum—displacement of the nasal septum.
Post-nasal drip symptoms
People can have different symptoms that occur with post nasal drip but the most common is the dripping sensation in the back of the throat. Other symptoms can include a chronic cough, a sore throat, choking, feeling hoarse, and a lot of mucus. Other symptoms that people have had while suffering from post-nasal drip include:
- Upset stomach
- Swollen glands in throat
- Chest pain
- Runny nose
- Bad breath
- Continuous swallowing
- Blood in mucus
- Breathing problems
When left untreated post-nasal drip can also cause severe ear infections because the mucus plugs up the tube that connects to the nose and ear. A sinus infection can also come from post-nasal drip when left untreated. This is why it's so important to start treatment right away so that the post-nasal drip does not get worse and go into something more severe that will need to be treated by a medical professional.
Treatments for post-nasal drip
Before discussing the post-nasal drip remedies that can be used, it is essential to also talk about the medications that are used for this type of problem. When many of us think of treating post-nasal drip, we tend to think of over-the-counter medications that will provide both relief and help to get rid of the problem altogether. Some of the more common over-the-counter medications that someone can use to stop post nasal drip include:
- Afrin Nasal Spray
Some people need to see a medical professional if their symptoms do not get any better once they have tried over-the-counter or home remedies. Doctors tend to prescribe products including Nasarel and Flonase, both of which are prescriptions that help lessen any post-nasal drip symptoms.
Post-Nasal Drip Remedies
People who suffer from post nasal drip have several choices when it comes to treatment. While many prefer to try over-the-counter medications or seek medical advice to receive a prescription pill or nasal spray, there are others that prefer to do things naturally with items that they already have in the household. If you suffer from post-nasal drip and want to get treatment immediately without even leaving your home, here are some home remedies that can help soothe your symptoms.
You can easily gargle with salt water to help soothe a sore throat that is associated with post-nasal drip. The warm water and the salt will also help clean the mouth and clear it from the built up mucus that is dripping in the back of the throat. All you need to do is simply add about a 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a cup of lukewarm water and gargle a few times with it.
At Home Nasal Spray
Make your own nasal spray with baking soda, warm water and salt. You will also need to have a nasal syringe to squirt the mixture up your nostrils. Just a pinch of salt and baking soda along with a cup of water makes a great solution. After you squirt this up each nostril, be sure to move your head around side to side and up and down to really allow it to work throughout the nasal passage. Blow your nose and repeat.
Tea and Honey
To help ease your sore throat, tea with honey will suffice. Add a few squeezes of lemon juice to your tea to help fight off infection.
Keep Your Home Clean
If you are having trouble with post-nasal drip, it is a good idea to keep your house very clean, vacuuming and dusting a couple times a week. Freeing your home of dust and allergens will help your allergies from flaring up. Clean any moist areas too so that no mold is growing since that can be a major problem for those who suffer from allergies and with post nasal drip.
Drink A Lot of Fluids
While you should be sure to stay away from milk since it will only make mucus thicker, you should still drink up. Be sure to stay well hydrated with tons of water and some juice in between.
Stay Away From Certain Foods
Many foods can trigger post-nasal drip especially spicy foods and some dairy products including milk and ice cream. Instead opt for a balanced diet of grains, fruits, vegetables, and lean meats. Keeping your food on the bland side can help ease the irritation and help stop the mucus from continuing to thicken and form at an excessive rate.
Using menthol can help break up mucus and soothe a sore throat. You can find menthol in many lozenges, teas, and creams. Menthol also helps clear stuffy noses which will then keep the nasal passages free from excessive amounts of mucus.
Keep The Air Clean
Post-nasal drip can be caused by dry air, so in order to help prevent post-nasal drip from happening or to help it ease up, keeping the air clean is key. Use air filters or a humidifier to clean the air from allergens and to hold more moisture in the air. This will help provide your nasal passages with healthier air that is easier to breathe in and won't dry it out your nose and throat.
Take A Shower
Taking a warm shower can help break up the mucus thanks to the steam. You might also want to put the shower on hot and close the door to allow the bathroom to get full of steam. Do not go into the shower but instead sit in the bathroom and breathe in the steam to help relieve your post-nasal drip.
Try using some homeopathic ingredients including Kali mur to help clear up your mucus. Kali mur which is also known as kalium chloratum or potassium chloride is most commonly used to help treat congestion. There are plenty of tablets you can find with this in it to help aid your post-nasal drip and the thick mucus and frustrating congestion that follows.
Post-nasal drip and you
When it comes to post-nasal drip, it can be very irritating and annoying to deal with but there are many ways to help treat it and even prevent it from happening. By dealing with post nasal drip right away you help keep the symptoms at bay. Allowing them to progress will only draw more discomfort and can then lead to more complications and doctor visits. The post-nasal remedies that were discussed in this article are there to help you tame your symptoms easily, naturally and cheaply. However, there may be times when these remedies might not work and therefore over-the-counter medication, nasal sprays or prescriptions might be better options, depending on how severe the symptoms are.
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.