What is Postnasal Drip?
When excess mucus accumulates in your nasal passage and drips down your throat, it is what causes post nasal drip.
Your nose produces about a quart of a thick, wet substance called mucus every day. Mucus lines your throat, stomach, airways, and intestinal tract in addition to your nose. The purpose of this liquid is to fight off bacteria and viruses to avoid infections in your body.
Most of the time, we are unaware of the constant mucus production because it mixes naturally with our saliva and we swallow it. If your body starts to produce thicker mucus or more than normal, we become more mindful of what’s happening.
Causes of Postnasal Drip?
Post nasal drip is a normal, healthy occurrence in our bodies on a daily basis. However, there are certain triggers that make this nasal drainage more apparent. Allergies are the most common culprit of excessive mucus dripping.
Common colds, flu, sinus infections, and pregnancy also activate postnasal drip. If you have high blood pressure, a deviated septum, take medications such as birth control and eat certain foods such as spicy cuisine then mucus flow will be increased.
Sometimes a sudden change in weather, dry air, and cold temperatures also lead to sinus drainage. If a child gets an object stuck in their nose, they will experience post nasal drip.
Actually, it’s possible for anyone to get an object stuck in his or her nose; it’s just more likely for children. Other irritants include smoke, perfumes, cleaning products, and fumes from chemicals.
Symptoms of Postnasal Drip
If you have a cough that you just can’t seem to get rid of, it’s likely caused by post nasal drip. Post nasal drip cough is nagging, and often at its worst during the night. The excess mucus also causes a post nasal drip sore throat as well as a hoarse voice. In some cases, you can also get ear infections and sinus infection.
Chronic post nasal drip can lead to stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, aches, pains, swollen glands, dizziness, bad breath, exhaustion, chest pain, and difficulty breathing. Constantly clearing your throat and continually swallowing are both additional post nasal drip symptoms.
Treatment Options: Short Term vs. Long Term
There are various methods and techniques for how to get rid of post nasal drip. Some of these are home remedies designed to relieve temporary discomfort. Other solutions aid in long-term treatment and prevention of post nasal drip.
Many of these solutions can be found in your kitchen or other areas of your home. With so many options available, there is no reason for you to continue suffering from post nasal drip symptoms.
Home Remedies (Short Term Treatment)
Ginger is one of the best post nasal drip remedies. It reduces overproduction of mucus and also a natural decongestant. The easiest way to consume ginger is to make ginger tea. Drinking ginger tea a few times a day will help soothe your sore throat and chest congestion. Ginger is a source of naturally antibacterial and antiviral functions that will relieve your irritating symptoms of post nasal drip.
Use Baking Soda
How to stop post nasal drip with baking soda? Mix a small amount of baking soda into a cup of warm water and salt. If you have a nasal syringe, squirt this concoction through your nostrils while keeping your throat closed to avoid swallowing the solution.
Move your head around, so the liquid flows throughout your sinus cavities. After about eight to ten seconds, blow the water out of your nose. Repeat this a few times for each nostril.
If you don’t have a nasal syringe, you can snort the mixture through a spoon or your cupped hand. Use this method once or twice a day to prevent post nasal drip and up to six times a day when you are suffering from post nasal drip.
Learn how to treat post nasal drip with steam inhalation. You do not need a fancy machine to create steam. Turn on a hot shower and stay in the bathroom while the water runs. The water should be warm enough to make the mirror fog up. More warm air will accumulate in the room if you keep the bathroom fan off. Spend ten minutes or so in the room before taking a long hot shower.
Another option to boil a pot of water. Inhale the vapors from the pot to achieve the same effect. For an accelerated effect, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil to the boiling water.
A nasal irrigation regimen, such the baking soda solution previously mentioned will help relieve your symptoms. The irrigation process washes out mucus and allergens from your nasal cavity.
You can create your own mixture or buy a premade one from a local drugstore. Tilt your head sideways over a sink, let the fluids go in through the top nostril and flow out through the bottom.
Do not swallow the solution. It won’t cause any damage if swallowed, but you should spit it out if you get some in your mouth. Use room temperature water and less salt to avoid a stinging sensation.
Chicken Soup Cure
Warm chicken soup can decrease inflammation and soreness in your throat. If your throat is tender, eating solid food can be painful and irritating. Chicken soup broth is mild and easy to consume if you are having difficulty swallowing. Avoid soups that are creamy and chunky; these will just produce more mucus.
The potency of garlic herbs is anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, and antiviral which helps regulate the formation of mucus. Try chewing on a small piece of garlic several times throughout the day.
The only side effect of this treatment is bad breath. You can also roast chopped garlic cloves in clarified butter and add them to a glass of warm milk. Consuming garlic will aid in a fast recovery of your ailments.
Cayenne pepper helps thin the mucus by acting as an antihistamine. Mix the pepper with honey and eat half a teaspoon a few times throughout the day. You can also use cayenne pepper in your cooking recipes, or slowly sip it mixed with warm water.
Lemon is a post nasal drip cure. You can drink water with lemon or even gargle lemon water. Try adding lemon to green tea or your hot ginger tea that we discussed earlier for added benefits. Lemon will help your nasal passage run more smoothly.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a natural form of acetic acid. Add apple cider vinegar to a glass of water to achieve relief from your post nasal drip symptoms. This probably will not taste great, so you can add some raw honey, lemon, or both to sweeten the mixture. We personally recommend Bragg's Apple Cider Vinegar, because it's natural and has more nutrients in it than some other brands.
Gargle with Salt Water
Gargling salt water is another way to soothe your throat. Use warm water mixed with salt several times per day to help eliminate built-up mucus dripping in the back of your throat. Salt water also helps keep your mouth clean and removes other bacteria.
Drink More Water (Stay Hydrated)
Avoid drinking coffee, alcohol, and other drinks that will dehydrate you. Instead, stick to water; you can always add lemon if you want more flavor. You should drink at least eight 8-ounce glasses of water per day.
Increase Vitamin C Intake
Vitamin C will keep you healthy and fight other illnesses besides post nasal drip. Broccoli, bell peppers, kiwi, berries, citrus fruits, tomatoes, peas, papayas and dark leafy greens are all substantial food sources of vitamin C. If you can't seem to get enough vitamin C through your diet, there are natural supplements that can help you reach your daily goal.
Long Term Treatment
Identify and Remove Allergens from Your Environment
Allergens such as dust, pollen, and mold can cause post nasal drip. Keep your home clean from these particles by removing flowers, keeping your pets clean, and sanitize your carpets, pillows, and mattresses. Use an air purifier such as a humidifier to add moisture to the air. Consult with an allergist if symptoms continue. They may discover you are allergic to gluten or dairy.
Avoid Nasal Irritants
Even if you do a proper job keeping your home free of irritants, you can still be exposed to them in your workplace. These irritants can bother you even after you leave your job. Some professions may require wearing a mask to help limit exposure to these particles.
The best medicine for post nasal drip is available over the counter. Some brand name medications include Claritin, Allegra, Zyrtec, Xyzal, Alavert, and Clarinex. Depending on which one you choose, it is important to follow the recommended dosage and other instructions. Some of these medications will cause drowsiness and are recommended before bed.