Postnasal drip is a condition in which mucus from the nose and sinuses drains down the back of the throat. This can cause a feeling of fullness in the throat, a persistent cough, and a need to clear the throat frequently.
Causes of Postnasal Drip
There are many possible causes of postnasal drip, including:
- Allergies: Allergies are a common cause of postnasal drip. When you are allergic to something, your body produces histamine, a chemical that causes inflammation. This inflammation can lead to the production of excess mucus.
- Common cold: The common cold is another common cause of postnasal drip. The virus that causes the common cold can irritate the lining of the nose and sinuses, leading to the production of excess mucus.
- Sinus infections: Sinus infections are caused by bacteria or viruses that infect the sinuses. Sinus infections can cause a variety of symptoms, including postnasal drip.
- Pregnancy: Pregnancy can cause postnasal drip due to hormonal changes.
- Medications: Some medications, such as blood pressure medications and birth control pills, can cause postnasal drip as a side effect.
- Dry air: Dry air can irritate the lining of the nose and throat, leading to the production of excess mucus.
- Irritants: Irritants such as cigarette smoke, air pollution, and strong perfumes can irritate the lining of the nose and throat, leading to the production of excess mucus.
Symptoms of Postnasal Drip
The most common symptoms of postnasal drip include:
- Feeling of fullness in the throat
- Persistent cough
- Need to clear the throat frequently
- Runny nose
- Sore throat
- Difficulty sleeping
- Bad breath
Treatments for Postnasal Drip
The treatment for postnasal drip will depend on the underlying cause. If your postnasal drip is caused by allergies, you may need to take allergy medication. If your postnasal drip is caused by a sinus infection, you may need to take antibiotics.
There are also some things you can do at home to relieve the symptoms of postnasal drip, such as:
- Drink plenty of fluids: This will help to thin the mucus and make it easier to clear.
- Use a humidifier: This will add moisture to the air and help to soothe the lining of the nose and throat.
- Take a hot shower: The steam can help to loosen mucus and relieve congestion.
- Gargle with salt water: This can help to soothe a sore throat and clear mucus from the back of the throat.
- Elevate your head when you sleep: This can help to reduce drainage down the back of your throat.
If your postnasal drip is severe or does not improve with home remedies, see your doctor. They may be able to prescribe medication or other treatments to help relieve your symptoms.
Home Remedies for Postnasal Drip
In addition to the treatments listed above, there are a number of home remedies that can help to relieve the symptoms of postnasal drip. These include:
- Ginger tea: Ginger is a natural anti-inflammatory that can help to reduce inflammation in the airways. To make ginger tea, steep fresh ginger root in hot water for 10 minutes. Add honey to taste.
- Honey: Honey has antibacterial and antiviral properties and can help to soothe a sore throat. Take a spoonful of honey several times a day.
- Chicken soup: Chicken soup has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to loosen mucus. Eat a bowl of chicken soup several times a day.
- Probiotics: Probiotics can help to boost the immune system and fight off infection. Eat probiotic-rich foods, such as yogurt and sauerkraut.
If you have any concerns about postnasal drip, or if your symptoms are severe, please see your doctor.