Postnasal drip is a condition in which there is extra mucus at the back of your nose and throat. Those who have this condition feel irritated and feel that they have to clear their throat every once in a while.
Before we get into the signs and treatment of chronic post nasal dip, it is important that you know what this condition is all about. So you must be aware that your throat, sinuses, and nose are the ones in charge of producing mucus. Mucus is actually a slippery and thick substance that keeps the airways in your body from drying.
Every day, you get to breathe in an environment full of pollutants, germs, and pollen. So when these particles enter your body, these can create problems. The good news is that the mucus will be the one to trap and eliminate these from your body.
Most of the time, you will not notice the mucus in your body. It is usually mixed with saliva, or you can just blow it from your nose. But when there is too much mucus in your body, you can easily detect these and could end up giving you chronic post nasal drip.
Learn more about the signs and treatment for this condition below.
The first signs that you should be aware of when you have this condition is the mucus dripping from the back of your throat. Other than that, you can expect the following:
- Terrible cough that gets worse every night
- Foul breath
- Too much swallowing or spitting of mucus
- The feel to clear your throat
- Nausea that is caused by the mucus in your stomach
- Scratchy or sore throat
Before you go to the doctor for treatment, it is best that you know the possible causes of chronic post nasal drip. From here, you can find a way to prevent having this illness in the near future.
So basically the main cause of this ailment depends on the changes in the environment. It can also be the changes in your body. If the cause is from your body, it means that it can come from allergies. There are times when you can get season allergies from plants near you. When the plant release pollen, it may trigger the postnasal drip and your body will release more mucus to eliminate the pollens that just entered your body.
In terms of your environment, there is a chance that dry air or cold weather can lead to postnasal drip. Breathing during these times have a tendency to cause irritation in your throat or nose so your body will decide to release more mucus to warm and humidify your body’s passages to remove the irritation.
In addition, cold weather can also give you viral infections such as common cold, sinus infections, and flu. These infections can give you the same signs as those you can get from postnasal drip. Basically, what you just need to remember is that when your body gets foreign substances, it will immediately release mucus to defend you.
Here are some instances wherein your body will develop more mucus:
- Chronic respiratory conditions
- Blood pressure and birth control medications
- Chemicals from environmental fumes, cleaning products, and perfumes
- Objects that get stuck in your nose
- Eating too much spicy food
There are also instances wherein a deviated septum (the wall between your nostrils) is damaged or crooked, you will have a hard time draining the mucus from your body. When this happens, it can lead to a postnasal drip as well.
The good news is that there is a chance for the postnasal drip to just clear on its own. The problem will be if the condition is not treated immediately. There can be a huge chance that there will be an infection and other gems to enter the mucus, resulting in more sinus.
What you can do to prevent this from happening is to do the following:
Dry the mucus
Your doctor might recommend that you take decongestant medications to dry the mucus. This is the most common way to treat postnasal drip.
Once you use the medications given to you, you will notice that your nose and throat will feel dry. There can be instances wherein you will feel dizzy and nervous. When this happens, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Other medications, such as non-sedating antihistamines, are also effective, and these have a lower chance to give you a feeling of fatigue. So if you have a long day ahead of you or you are going to drive, the best medication for you are these,
It is important to note that some over-the-counter medications can give you side effects. So it is best that you consult with your doctor first before trying out anything.
Thinning the mucus
Other than drying the mucus, you can thin it if you want to. You can buy medications that will increase the moisture to make the ailment thin. Afterward, the air will be able to move through the passageway more smoothly as compared before.
You also have the option to use steam vaporizers or humidifiers to reduce this condition. These will help unclog sinuses. Also, nasal sprays and irrigation pots can help wash out the mucus buildup. Make sure that you use salt water for best results.
There are also home remedies that you can try. Some of these are propping up your head when you sleep by adding pillows under your head. You can also try drinking a lot of fluids to keep your body dehydrated. The best fluids to do the job are warm broths and teas. These can even help treat sore throats.
When any of these treatments did not work on you, immediately head to your doctor. This might be because the infection in your body is already severe that medications and home remedies can no longer treat it. The doctor will then ask you to undergo some tests to see if what you have is a postnasal drip or another condition.