What is postnasal drip syndrome?
Our bodies constantly produce mucus, which is beneficial because it traps germs and other debris that can harm us. We have mucus constantly flowing down the back of the pharynx, but most of the time we are unaware of this.
Postnasal drip occurs when an abnormally thin or thick mucous membrane makes us feel like it is dripping down the back of the throat. This is a "dripping" sensation in the back of the throat, which may also be accompanied by a feeling of having to clear the throat. Most likely, you also have a chronic cough .
Treatment of postnasal drops depends on the underlying cause of the condition. This article will look at various treatments for postnasal bleeding, including what you can do at home .
Home treatment for postnasal leak
When treating postnasal drops at home, you may need to change your treatment slightly depending on whether the discharge is thick or thin. Use the following tips depending on the cause of your symptoms.
Treatment of postnasal drip caused by allergies
You may notice that you have postnasal discharge during hay fever season. The following are treatments for nasal congestion caused by allergies :
- Try antihistamines like diphenhydramine or loratadine .
- If you know what is causing your allergies, avoid triggers .
- If you are not sure what you are allergic to, you should consult an allergist / immunologist to determine the cause and discuss the possibility of long-term treatment for your allergy .
- If you are allergic to pollen , keep windows closed during pollen season and shower after entering your home to remove any pollen that may have stained your clothing or hair.
- Decongestants such as topical pseudoephedrine can be used, but do not use topical medications for more than three days in a row to avoid nasal congestion .
- Newer nasal sprays, such as mometasone , which is said not to cause nasal congestion, are available by prescription and can be used longer than traditional decongestants .
Treatment of postnasal leak caused by infections.
Postnasal discharge can also be caused by infections, such as the common cold , RSV , flu , or sinusitis . The following treatments are available to treat postnasal drip caused by infection. It is also important to consult a doctor to rule out the need for antibiotics .
- Decongestants, including pseudoephedrine , phenylephrine , and oxymetazoline , can be helpful. As noted above, avoid using these products for more than three days to avoid rebound build-up . Decongestants are helpful for most adults, but they should not be used in children.
- Drink as much water or other liquids as possible.
- Steam scrubbing or other products that contain menthol, including cough drops, can be helpful, but use them only as directed. These products are not intended for young children.
- Moisturizers and nasal saline can thin mucus.
Treatment of postnasal drops caused by acid reflux (GERD)
Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD) or acid reflux can cause postnasal syndrome. GERD is a condition in which acid from the stomach backs up into the esophagus. GERD is worse at night because gravity pulls acid "back" into the esophagus and the back of the throat.
Stomach acid is extremely irritating to tissues outside of the stomach, and this irritation of the back of the pharynx and esophagus can cause not only postnasal discharge, but also a sore throat , laryngitis , and a persistent cough . To treat postnasal leakage caused by GERD:
- Try over-the-counter antacids like Tooms or omeprazole .
- Don't eat before bed.
- Avoid irritating foods like chocolate, soda, or spicy foods.
- Sleep in an elevated position, not lying down.
- If acid reflux persists, see your doctor.
Treatment of drug-induced postnasal drops
The only cure for postnasal drops, which occurs as a side effect of medications such as birth control or blood pressure medications , is to stop taking the medication. Note. DO NOT stop taking medicine without first talking to your doctor. However, you should be aware that many side effects go away as the drug is taken longer.
To avoid dangerous drug interactions, do not take any additional postnasal medications, including herbal or over-the-counter medications, without consulting your doctor and / or pharmacist. Humidifiers, salt spray, and neti pots can be used. Avoid dairy products if the mucus is thick and avoid spicy foods if the mucus is thin. Always drink lots of water.
Treatment of postnasal leak caused by structural (anatomical) abnormalities
Postnasal fluid discharge may be due to abnormalities in other structures of the nose and sinuses. Symptoms usually last more than a few weeks. If this is the case, you should see an ear, nose, and throat specialist (otolaryngologist) to see if you need corrective surgery and to discuss ways to manage postnasal discharge until the abnormalities are corrected with surgery. Typical operations can include:
Treatment of postnasal drops caused by hormones.
Changes in the level of certain hormones in your body can also cause postnasal leakage. If you are pregnant, do not take postnasal bleeding medications without your healthcare provider's approval. Humidifiers, salt mists, and neti pots can be used safely during pregnancy.
If your hormonal fluctuations are caused by another medical condition, such as menopause, you can use the treatments listed in this postnasal drip home remedies article, but you should see your doctor to discuss options such as hormone replacement therapy.
Frequently asked questions
Yes. COVID can cause nasal congestion, resulting in mucus and postnasal discharge. However, there are other general conditions that give rise to this feeling. A more common nasal effect of COVID is loss of smell.
Changing your diet is the most effective way to reduce postnasal discharge caused by reflux. Foods to avoid include citrus fruits, tomatoes, onions, fatty foods, alcohol, and foods with caffeine. Also, don't eat three hours before bedtime. In some cases, losing weight or taking acid reflux medications can also help.