Postnasal fluid discharge occurs when excess mucus is secreted from the sinuses and drains down the back of the throat. Under normal conditions, the glands in the nose and throat produce mucus to hydrate the nasal membranes and fight infection.
A postnasal drip can be caused by many possible causes, such as a cold, a sinus infection, or allergies. If you experience symptoms regularly, be sure to speak with your doctor to determine the cause of your symptoms and discuss treatment for postnasal drops .
Postnasal leak symptoms
When too much mucus builds up, it causes postnasal discharge that causes the following symptoms:
- Sensation of fluid dripping from the back of the nose into the throat.
- Cough that is worse at night and / or at bedtime.
- Throat pain
- Tingling, scratching, or itching in the back of the throat.
Home remedies and lifestyle
Here are some natural remedies often used for mild cases of postnasal drip. It should be noted that research on their effects is insufficient and none of these agents should be used in place of standard treatment.
Keep your fluid intake high
Thick mucus is more likely to cause discomfort and interfere with your breathing. Diluting it can help reduce blockages, reducing the risk of sinus or ear infections. The easiest way to thin your mucus is to drink plenty of fluids every day.
The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics recommends that women consume about 9 cups of liquid a day and men about 12.5 cups. It's easy to tell if you have enough fluid by the color of your urine. Urine should be pale yellow ("straw") in color. Darker urine can be a sign of dehydration.
It is estimated that almost 33% of American adults are inadequately hydrated.
Avoid cigarette smoke
Chemicals in cigarettes can irritate the nasal passages and cause mucus to build up. This applies whether you smoke or are exposed to secondhand smoke. Cigarette smoke is not only an irritant, but it also interferes with the natural process of cleaning our airways.
Using a cool mist humidifier can help increase the humidity in the air. Dry air can make postnasal leak symptoms worse. The mist from the moisturizer helps to moisturize the tissues within the sinuses and helps loosen secretions.
Eat chicken soup
Chicken soup is an ancient home remedy for many respiratory ailments. Researchers have shown that chicken soup may have a mild anti-inflammatory effect during colds, but point out that the real benefits of chicken soup may be more related to the psychological support we receive when someone lovingly prepares our soup.
Try a hot shower
Some people find that the steam from a hot shower can help relieve sinus congestion. Steam can also have the added benefit of hydrating dry airways and sinuses.
Dust and vacuum regularly
This can be especially helpful if allergies are the cause of the nasal drops. Regular cleaning and vacuuming can help deal with year-round allergies such as animal dander, dust mites, mold, and cockroaches.
There are many over-the-counter remedies that you can try to see if they help with postnasal bleeding. They are available without a prescription.
- Antihistamines work by blocking the inflammation that occurs when an allergic reaction occurs. Examples include older antihistamines like Benadryl (diphenhydramine) and newer ones like Zyrtec (cetirizine) and Allegra (fexofenadine).
- Decongestants constrict the blood vessels in the sinuses, reducing swelling and nasal congestion. Examples include drugs like Sudafed (pseudoephedrine) and Sudafed RE (phenylephrine).
- Glucocorticoid nasal sprays , such as Flonase Allergy or Rhinocort, help reduce inflammation in inflamed tissues.
Saline nasal mist
A saline nasal spray has the advantage of directly hydrating the sinuses and helping to loosen nasal secretions. Saline is better than water because saline is more like the natural fluids in your body. The saline nasal spray contains no medications, just salt and water.
Nasal irrigation (a procedure that involves the use of a sterile salt water rinse to clear the nasal passages) can help reduce postnasal leakage in people with chronic sinusitis and allergies, especially with large volumes of saline, such as when used syringes. bottles and jars of neti.
The neti pot is usually made of ceramic or plastic and looks like a flattened kettle. Sterile saline is placed into the Neti-Pot.
Tilting your head to the side, lower your head just enough so that your sinuses are below your throat. Insert the Neti-Pot spout into your nostril and slowly start pouring saline solution into one side of your nose and it will flow down the other. You should not use tap water or any other non-sterile liquid in your neti pot.
Salt water rinse
Gargling with warm salt water can help clear mucus from the back of your throat and ease a sore throat. Similar to saline solution for cleansing the sinuses, a salt water rinse can help moisturize our tissues with a liquid that is more like our body's natural saline solution.
Try mixing 1 teaspoon of salt with 8 fluid ounces (1 cup) of warm water. This does not require the water to be sterilized.
When to contact a healthcare provider
Home remedies can help ease the unpleasant symptoms of postnasal discharge. While they can help in mild cases, call your doctor if:
- You have trouble breathing because you are overwhelmed.
- You have new symptoms or your symptoms are getting worse.
- You have a fever, severe sinus pain, or other signs of an infection (such as yellow mucus).
Although postnasal discharge is sometimes temporary, if you experience symptoms regularly, be sure to speak with your doctor to determine the underlying cause.
Frequently asked questions
How long does the postnasal drop last?
It depends on the reason. If the cause is a virus, it should clear up soon after symptoms appear, but some people with allergies have persistent problems with producing postnasal fluid until the allergy clears.
What is the postnasal discharge like?
Postnasal discharge can make you want to constantly clear your throat, cough or itch, and irritate your throat.
How to stop postnasal drip cough?
The best way to stop coughing is to address the underlying cause of your postnasal drip. Products that thin mucus, moisturize the airways, and relieve a sore throat can also help.
Why does postnasal discharge cause a sore throat?
Frequent mucus drainage irritates the throat, as does frequent coughing and coughing. Germs or allergens that cause a runny nose can also directly affect the throat.