How to Treat Severe Post Nasal Drip
The nose produces mucous on a continual basis and that mucous drains down the back of the throat. When that mucous increases in volume or changes in consistency, it can result in post nasal drip syndrome. Post nasal drip (PND) is one of the most common causes of cough and sore throat. There are many common remedies to alleviate post-nasal drip, but definitive treatment depends on the root cause.
The uncomfortable sensation of excessive mucous drainage running down the back of the throat can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- a cold
Post nasal drip is often related to another condition and a direct cure is not available. However, a variety of treatment methods, including increasing fluids, medications and several home remedies can relieve discomfort.
Keep the mucous thin suggest the experts at the National Institutes of Health and avoid additional complications, including ear infections and sinus infections by decreasing the amount of concentrated mucous in the nasal and sinus passage ways.
Treatments for Allergies
Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day. Include hot teas, soups and water in your diet. Avoid caffeine and alcohol as these beverages dehydrate the body.
Increase the amount of humidity in the air. Install a humidifier and sleep with it on at night. Add several drops of eucalyptus essential oil for aromatherapy.
Taking a hot shower, long enough where a mirror will fog up, and inhaling the warm air will aid in sinus relief and decrease post nasal drip. Inhale vapors directly by boiling a hot pot of water and steaming the face; add several drops of eucalyptus to the water.
Use an antihistamine to decrease mucous secretions associated with post nasal drip. Look for medication that will not make you drowsy--many times these are available only as prescriptions. Avoid using nasal sprays for more than three days--increased mucous is often a side effect.
Cleanse the nasal passageways suggests the Mayo Clinic. Use a neti pot to rinse the nasal cavity--clearing all mucous out of the nose. A bulb syringe can also be used. Mix 2 cups warm water with 1 tsp. of table salt; rinse each nostril.
Contact a doctor if:
- the drainage has a foul odor
- the drainage appears on one side of the nose only
- the drainage has a color different than white or yellow.
Post nasal drip lasting more than three weeks, or accompanied by a high fever and nasal discharge should be treated by a medical professional.
- Drink plenty of fluids throughout the day.
- Include hot teas, soups and water in your diet.
- Taking a hot shower, long enough where a mirror will fog up, and inhaling the warm air will aid in sinus relief and decrease post nasal drip.
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Tanya Feke is a board-certified family physician with interests in preventive medicine, lifestyle modification and women's health. Her book "Medicare Essentials" is an Amazon bestseller. She has been published in the journal "Medical Economics" and has managed her educational website Diagnosis Life (www.diagnosislife.com) since 2010.