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How to Stop a Post Nasal Drip Cough

Excess mucous in the sinus cavities leads to post nasal drip. The additional mucous resides in the back of the nose or throat, leading to plenty of unpleasant symptoms, including congestion, sore throat, nausea, breathing difficulty and coughing. Generally, post nasal drip is caused by allergies, a cold, pregnancy or hormonal fluctuations. If you have a cough due to post nasal drip, many treatments can help you get rid of it.

Determine the cause of your post nasal drip cough. If it is caused by allergies, try various over-the-counter allergy medications that contain antihistamines. If you have a cold, over-the-counter cold medication can eliminate excess mucous. If you suspect your post nasal drip cough is due to hormonal fluctuations or pregnancy, talk to your doctor about medications. If you are pregnant, do not take any medications without your doctor's approval.

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Use nasal sprays. Many over-the-counter nasal sprays are available to treat post nasal drip. Because the nasal sprays reduce the excess mucous that causes the cough, you'll notice an improvement. Generally, you should use nasal sprays for no longer than three consecutive days. Using them for longer can damage your nasal cavities.

Avoid dairy products. Because dairy products can thicken mucous, they generally worsen post nasal drip coughs. To be safe, avoid milk, yogurt, ice cream and cheese until you are better.

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Drink lots of water. Water helps to thin mucous, preventing buildup in your throat and nose, and lessening the likelihood of coughing. In addition to water, drink other clear liquids such as herbal teas and juices.

Mix 1/2 tsp. of salt with warm water. Gargle the mixture. This salt solution can cleanse the back of your throat, helping to dislodge mucous. As the mucous is eliminated from the back of your throat, your cough will improve. Gargle twice daily for best results.

Suck on cough drops. The drops will lubricate your throat, alleviating itchiness and irritation that leads to coughing. The sucking motion also helps to get mucous moving, improving your post nasal drip.


See your doctor if your post nasal drip cough does not improve.


If you are under the care of a health care provider for any medical condition, consult your health care provider before taking any over-the-counter medication.