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What Can I Do for Post-Nasal Drip?

Post-nasal drip is a condition where the mucous membranes in your nose are irritated and produce excess mucus. It can cause several symptoms, including sore throat, cough, stuffy nose, congestion, sneezing, and difficulty breathing.

The most common causes of post-nasal drip are allergies or viral infection. However, you can also develop it from other conditions, such as sinusitis or acid reflux. 

What Causes Post-Nasal Drip?

This condition occurs when fluid leaks down the back of the sinuses and into your throat.

Other causes include:

  • Viral or bacterial infection, such as sinusitis, common cold, and flu
  • Allergies to dust mites, pollen, mold spores, and pet dander
  • Sinus pressure from conditions like allergies
  • Upper respiratory tract infections that irritate the mucous membranes in your nose
  • Exposure to chemicals, perfumes, and cigarette smoke
  • A side effect of medication, such as antidepressants or antihistamines
  • Reflux disease where stomach acid leaks into the esophagus
  • Deviated septum that obstructs the nasal passages

Other causes include smoking, drinking alcohol excessively, caffeine intake, and nasal polyps. This condition can also occur in babies born prematurely due to the underdevelopment of the nose and sinuses.

Post-Nasal Drip Symptoms

The most common symptom is a runny nose. Other symptoms include:

  • A sore throat with hoarseness of the voice due to irritation in your larynx
  • Coughing, which can be persistent or chronic, especially at night when you lie down
  • Nasal congestion and obstruction due to the excess mucus
  • Sneezing, which is an attempt by your body to expel the extra mucus from your nose
  • Difficulty breathing, especially when exercising or at night, as a result of nasal secretions pooling in your throat
  • Excessive drooling if you also have gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
  • Bad breath, especially when the excess mucus pools around your tonsils.

Treating Post-Nasal Drip

The best way to treat post-nasal drip is by identifying and avoiding the irritants that cause the condition. Some of those who experience chronic or recurring post-nasal drip may also have allergies to things like dust mites, pollen, mold spores, and pet dander.

If you notice that using perfume triggers your symptoms it is a good idea to stop. If you are prone to post-nasal drip, be sure to avoid smoking as this is an irritant that can trigger symptoms.

Drinking plenty of water can also help thin out mucus and relieve symptoms. Like water, drinking hot liquids can also help thin out mucus with the added benefit of steam, which works to decongest the nasal passages.

Other ways to treat post-nasal drip are:

Post-nasal drip can last for several weeks or months. If you experience it for longer than six to eight weeks, it is best that you see your doctor as this can be a sign of other medical conditions. Most cases are not severe and can be easily treated. However, if your post-nasal drip problem continues to persist after home remedies, it might be time to visit an expert.

The Ear and Sinus Institute specializes in ear, nose, and sinus conditions. At the Ear and Sinus Institute, we are focused on providing patients with the most current technology so that our patients receive the best treatment options available.

Contact Ear and Sinus Institute

If post-nasal drip is a persistent problem you are dealing with, contact our highly qualified team at the Ear and Sinus Institute. For more treatment options, call (817)332-4060 or book an appointment today.

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