Respiratory illnesses, colds and allergies can trigger the development of postnasal drip which is an annoying condition that allows the mucus to flow down at the rear part of the throat. The congestion in the sinuses and nasal passages can prevent the mucus from exiting via the nose or if a particular illness instigates production of excess mucus.
Postnasal drip can be bothersome when the individual is sleeping since episodes of coughing or choking can occur once the mucus gathers in the throat. The symptoms of postnasal drip can be relieved by combining home remedies and medications.
- You can utilize several cushions or pillows or even wooden blocks placed under the head of the bed for elevation while sleeping. By keeping the head elevated, it reduces the amount of mucus that gathers in the throat.
- Increase the intake of fluids. Drinking more fluids helps thin out the mucus, thus making it easier to pass through the sinuses and nostrils. It is recommended to stick with water and clear fluids as well as avoid beverages that contain alcohol or caffeine.
- Irrigation of the sinuses using saline and water solution works by thinning out and removing the nasal secretions. All you have to do is purchase saline solution at a pharmacy or drugstore or simply use a neti pot which is a small-sized pitcher used to clean out the nasal passages. Add ¼ teaspoon of salt to ½ cup of warm water and place inside the neti pot. Pour or squirt the saline solution into one nostril and then the other and gently blow the nose.
- Provide an over-the-counter antihistamine, decongestant or nasal steroid spray to minimize the nasal congestion. Take note that using these products more than a few days is not advisable since prolonged use can become counterproductive and worsen the congestion.
- Use allergy medications as prescribed if allergies are responsible for causing postnasal drip. In case the problem persists despite the medications, a doctor should be consulted if allergy immunotherapy is recommended. When allergy immunotherapy is performed, small amounts of the allergen are introduced into the body at regular intervals which causes the body to stop reacting to the allergen over time.
Considerations to bear in mind
It is best to schedule an appointment with a doctor if postnasal drip persists after a cold. Take note that a viral cold that persists for 10 days or longer might progress into a bacterial sinus infection. If an individual has a bacterial sinus infection, the doctor will recommend oral antibiotics to manage it.
Once the nose feels dry when postnasal drip is present, you can utilize a saline solution several times in a day to moisten the irritated nasal passages. Using a humidifier can help keep the air inside the house moist and lessen the discomfort.