Post-nasal Drip! Symptoms and Home Remedies

Post-nasal Drip! Symptoms and Home Remedies

Can post-nasal drip give you nausea? Or can it worsen your asthma symptoms? Can it be a reason for your sore throat? Let's find out.

Post-nasal drip is nothing but the dripping of mucus from the back of the nose down to the throat. It is one of the most common symptoms of the common cold, flu, and sinusitis. This common symptom can be the hidden culprit for many other problems. 

Post-nasal drip happens when our body produces excess mucus due to various reasons, including infections and allergies, which start to flow from the back of the nose. It can reach the throat, the esophagus and the stomach and cause many other symptoms.

So let's see, what are the other symptoms and problems associated with post-nasal drip.

Causes of post-nasal drip:

Draining of mucus into the throat and stomach (post-nasal drip) can be caused due to various reasons, such as-

  • Viral infections like the common cold and flu
  • Bacterial infections
  • Sinusitis
  • Allergies
  • Nasal polyps
  • Pregnancy
  • GERD
  • Deviated nasal septum
  • Cold and dry weather
  • Spicy food items
  • Medicines like birth control pills and high blood pressure medicines.

Symptoms associated with post-nasal drip:

Apart from being a common symptom of cold, sinusitis and allergies, post-nasal drip can also be the reason for various other symptoms. The most common symptoms associated with post-nasal drip are-

  • Nausea
  • Sore throat due to the irritation and itching in the throat
  • Cough, which usually worsens at night
  • Bad breath (Halitosis)
  • Gurgling or hoarse voice
  • Worsening asthma symptoms
  • Stomach issues
  • Swollen tonsils: not due to infection
  • A feeling of a lump in the throat
  • A constant need to clear the throat

Post-nasal drip can also cause ear infection due to mucus buildup and accumulation in the Eustachian tube, which connects the nose and the throat to the ear.

Cobblestone throat is most commonly caused by post-nasal drip. It is the formation of bumps in the throat due to irritation which commonly occurs due to allergies or infections.

Home remedies for post-nasal drip:

Post-nasal drip can be easily managed at home with many easy-to-do home remedies. Some of the home remedies for post-nasal drip are mentioned here.

  • Saltwater gargling: Gargling water saltwater is known to reduce swelling and irritation in the throat. It helps to get rid of the mucus in the throat and ease the symptoms such as sore throat and cough.
  • Gargle with mulethi roots or turmeric milk: Mulethi is known for its ability to reduce sore throat. Its sweet roots have inflammation-reducing and antimicrobial properties to reduce the symptoms of sore throat and cough caused by post-nasal drip. Turmeric is a well-known spice known for its medicinal properties. It helps to reduce the swelling in the throat and thereby reduces sore throat and cough. It also helps to reduce the swelling in the nose and sinuses that may be responsible for post-nasal drip.
  • Saline nasal spray: Saline solution helps to remove excess mucus from the nose. It also keeps the nasal area moist and removes dust, allergens, pollen and other foreign particles from the nose, thus reducing post-nasal drip.
  • Saline rinses: Saline rinses, otherwise called sinus flush, saline nasal irrigation, or saline wash, is an effective home remedy to remove the excess mucus buildup in the nose and sinuses along with dust, dirt, allergens and other foreign particles. It is said to be very effective in reducing swelling in sinusitis and nasal polyps.
  • Steam inhalation: Inhaling steam during a hot shower or steam inhalation using a vaporizer or steam inhaler can help to thin the mucus and prevent the dripping of the thick mucus to the throat.
  • Humidifier: Humidification helps to thin the mucus so that it can be easily removed. It helps to keep the air warm and moist.
  • Essential oils: Essential oils are concentrated liquids obtained from plants. These liquids contain oils extracted from various parts of the plant, including the stem, roots and flower. Many essential oils can be effectively used to reduce the post-nasal drip. Some of the most commonly used essential oils to reduce post-nasal drip include peppermint oil, eucalyptus oil, thymol, lavender oil, and tea tree oil.   
  • Herbal tea: Ginger or lemon tea with honey can effectively reduce post-nasal drip and other symptoms associated with it.
  • Stay well hydrated as it may naturally help to thin the mucus.
  • Warm fluids like soups, warm water and herbal tea can help to thin the mucus. The warmness in these fluids can help to break the mucus so that it can be easily removed.
  • Grab a lozenge: For sore throat, lozenges can be a great choice. It protects the throat by coating it with a thin layer of a soothing agent like honey or glycerin.
  • Honey is the best choice for sore throat and cough. It helps to soothe the throat and helps to reduce inflammation (swelling) in the nose and throat.

Apart from these home remedies, there are other ways to reduce post-nasal drip, which depend on what is causing the post-nasal drip.

GERD-related post-nasal drip:

GERD can be the most common reason for post-nasal drip. Managing GERD can also help manage post-nasal drip. In such cases, these remedies and lifestyle changes can help.

  • Reducing weight
  • Avoid spicy foods
  • Eating smaller meals
  • Avoiding fried and fatty foods
  • Limit the intake of caffeine and carbonated beverages
  • Avoid garlic, onions, citrus fruit, peppermint, tomato and other acidic foods
  • Limit or avoid dairy intake
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