How to Take the Drip out of Post Nasal Drip

November 12, 2012

How to Take the Drip out of Post Nasal Drip

Have you ever thought about post nasal drip and what it is? Under normal conditions there are glands in the nasal passages and throat that make mucus steadily. In fact, it has been measured to be between 1 and 2 quarts daily. This mucus is important for trapping dust, chemicals and bacteria keeping your passage ways and lungs clear of debris. As excess mucus drips from the back of the nose and accumulates, you experience what is called post nasal drip. This can also be caused by swallowing and throat muscle disorders.

As far as excess mucus secretion go they can be thin or thick. If you have an increase in what is a thin clear mucus, this is quite often due to flu, allergies or cold temperatures. Per chance you have experienced a thin post nasal drip when eating spicy foods and in particular hot peppers. A post nasal drip that produces thin secretions can also be due to structural abnormalities such as a deviated septum as well as medications you may be taking.

On the other hand, an increase in thick mucus secretions often occurs with cold temperatures due to dryness that is caused by heat inside buildings. If these secretions become yellow or green in color, this indicates that an infection has set in.

If materials collect in the throat, this can cause swallowing difficulty that may seem like post nasal drip. When the throat and esophagus are having mechanical problems this can cause excess mucus secretions to accumulate in the larynx and trachea causing you to want to clear your throat. This is common when you sleep as secretion build up because you are not swallowing. Perhaps you have noticed that you need to clear your throat when you wake up because it feels like you have a lump in it. Well, that’s because you do.

At times, post nasal drip may lead to local throat areas swelling including the tonsils. This will tend to make you think you have a lump in your throat constantly and this cam be very uncomfortable not to mention you will try to keep clearing your throat making it worse. Post nasal drip is treatable and a visit to your healthcare provider is all you need to do.

Upon visiting your doctor, he/she may need to do an ear, nose and throat exam. You may also need lab work done, endoscopy and/or some form of scan depending on what is causing your condition. Conditions vary from bacterial infections, allergic responses, and gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD). Antibiotics are often used to cure bacterial infections, allergies are often treated with antihistamines or steroids, and GERD is often treated with antacids or drugs that interfere with acid production in the stomach.

There are some simple home remedies that you can use when the cause of your post nasal drip is unknown and you need some relief. You should have some salt and/or baking soda in the house. Take ½ to 1 tsp of either one mixed in one pint of water and make use of a nasal douche to irrigate the nose area. This helps to break down mucus membranes and remove secretions and debris. These salt solutions are also available in a nonprescription sprays you can buy at the drug store.


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