Postnasal drip occurs when excess mucus builds up in the back of the throat and creates the sensation of a runny nose. This condition can lead to a chronic cough or sore throat. Treatments for postnasal drip focus on the cause of the excess mucus, which may be an allergic reaction or non-allergic rhinitis. In order to alleviate postnasal discharge, the essential step is to go see a doctor to determine the causes.
Method 1 of 3: Remove allergens from your environment
Step 1. Remove allergens from your environment when you can
Allergens like dust, pollen, animal dander, and mold can irritate the nasal cavity and cause postnasal drip.
- Wash your pets to remove dander which can cause irritation leading to postnasal drip. If the allergic reaction and discharge are acute, it may be necessary to remove the animals from the house.
- Remove plants (in bloom and without flowers) from the house.
- Keep unused pillows and mattresses in plastic to reduce allergens while you sleep.
- Wash your home by sweeping, mopping and removing dust from furniture and objects.
Step 2. Use an air purifier
This helps eliminate irritants that can cause allergic reactions in your environment. A humidifier increases the humidity of the air and thus relieves irritation of the nasal cavity. When it is irritated, the nasal cavity produces an excessive amount of mucus.
If you don't have a humidifier, you can take a very hot shower and breathe in the steam
Step 3. Consult an allergist or take an allergy test
Chronic postnasal drip could be caused by a food allergy that you are not aware of or that has recently developed. Go see an allergist to determine if you are allergic to something and you are not sure.
- The two main allergies are gluten and dairy allergy. Dairy products are often associated with sinus, upper respiratory, and throat problems while gluten is often associated with gastrointestinal upset.
- If dairy products are responsible for your allergy, gradually remove them from your diet for a month. If you notice that the symptoms persist, you can rule out dairy products as a possible cause of your allergy. If, on the contrary, you notice a gradual disappearance of your symptoms, it is because your body reacts to dairy products by producing more mucus. Studies have not, however, found that there is a direct link between dairy products and mucus production.
Method 2 of 3: Use treatments recommended by doctors
Step 1. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated
Dehydration can worsen symptoms of rhinitis and postnasal drip. Avoid caffeine and alcohol which can cause dehydration. Water is the best solution to stay hydrated when suffering from rhinitis or postnasal drip.
- Examine your urine to see if you are drinking enough water during the day. If your urine is yellow, you are probably not well hydrated. If your urine is clear, with at most a hint of yellow, then you are drinking enough water.
- Drinking lukewarm liquids, especially water, helps get rid of nasopharyngeal discharge.
Step 2. Blow your nose frequently to rid the nasal cavity of excess mucus
Blowing your nose can remove irritants that allow mucus to build up. For mucus that cannot be removed even by blowing your nose, some people prefer to sniff and cough up the excess mucus in order to avoid bad breath and a feeling of having a dry mouth.
Step 3. Cleanse the nasal cavity to remove the mucus that causes the irritants
Over-the-counter saline solution kits and nasal sprays are made to rinse the nasal cavity. The saline solution flushes irritants from the nasal cavity, thins mucus and relieves nasal membranes.
- Try using a neti pot to remove mucus from the sinuses and back of the throat. Be aware, however, that using a sinus irrigation device can remove natural antimicrobial agents that protect you from enemy bacteria, viruses, and fungi.
- Take 2-3 drops of nasal saline every 2-3 hours to moisten your nasal passages and decongest your nose.
- To combat nasopharyngeal discharge, use nasya oil twice a day.
Step 4. Use over-the-counter decongestants
They provide relief from symptoms of mucus buildup and postnasal discharge. Oral decongestants narrow the blood vessels to reduce the degree of congestion in the nasal cavity. Decongestants are also available as a nasal spray.
Step 5. Use decongestants for only three days in a row
If your symptoms do not improve after three days, stop using them. Using decongestants for more than three days may do you more harm than good.
Step 6. Take medicine to thin and remove mucus
Medicines like guaifenesin (Mucinex) are sold over the counter and are taken as tablets or syrup.
Follow the manufacturer's directions for dosages and frequency. If you have any doubts, talk to your pharmacist or doctor
Step 7. Ask your doctor for medication to relieve irritation and mucus buildup
Your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids, antihistamines, and anti-drip sprays to relieve postnasal drip.
- Corticosteroid sprays treat inflammation in non-allergic rhinitis.
- Antihistamine sprays can effectively treat allergic rhinitis caused by postnasal drip, but they are not effective with non-allergic causes.
Method 3 of 3: Use unverified natural remedies
Step 1. Gargle with salt water
Put half a teaspoon of salt in 250 ml of hot or lukewarm water and gargle your head back. To reduce the mucus even more, add the juice of 1/2 a lemon to the salted water and gargle.
Step 2. Clean up the house
If the allergens are invading your sinuses, the only treatment you can do at home is to treat your home itself. Follow these tips to rid your house of dust, pollen, and dander before they get after your nose.
- Wash your clothes, sheets, pillow cases and mattresses with hot water regularly. Hot water kills any bacteria that may be responsible for your symptoms.
- Vacuum regularly with HEPA filters. This ensures that the allergens have been sucked up. HEPA stands for “High Efficiency Particles Arresting Filter”.
Step 3. Avoid caffeine, alcohol, and spicy foods
All three can lead to increased mucus production.
Step 4. Do herbal and oil based fumigations
Cover your head with a towel and lean over a pot of hot water, keeping a safe distance. Flavor this treatment by adding tea (ginger, mint, chamomile) or essential oils (lavender, rosemary, etc.).
Take a warm bath. Let the hot water vapor pass through your lungs and sinuses when you shower
Step 5. Try a lemon cure
You will need 3 cups of tea (a large cup) and hot water for this. Add sugar to taste and a little honey. Pour in the juice of 1/2 a good lime. Drink this drink in the morning on an empty stomach. The lemon will cleanse your liver and stomach (filled with mucus from the night before due to postnasal drip) and will keep you feeling energized throughout the day.
- Steroid medications can cause serious side effects if taken for a long time. The follow-up of a doctor is obligatory for the use of these drugs.
- Decongestants can cause high blood pressure, heart palpitations, insomnia, loss of appetite, and anxiety. Decongestant nasal sprays should not be used for more than three or four days to relieve postnasal drip. The drug can cause congestion to return with even more severe symptoms.