What to Do for Postnasal Drip
By Paul Rothbart
Although not generally a sign of a serious condition, postnasal drip can cause congestion, a sore throat, and it is just irritating. It's caused by an excess amount of mucus that drips from your nose to your throat. It happens most frequently when lying down and you often wake up in the morning feeling like your throat is clogged. Postnasal drip is usually part of cold or allergy symptoms, but it can also be caused by gastroesophageal reflux. There are a number of over-the-counter medications you can take. There are also home remedies for postnasal drip that have proven effective.
Drink Hot Liquids
Drinking plenty of liquids moisturizes your sinus passages and thins out mucus, allowing it to move more easily through nasal cavities. Hot liquids are more effective as the heat thins the mucus even more. Don't use caffeinated beverages such as coffee or soda. Caffeine works as a diuretic and can dehydrate you. Hot tea, especially the herbal type, and broths are ideal.
Inhaling steam is a great way to moisturize sinus passages and thin mucus. Standing in a hot shower or taking a hot bath can be a relaxing way to breathe steam. You can also place a towel over your head and lean over a pot of hot water. Be careful not to get too close to avoid burns. Breathe deeply and slowly. Doing this for 5 minutes twice a day can be very effective against postnasal drip.
Elevated Your Head
Mucus drips into your throat more quickly when you're lying down, so it's best to avoid it when possible. When you are reading or watching TV, remain in a sitting position. At night when sleeping, use a wedge or stack two pillows to keep your head propped up. You can also place your pillow against the headboard. Be careful of the position of your neck so you don't end up in pain. Try to elevate your entire upper body.
Saltwater serves two purposes in treating postnasal drip. It loosens mucus and also relieves sore throat pain. Fill a glass with eight ounces of warm water and dissolve a half-teaspoon of salt into it. Gargle until it feels uncomfortable, then spit out the water. Repeat until the glass is empty. Doing this twice a day can be very helpful in relieving postnasal drip symptoms.
Postnasal drip is usually not a serious medical condition but it can be distressing. Fortunately, it is fairly easy to treat and find relief. Try these home remedies to ease sore throat pain and stop the drip.
To learn more about your health, wellness and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Hendersonville, Tenn.