Post-nasal drip is a common condition that can make you feel 10/10 lousy. But do not worry! We’ve got you (and your sinuses) covered. Here are the best treatment options for your nose’s needs.
Fast facts: postnasal drops
Post-nasal drip is a condition where sinus secretions drip down your throat through your nasal passages.
What causes it Postnasal drip is usually caused by the common cold or common cold Allergies. It can also be triggered by a deviating septum or environmental factors (e.g. irritants or poor air quality).
What are the symptoms? Common symptoms are a runny nose, Sore throat, Cough and congestion.
How do i treat it? Treatment will depend on how severe your symptoms are. Your doctor may suggest steroid nasal sprays, oral steroids, antihistamines, oral decongestants, mucus thinners, immunotherapies, or combination drugs.
You can also try home remedies like Irrigation with saline solution, drink hot liquids or gargle warm salt water.
Many factors can cause a postnasal drip. Here is an overview of the most common culprits.
Allergies. Dear allergies, GTFO. Love everyone. Allergies are the pits. They are also a major cause of post nasal drip. Common triggers are pollen, mold, pet dander, and dust mites.
Crooked nasal septum. When this happens, your septum – the thin layer of cartilage between your nostrils – will tilt to one side. This can prevent proper mucus drainage.
Environmental or lifestyle factors. Your surroundings or your daily activities can also trigger a snot sesh. This contains:
What are sinuses anyway?
The sinuses are cavities in your skull and facial bones. Their main job is to produce slime.
The Sinuses System consists of:
- a maxillary sinus near your cheekbones
- a pair of sphenoid sinuses behind your eyes
- a frontal sinus on either side of your forehead
- 6 to 12 sinuses on each side of your nose and between your eyes
Slime deserves a moment
Mucus gets a bad rap, but it’s actually very important. The National Institute of Health says it contains many special sugars, proteins, and molecules that help defend against germs. It also acts as a Protective barrier in your airways. Thank you slime 🤗.
Postnasal drip symptoms can vary from slightly annoying to completely uncomfortable. This contains:
Postnasal drip is not a one-size-fits-all for snot. Treatment will depend on your individual symptoms. Here is an overview of your best options.
Histamines are chemicals that your immune system releases in response to an allergen. Antihistamines can block this reaction. They come in nasal, pill, or liquid forms.
Antihistamines are divided into two groups:
Soothing Antihistamines (First Generation) can relieve your symptoms but could make you great sleepy or dizzy. You shouldn’t take them when you need to drive or focus. Examples include:
- Clemastin (Tavist)
- Diphenhydramine (Benadryl)
- Chlorpheniramine (chlorine trimetone)
Nonsedating (second generation) Antihistamines doesn’t make you as dizzy as the calming kind. However, you should still speak to your doctor before taking it. They may not mix well with other drugs.
- Cetirizine (Zyrtec)
- Loratadine (Claritin)
- Fexofenadine (Allegra)
- Levocetirizine (Xyzal)
If you have allergies, oral decongestants can be a real breath of fresh air. They can help reduce sinus swelling and make it easier to breathe through your nose.
The most popular decongestants are:
- Phenylephrine (Suphedrin PE or Sudafed PE)
- Oxymetazoline (Vicks Sinex, Dristan)
- Pseudoephedrine (Sudafed, Silfedrine, or Suphedrin)
These sprays can help Release the flow of snot that has built up in your sinuses. They can help shrink your blood vessels temporarily to reduce the swelling of the nasal tissue.
- Oxymetazoline (Dristan or Afrin)
- Phenylephrine (neo-synephrine)
Steroid nasal sprays
Intranasal corticosteroids are steroids that you can spray directly into your nose. They can help relieve traffic jams in the short term.
Examples of nasal steroids are:
- Acetonide (Tri-Nasal)
- Budesonide (rhinocort)
- Triamcinolone (Nasacort)
- Flunisolide (Nasalide, Nasarel)
- Fluticasone Furoate (Veramyst)
- Ciclesonid (Omnaris, Zetonna)
- Mometasone furoate (Nasonex)
- Fluticasone Propionate (Flonase)
- Beclomethasone (Vancenase, Beconase, Vancenase AQ or Beconase AQ)
For your information: steroid nasal sprays are not intended for long-term use. A 2012 research report showed that these sprays can cause dehydration, stinging, burning, sneezing, or headaches. They can also give you a bloody nose if used incorrectly.
Steroid pills can be prescribed when other medications don’t do the trick. They can treat severe allergies and reduce inflammation. Like steroid nasal sprays, they are only intended for short-term use.
One of the most popular forms of oral steroids for post-nasal drip is called prednisone. You need an Rx to get it.
Post-nasal drops can cause good mucus to break badly. Your once clear, watery slime can turn into thick and discolored goose bumps. A mucus thinner can help get things going again.
A popular formula is guaifenesin (Mucinex, Humibid, Fenesin, or Organidin).
The goal of immunotherapy is to reduce your reaction to allergies. You will receive small amounts of an allergen until you do build immunity. This can make you less sensitive over time.
Peanut butter is great on its own. But what if you pair it with chocolate? Game changer. That is the idea behind combination products.
Combo supplements work together Avengers style to treat multiple symptoms at once. A small 2012 study showed that they can be more effective than individual treatments in certain cases.
Common combinations include a mix of:
- Anti-cough suppressants
- Mucus thinner
Your doctor will tell you which drug mix works best.
Here are some DIY tips to show you who’s the boss.
Stay brightly hydrated. A Research report 2006 showed that fluids can aid your mucus flow. Pro tip: Warm liquids work best.
Gargle. A simple mix of Salt- and warm water can work wonders. It can clear any stuck debris in your throat or mouth. Just stir a teaspoon of salt into 8 ounces of warm water and head to town. PS Do not swallow.
Kill that steam. A nice hot shower can help cleanse your sinuses with steam. You can also try one personal sinus steam inhaler.
Try to quit smoking. Smoke is bad, mkay? Cigs can irritate your sinuses, causing excess mucus, coughing, and congestion. Smoking too increases your risk the development of serious diseases such as lung cancer, heart disease, diabetesand stroke.
Lots of warm or hot liquids can thin and prevent your mucus Dehydration. Some top options are:
Flushing your sinuses with salt water can wash out pollen, dust, and debris. It can also loosen thick snot and relieve post nasal drip Symptoms.
That’s how it’s done:
- Stand with your head over a sink.
- Tilt your head to one side.
- Pour or squeeze a sterile Saline solution in your upper nostril. You can use a lamp syringe Neti potor squeeze the bottle.
- Let the solution pour out your other nostril.
- Repeat on the other side.
- Gently blow your nose to drive out excess snot.
Post-nasal drip can be annoying, but it’s usually not a cause for concern. However, you should call your document if you:
- damn snot
- a persistent cough
- an unexplained fever
- smelly phlegm or drainage
- Shortness of breath or wheezing
You should also tell your doctor if symptoms last more than 10 days. Post-nasal drip, if left untreated, can lead to sinus infections or ear infections.
You can reduce the risk of a postnasal drip by limiting exposure to irritants and allergens. Here are some top prevention tips:
- Keep your home clean and dust free.
- Use pillows and mattress Covers to ward off dust mites.
- Get an air purifier (and don’t forget to change that one filter on the reg!)
- Take a shower after spending time outdoors if you are allergic to pesky pollen.
Post-nasal drip is a condition where mucus flows from your sinuses into your throat. It’s usually caused by allergies, colds, or a distracted septum. It can also be triggered by lifestyle factors such as smoking, cold environments, or dry air.
There are beaucoup medical options that can treat your postnasal drip symptoms. Your doctor can recommend which one is best for you. In the meantime, you can try a home remedy.