Post nasal drip - introduction
Post nasal drip is a very common problem that affects many people, especially, during cold season.
Mucus is produced daily in the nose by several glands located there. Mucus has many roles, from lubricating the inner side of the nose, humidifying it, to cleaning the passages and membranes and trapping the debris and foreign particles and preventing them from going deeper into the airways.
Sometimes there is excess mucus, which can be too thick or too thin. It is accumulated behind the nose and the throat and it is called post nasal drip.
Many factors can lead to post nasal drip, including cold, flu, allergies, acid reflux, sinus infections, medications and pregnancy.
When mucus is stuck behind the nose and throat, it can drip and cause swelling, cough and hoarse voice. This condition is frustrating but it is not serious, so it can be easily fixed with different home remedies.
Remedies for post nasal drip
Drinking plenty of fluids is essential for getting rid of post nasal drip. Fluids will break down the mucus and drain it down into the stomach where it will be safely digested. It is recommended to drink at least eight ounces of water per day and other fluids may include herbal tea and juice.
Dairy products are not recommended for people who suffer from post nasal drip so they should stay off them for several days until the symptoms subside. This is because dairy products may thicken the mucus and increase its production, and are therefore counterproductive in case of post nasal drip.
Saltwater or saline solution can also be very useful. It cleans and disinfects the membranes and speeds up the recovery, and it can also dissolve the mucus and make it easier to expel. A saline solution is made from half a teaspoon of salt, preferably sea salt, dissolved in a glass of warm water. This solution should be used for gargling three times a day. It can also be used for nasal irrigation.
Inhaling steam or vapors is another effective way to cure post nasal drip. There are special face steamers available but it may be simpler to just boil some water and inhale its vapors. For best effects, it is recommended to add some ginger and salt to the boiling water. This method works because steam is very effective in breaking down the excess mucus.
Cinnamon or thyme extract is often used to treat post nasal drip. These extracts have antioxidant and antimicrobial properties and they loosen the mucus.