What are the cures for postnasal drip?

Written by joey papa
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What are the cures for postnasal drip?
Postnasal drip occurs when excess mucus empties into the back of the throat. (Getty Creative)

The sinus cavity is constantly producing mucus to keep the sinus cavity moist and clean. The sinus cavity is a large empty space located directly behind your eyes and nose. Its purpose is to filter the air before it enters the lungs. The sinus cavity is constantly emptying mucus into the back of the throat without a person ever being aware of it. When the mucus thickens and the body overproduces, the excess can be felt in the back of the throat causing postnasal drip.

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Causes

Postnasal drip is commonly caused by irritation in the sinus cavity. The sinuses are very sensitive and can become irritated simply by change in air humidity, air pressure or climate temperature. The sinuses experience a lot of change during the summer months due to the constant in and out of air conditioning (cool, dry air) and outside (hot, humid air). This causes the sinuses to overproduce mucus that primarily drains in the back of the throat.

Medical treatment

The most common treatment for postnasal drip is to take an over-the-counter decongestant. A decongestant will dry up the excessive mucus and help reduce any swelling in the nasal cavity. If the postnasal drip is being caused by seasonal allergies, taking a 24-hour, daily antihistamine will help restrict the body from producing histamines that cause allergy symptoms. A combination of both a decongestant and antihistamine may be needed if the postnasal drip remains.

Natural cures

The key to curing postnasal drip naturally is to maintain the proper moisture in the sinus cavity. Saline sprays are one way to naturally moisten the sinuses. Running a humidifier at night as you sleep will also help maintain a healthy humidity for your sinuses. The sinus cavity operates the best in 40 per cent humidity. Too much humidity can also cause sinus irritation leading to postnasal drip.

Prevention

In order to prevent postnasal drip avoid allergens and maintain a strong immune system. You can build your immune system by eating a well-balanced diet, exercising four times a week, getting eight hours of sleep a night and drinking at least six 250 ml glasses of water daily. At the first sign of congestion or nasal discharge, take an over-the-counter decongestant in order to prevent postnasal drip.

Complications

If postnasal drip persists, it can cause throat irritation, a chronic cough and an upset stomach. The mucus can easily build up in the back of the throat causing irritation leading to a throat infection. As the mucus builds up, especially as you sleep, it can lead to an upset stomach and vomiting. If the postnasal drip is caused by a sinus infection, the infection can spread to the ears, eyes and the brain.

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