Post Nasal Drip
Everyone knows how miserable it is to be sick or to suffer with allergies & sinusitis and to have that constant drip in the back of your throat…
…that dreaded Post Nasal Drip…
The PND is a condition that afflicts many people & is the cause of many a health problem, not least of all sinus & sinusitis.
Firstly let’s see what it is & what causes it…
5 Ways To Cure a Post Nasal Drip
As there are several causes of a post nasal drip it is advisable to undergo an examination by a ear, nose, and throat physician to establish the cause & appropriate treatment – especially if it has developed into a bacterial infection which would require a course of antibiotics to get rid of.
However in treating the PND, the objective is to get the cilia moving again so the mucus moves and the post nasal drip can clear up.
The following are some remedies that can be used for allergy related PND.
1. Antihistamines & Decongestants
These are effective in drying up the mucus & therefore reducing the PND.
2. Nasal Sprays – Nasal Irrigation
Saline nasal sprays are an excellent remedy for daily nasal cleansing but while they are effective in moisturising & keeping the nose healthy, they will do little to combat bacterial and viral growth that leads to post nasal drip.
3. Avoidance of Certain Allergens
Dairy products are often the cause of excess mucus thickening which leads to poor drainage & should therefore be avoided.
Any food allergies will also cause mucus to thicken and cause bad drainage.
4. Drink Lots of Water
Drinking a lot of water will help stimulate mucus flow & help prevent it from becoming stagnant and thick which contributes to the cause of PND.
5. Do Not Sleep on Your Back
Not lying flat on your back & using two pillows, to elevate your head, could alleviate the PND.
Therefore bacterial infections associated with a PND generally need to be treated with a course of antibiotics, however regular nasal cleansing with a saline solution will help prevent the formation of bacteria & mucus and therefore minimize the chances of getting the dreaded post nasal drip.
Causes & Symptoms of a Post Nasal Drip?
Post Nasal Drip (PND) occurs when excessive mucus is produced by the sinuses which accumulates in the throat or back of the nose.
The body produces mucus to help protect us from disease, however when the body’s system isn’t working properly, things get clogged up & the mucus becomes thick & difficult to be moved properly by the cilia (tiny hair-like membranes that oscillate back & forth thereby moving the mucus and whatever it is carrying to the back of the throat and eventually down into the stomach where it is disposed of by stomach acids), it can block the system and cause congestion and the post nasal drip.
Also, if the cilia are not oscillating normally, they cannot perform the function of slowly moving the mucus that is produced down into the stomach as described.
This condition is mainly caused by sinusitis, rhinitis, acid reflux or by allergies at any time of the year.
The symptoms of a PND can be a tickling in the throat, constant swallowing, congestion in the nasal and sinus passages, sore throat & even bad breath.
Treatment of a PND could include antibiotics, nasal irrigation or even minor surgery – antihistamines & decongestants can be taken to treat the allergy aspect of the PND disorder.
What Happens if a Post Nasal Drip is Left Untreated
An untreated PND may lead to one or more of the following conditions;
- A Sore, Scratchy or Irritable throat– A sore throat could just be the start to a more serious condition that could require further treatment.
- Upper Respiratory Infections– Also known as upper respiratory tract infections (URI) can take the form of anything from a common cold to tonsillitis, bronchitis & even life threatening illnesses such as epiglottis.The upper respiratory tract includes the sinuses, nasal passages, pharynx, and larynx
- Ear Infections– Ear infections and sinus related tinnitus (continuous ringing, buzzing in the ear) due to the sinus infection spreading to the ears via the delicate Eustachian tubes.
- Sinus Infections– Sinus infections which are usually noticeable by green, yellow, white, opaque, grey or colored mucus may occur which happens when bacteria containing particles become trapped in the mucus, which provides an environment in which the bacteria can thrive, and begin to multiply.This not only increases the duration of the sinus infection, but also the severity it.
- Bad BreathBad breath or halitosis is another symptom of an untreated post nasal drip.