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In general, postnasal drip occurs when there is excess production of mucus in the nose. Normally, the inside lining of the nose produces mucus that serves to clean the nose, trap foreign particles, viruses, bacteria and other pathogens and ultimately prevent infection. When infection takes root, however, it can result in excess production of mucus. The excess mucus manifests itself in the form of a runny nose. Postnasal drip results when the mucus drips down the back of the nose to the throat. Some of the potential causes of this condition include allergies, cold/flu, sinusitis, irritants present in substances such as smoke, chemicals, perfumes and cleaning products.
If sinusitis or a virus is responsible for the condition, a doctor usually prescribes an antihistamine or decongestant. While under medication, it is important to thin out your mucus to prevent it from sticking to your ears, nose and throat and potentially increase the likelihood of further infection. One of the best ways to keep mucus thinned is by taking lots of warm water. You can also flush out excess mucus from the nose by using over the counter saline kits and nasal sprays.
Where post nasal drip resulted from an allergic reaction, allergy management strategies such as using dust proof covers on your bed linens, vacuuming thoroughly and regularly and using air filters will reduce your discomfort as you recover from your infection. Propping up pillows on the bed at night instead of lying flat on your back also helps to prevent mucus flowing to the back of the throat when you are sleeping.
Natural remedies can also be helpful. Gargling a solution of warm salt water with some lemon squeezed in helps to ease the discomfort of a sore throat. Steam treatments, especially those that incorporate the of use eucalyptus, ginger and mint will also provide relief. You can do a home steam treatment by placing any of the above substances or some drops of essential oil in a bowl of hot water, covering your head with a towel over the bowl and inhaling the vapor from a safe distance.
In summary, using prescribed medications, rinsing the nasal cavities, implementing allergy management strategies and using some natural remedies will ensure that you get relief from postnasal drip within the shortest time possible. Always ensure to consult your medical practitioner for proper diagnosis and for the best treatment options.