March 4, 2010

Causes & Home Remedies For Treating Post Nasal Drip

Posted in Category : Common Ailments

Mucus is the name of a liquid like substance that is found in the nose and throat of our body. It helps to keep the nasal passages lubricated and traps bacteria and infections before they enter the body and cause further harm. On a daily basis, our nose produces about two quarts of mucus. It drips down to our throat and we swallow it. It is a natural process just like breathing, and we probably do not even notice it until something goes wrong.

Post Nasal Drip

In certain cases, the mucus becomes too thin, and this results in a runny nose. Almost all of us would have experienced this when afflicted with the common cold. In other cases, the body produces too much mucus or the consistency of the mucus becomes thicker than usual and thus, drips down the throat causing discomfort to the person. This is called post nasal drip.

Post nasal drip can be caused due to various reasons. Having a cold or flu are a couple of common reasons. In addition, seasonal allergies, sinusitis, certain medications, certain types of food (too much of spice can cause excess mucus flow), or external factors (for example an object stuck in the nose, head injury) are other reasons that can cause post nasal drip. The symptoms are usually discomfort at the back of the throat. Excess mucus makes you want to constantly clear your throat. It can also cause coughing that mostly gets worse at night. In some cases, the mucus may travel to the ear. This can cause a painful ear infection.


Treatment for post nasal drip depends on what has caused excess mucus production. It is always best to consult your doctor and determine the exact cause first. He/she may prescribe medication or ask for tests to assess the situation further. In addition to medical intervention, one can also resort to home remedies as a means to ease discomfort. As a word of caution, always use these remedies in close consultation with your doctor such that it does not interfere with the allopathic treatment of the ailment. Let us take a look at a few simple remedies.

  • Post nasal drip usually occurs when the consistency of the mucus is thicker than usual. An easy and effective remedy to solve this is to keep the body well hydrated by drinking lots of water. Elderly people usually suffer from thicker mucus as it is a sign of aging. Avoiding caffeine that is a diuretic is another sensible method to keep well hydrated.
  • A dry environment can also be the cause of excess mucus in the throat. Using an air humidifier, especially while sleeping, can help rid of post nasal drip at night by increasing humidity levels.
  • Over-the-counter nasal sprays can help to thin the mucus in the nose and throat. Consult your doctor before using these sprays. In addition, gargling twice a day with salt water can help alleviate symptoms of an itchy or achy throat.
  • Post nasal drip can also be caused due to allergies. Keeping a clean home that is free of dust is a simple way of chasing away this ailment. Vacuum and dust your house/work station regularly. Use dust proof covers at home, especially on pillow covers and mattresses. Change bedding often and wash linen in hot water to remove germs and bacteria.
  • Alternative medicine suggests the use of herbal teas to alleviate symptoms. Please consult your doctor about these as certain herbs may interfere with medication.
  • You could also try sleeping with the pillows propped up. This will reduce the mucus running down the throat.