No More Sniffles, Avoid the Post Nasal Drip

Whether one has just come out of a cold or feel that one may be developing one, there are a few signs that are standard. One of those is the inevitable nasal drip.

This unpleasant experience encompasses the otherwise normal mucus production and exacerbates it. The body is always producing mucus as a means to fight off bacteria and keep infections from entering the body. Typically, a person swallows the mucus when it mixes with saliva, and there is next to nothing noticeable about the process. However, when sickness does inevitably plague the body, mucus production is kicked into high gear. There can either be a large quantity of mucus produced or the mucus, itself, can thicken. When this occurs, the mucus can either run out of one's nose--hence the runny nose--or it can run down the back of the throat. When this occurs, it's known as postnasal drip.

Considering that postnasal drip can cause an uncomfortable sore throat--and potential cough--then it may be prudent to understand how best to avoid developing postnasal drip in the first place. First, its causes should be examined, so that one can develop a strategy to avoid obtaining it.

Causes Of Postnasal Drip

  1. Colds
  2. Flu
  3. Allergies
  4. Sinus Infection
  5. Obstructed Nose Cavity
  6. Pregnancy
  7. Certain Medications
  8. Deviated Septum
  9. Dry Air
  10. Spicy Foods
  11. Fumes

Prevention

With these causes in mind, one can develop a strategy to prepare oneself against developing postnasal drip and all of the nasty symptoms and conditions that can result from the untreated postnasal drip. In regards to colds, the very first thing one will likely notice is congestion in the head and nasal area. Mucus will inevitably be produced in excess as a means for the body to fight off the infection. Because colds are caused by viruses, they can't be taken care of by antibiotics. The best bet to avoid the drip, in this case, is to take decongestants or antihistamines. These medications can turn off or stem the production of mucus in the body, giving oneself the chance to distill that mucus with one's saliva.

The same should be done for those who suffer from the flu. However, one may need the assistance of antibiotics if a bacterial infection is present. By taking antibiotics, the production of mucus can be slowed, ceasing the chances of developing a postnasal drip.

Allergies and sinus affections should also be taken care of with medications. Sinus infections, in particular, are similar to colds. Antihistamines and decongestants are the best options for taking care of the symptoms of a sinus infection and reducing the amount of mucus that is developed. However, some medication may not be the best options as they can actually thicken the mucus while attempting to dry it. As such, one should consider newly developed antihistamines.

In the case of children, it isn't uncommon for them to put something in their nose. They may not even realize that a small object is obstructing their nasal cavity. However, if one notices that one's child is producing a lot of mucus for seemingly no reason, it may very well be the case that there is something lodged up their nasal cavity. In this event, doctors can typically remove the object with little difficulty. Without the presence of a foreign object, the body will no longer produce a vast amount of mucus in an attempt to remove it.

In certain cases of pregnancy, it isn't uncommon for the mother to experience postnasal drip as well. This is just another case of the body and its hormones going overboard in an attempt to keep the mother--and thus the baby--safe from infections. Mothers should speak to their doctors for specific medications they can take that can help reduce the amount of mucus their body produces that is safe for the child.

An unfortunate side effect of some medications is that they cause an increased production of mucus. While side effects can sometimes be difficult to be rid of, it isn't impossible. Check with one's doctor about other medications one can take that don't include this troublesome side effect.

There are other triggers as well like spicy foods, fumes, and dry air that can cause mucus to be produced in excess. In some cases, if the production of mucus is too unbearable, then avoid those foods and fumes. For dry air, acquire a humidifier for relief.

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