Home Remedies for Post-Nasal Drip

post-nasal drip remedies include fluid intake

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Post-nasal drip occurs when your sinuses produce excess mucus discharge that runs down the back of your throat. Under normal circumstances, the glands in your nose and throat produce mucus in order to moisten your nasal membranes and fight off infection. When too much mucus builds up, post-nasal drip occurs, causing the following symptoms:

  • a sensation of liquid dripping from the back of your nose and into your throat
  • cough that tends to worsen at night and/or when you're lying down
  • sore throat
  • tickling, scratchy, or itchy sensation at the back of your throat
  • hoarse voice

Post-nasal drip has many possible causes, such as the common cold, a sinus infection, or allergies. If you experiencing symptoms regularly, be sure to speak with your health care provider in order to identify the cause of your symptoms and discuss treatment.

Here's a look at several all-natural remedies often used for mild cases of post-nasal drip. It should be noted that there is a lack of research on their effects, and none of these remedies should be used as a substitute for standard care.

Fluid Intake

Thick mucus is more likely to be uncomfortable and disrupt your breathing. Thinning it out can help to reduce blockages, reducing your risk of sinus or ear infections. An easy method to thin your mucus is to drink an adequate amount of fluids each day.

The Institute of Medicine Food and Nutrition Board recommends that most healthy people can meet their daily hydration needs by using thirst as their guide. Their general recommendation is for adult women to get approximately 91 ounces of water each day and for men to get about 125 ounces of water from all beverages and food. (Although there isn't a recommended upper limit, it is possible to drink too much water.)

Although many people choose plain water, there are many alternatives, such as ginger tea. Although ginger hasn't been studied for its effects on post-nasal drip, proponents suggest that the spicy root and warm temperature of the tea may help to relieve congestion and soothe a sore or irritated throat..

Nasal Irrigation with a Neti Pot

In some cases, nasal irrigation (a procedure that involves using a sterile salt-water rinse to clear the nasal passages) may help reduce post-nasal drip in people with chronic sinusitis and allergies.

A neti pot may be used for nasal irrigation. Usually made of ceramic or plastic, a neti pot resembles a flattened teapot. The sterile saline solution is placed inside the neti pot. Tilting your head to the side, you place the spout of the neti pot into your nostril and begin to slowly pour the water gently into one side of the nose and out the other. Tap water or any liquid that isn't sterile should never be used.

Other Simple Remedies

  • Use a humidifier or vaporizer. Using a cool mist humidifier can help to raise the moisture level in the air. Dry air can worsen postnasal drip symptoms.
  • Try a saline nasal mist. A saline nasal mist several times a day may help thin out mucus.
  • Avoid cigarette smoke. Chemicals in cigarettes can irritate your nasal passages and lead to coughing.
  • Gargle with warm salt water. Gargling may help to clear mucus from the back of the throat and soothe a sore throat. Try stirring one teaspoon of salt into 8 fluid ounces of lukewarm water.

A Word From Verywell

Home remedies may help provide some relief from the uncomfortable symptoms of post-nasal drip. While they may offer relief in mild cases, call your doctor if:

  • You have trouble breathing because you're congested.
  • You have new symptoms, or your symptoms are worsening.
  • You have a fever or other signs of an infection (such as yellow mucus).

While post-nasal drip is sometimes temporary, if you experience symptoms regularly, be sure to talk with your doctor to determine the underlying cause. 

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