Post nasal drip cough is a condition in which mucus accumulates in the back of your throat and causes irritation. This irritation triggers a cough reflex that may worsen at night, affecting your sleep quality. In this article, we will share various ways to dry up post nasal drip cough and provide tips for managing the condition.
What Causes Post Nasal Drip Cough?
Post nasal drip cough is caused by excessive mucus production in your sinuses, which can be due to various factors such as:
- Cold or flu viruses
- Allergies and irritants
- Sinus infections
- Nasal polyps
- Gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD)
Treatment of Underlying Causes
The treatment of post nasal drip cough depends on the underlying cause. For example, if you have a cold or flu virus, resting, drinking fluids, and taking over-the-counter medications can help relieve your symptoms. Similarly, if you have allergies or irritants, avoiding triggers and taking antihistamines or decongestants may help.
Increased Fluid Intake
Drinking plenty of fluids can help thin out the mucus in your sinuses, making it easier to clear. Aim to drink 8-10 glasses of water a day and avoid alcohol and caffeine, which can dehydrate you.
A humidifier can add moisture to the air, reducing the dryness in your sinuses and throat. This can provide relief to your post nasal drip cough. Use a cool mist humidifier and clean it regularly to avoid bacteria growth.
Home Remedies for Post Nasal Drip Cough
Steam inhalation can help loosen the mucus in your sinuses, making it easier to remove. To do this, pour hot water into a bowl and add a few drops of essential oils such as eucalyptus or peppermint. Cover your head with a towel to make a tent and inhale the steam for 10-15 minutes.
Saline Nasal Spray
Saline nasal sprays can add moisture to your nasal passages, thinning out the mucus and making it easier to remove. Spray a few times a day to relieve symptoms of post nasal drip cough.
A neti pot is a device used to flush out your sinuses with a saline solution. Fill the pot with lukewarm water and add a saline solution. Insert the spout into one nostril and tilt your head to the opposite side. The solution will flow through your sinuses and out the other side, removing excess mucus.
Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a natural remedy that can help thin out mucus and clear your airways. Mix 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar in a glass of warm water and drink it 2-3 times a day.
Medical Treatment for Post Nasal Drip Cough
Nasal steroids can reduce inflammation in your nasal passages and sinuses, relieving your post nasal drip cough. These medications are available over-the-counter or by prescription.
If your post nasal drip cough is caused by a bacterial infection such as a sinus infection, antibiotics can help. However, not all coughs require antibiotics, so it’s important to see a doctor to determine the cause of your symptoms.
If your post nasal drip cough is caused by nasal polyps or a deviated septum, surgery may be required to remove the blockage and improve your breathing.
Tips for Preventing Post Nasal Drip Cough
Avoid exposing yourself to irritants such as cigarette smoke, dust, and other pollutants, as they can worsen your post nasal drip cough.
Maintain a Healthy Lifestyle
Eating a healthy diet and getting regular exercise can boost your immune system and reduce your risk of developing a post nasal drip cough. Also, ensure you get enough sleep and manage stress effectively.
If allergies trigger your post nasal drip cough, manage them effectively by avoiding triggers, taking medications as prescribed, and using air purifiers in your home.
Post nasal drip cough can be a discomforting condition, but it’s treatable. Using the remedies mentioned in this article, you can relieve your symptoms and prevent future flare-ups. Speak to a doctor if you experience severe or persistent symptoms, as this could be an indication of an underlying health issue.
- What causes post nasal drip cough?
- How do you treat post nasal drip cough?
- Can post nasal drip cough be prevented?
Post nasal drip cough is caused by excessive mucus production in your sinuses, which can be due to various factors such as cold or flu viruses, allergies and irritants, sinus infections, nasal polyps, and GERD.
The treatment of post nasal drip cough depends on the underlying cause. For example, increased fluid intake, using a humidifier, and saline nasal sprays can help relieve symptoms. If the condition is severe, medical treatment such as nasal steroids or antibiotics may be required. Surgery may be needed in rare cases.
You can reduce your risk of post nasal drip cough by avoiding irritants, maintaining a healthy lifestyle and managing allergies effectively.
- Mayoclinic.org. (2021). Postnasal drip – Symptoms and causes. [online] Available at: https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/postnasal-drip/symptoms-causes/syc-20372507 [Accessed 24 Jul. 2021].
- Nhs.uk. (2018). Post-nasal drip. [online] Available at: https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/post-nasal-drip/ [Accessed 24 Jul. 2021].