Postnasal drip occurs when there is a build-up of mucous in the lower respiratory tract. Mucus is produced by glands in the nose, throat and sinuses that help trap and remove mucous and other foreign particles.
Mucus normally disappears from the nasal passages on its own after mucous production ceases, but sometimes there are excess amounts that accumulate and form an abnormal coating to the lining of the throat and nasal passages.
This condition causes the feeling of dryness and itchy throat that is accompanied by constant coughing, heavy breathing, or hoarseness. Postnasal drip can cause some of these symptoms to become chronic. One of the first signs of postnasal drip will be a dry cough. Other possible signs include
- Sore throat with tonsillitis
- Chipped tooth
- Runny nose or swollen glands on the face
- Bad breathe
Some people who experience Postnasal Drip condition experience
- Colds and flu
Some people experience a constant, though not painful, feeling of fullness in the stomach, while others feel sick from having too much mucus inside their body. Some of these symptoms can be mistaken for other conditions, especially if they occur in conjunction with a headache or chest discomfort.
There are several treatments for postnasal drip that can be used to ease the symptoms. Some people find relief from these treatments if they have their doctor prescribe an antihistamine. The reason that antihistamines are used is because they have been proven to decrease mucous production in the mucous membrane of the sinuses and nasal passages, preventing postnasal drip.
If the condition does not improve after using an antihistamine, antibiotics may be prescribed by a doctor. In rare cases, surgery may be needed to remove excessive amounts of mucus from the airways or lungs.
A more common treatment for postnasal drip than antihistamines and antibiotics is nasal sprays, which are designed to relieve the symptoms of postnasal drip and the sore throat and cough associated with it.
Nasal sprays can be purchased over the counter at a drugstore or health food store. Some medications for postnasal drip contain decongestants, which are similar to cough suppressants and help reduce the production of mucus in the nasal passages.
They are also effective in reducing the feeling of fullness in the stomach, as well as treating chronic hoarseness and cough. Nasal sprays are effective for people who are experiencing postnasal drip and nasal congestion.
These sprays work by relaxing the facial muscles and soft tissues, which help prevent the excess mucous from accumulating inside the airway, causing the postnasal drip. They also help in keeping the lining of the nasal passages moist, as mucous tends to collect in these areas.
However, nasal sprays must not be used for more serious conditions, such as postnasal rhinitis or sinusitis
Although many people find relief from sprays after applying the spray for a short period of time, there are some people who find that these sprays do not completely alleviate their symptoms. For these individuals, over the counter decongestants are still available to temporarily relieve the symptoms and decrease the inflammation.
Decongestants can be purchased over the counter or by prescription from your doctor. They are commonly used in cases of postnasal drip to treat mild cases of postnasal drip. and also for mild to moderate cases of cough. These medications can usually be purchased without a prescription.
Postnasal drip, as well as nasal sprays, may not necessarily be the right medication for your case. For more serious cases of postnasal drip and other sinus conditions, contact your doctor to determine what the best course of treatment is for you.
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