If you catch yourself constantly clearing your throat or coughing a lot at night, you may be suffering from postnasal drip, a condition in which excess mucus drips down the back of your throat. It is among the most common causes of persistent cough, hoarseness, sore throat, and other irritating symptoms and can be related to a number of chronic conditions. Find out what causes postnasal drip, common symptoms, and what to do to find relief.
What is Postnasal Drip?
The glands in the throat and nose regularly produce mucus to help protect your immune system by moistening nasal membranes, filtering out foreign pathogens and materials, and fighting infections. We often swallow this mucus unconsciously, but sometimes this process goes into overdrive, causing your body to produce more mucus than normal. Postnasal drip occurs when this mucus accumulates in your throat or drips into your throat from your nose.
Common Symptoms & Causes
Allergies, viral infections like the common cold, sinus infections, and even irritants in the air can all contribute to postnasal drip. In some instances, a foreign object lodged in the nose can also cause the condition, as well as pregnancy, and certain medications like those for high blood pressure. Some temporary causes of postnasal drip include eating spicy foods and weather conditions, especially cold, dry air.1
Some of the most common symptoms of postnasal drip are:
- Constantly feeling like you need to clear your throat
- A cough that worsens at night
- A hoarse voice
- Nausea caused by extra mucus in the stomach
- Bad breath
- A scratchy, sore throat
- Excessively spitting up mucus
Postnasal Drip & Allergies
One in five people in the U.S. have been diagnosed with environmental allergies.2 Allergic rhinitis, which is characterized by inflammation in the nasal passages, is triggered by such substances as mold spores, grass and weed pollen, dust mites, trees, cat and dog dander, and even cockroaches. Many people often have reactions to more than one trigger.3
One of the most common symptoms of allergic rhinitis is postnasal drip, which typically leads to coughing and sore throat. If you have this condition you might also suffer from itchy, watery eyes, headaches, sneezing and fatigue. Being constantly exposed to allergens can activate and stress your immune system, increasing your risk of getting sick. While it’s pretty difficult to completely avoid these triggers altogether, there are steps you can take to help support your immune system, and reduce the severity of symptoms.
While many individuals take antihistamines and allergy medications containing the chemicals cetirizine and pseudoephedrine, many of these popular medications cause undesirable side effects like drowsiness, dry mouth, nausea, and constipation. A gentle and effective alternative to these common allergy medications is Brillia Health’s Cold-Flu Recovery and Brillia Health’s Cough Control. An active ingredient used in both of these formulations is Lapine Histamine Immune Globulin, which targets histamines in the body, and once bound, reduces their ability to cause inflammation, thus relieving symptoms of nasal congestion and postnasal drip. Unlike popular allergy medications, Brillia Health products are composed of antibodies, not harsh chemicals, so they will not interact with other medications, nor will they cause harmful side effects. Brillia Health products also help to support the immune system, helping you to avoid catching an illness while coping with the stress allergy symptoms inflict on the body.
Postnasal Drip & Chronic Conditions
Some chronic conditions are associated with postnasal drip, making the condition feel inescapable.
For people with acid reflux disease, or GERD, stomach acid travels back up into the throat where it irritates the tissues and leads to postnasal drip. You may also experience a sore throat, laryngitis, and a persistent cough, which all get worse when you lie down. You can help prevent this from happening by knowing and avoiding what foods trigger you, such as coffee or tomatoes, and trying not to eat right before bedtime.
Structural abnormalities of the nose and sinuses, such as a deviated septum, can also cause postnasal drip, in which case you should see an ear, nose, and throat specialist for potential solutions, including surgery.
People with chronic sinusitis tend to get painful sinus infections on a regular basis, or have had symptoms for longer than twelve weeks. Postnasal drip is one of the most common symptoms associated with sinusitis, which can also lead to a chronic sore throat or cough. Brillia Health’s Cold-Flu Recovery and Brillia Health’s Cough Control can both help to relieve the nasal congestion associated with sinusitis, or even the common cold. In addition to the histamine antibodies that help to clear up congestion in the nose and chest, antibodies that target immune cells help to fight off viral infections faster and more efficiently so you can get back to feeling like yourself again.
Visit the Brillia Health blog for more ideas on how to support your immune system all year long.