Post nasal drip or PND is a health condition that is characterized by mucus or phlegm accumulation at the back of the throat. This condition is similar to a runny nose, but differs in the direction of the mucus flow. In a runny nose, the excess mucus flows through the nose, while in post nasal drip, it flows in back of the nose.
Causes and Symptoms
Mucus is a very important secretion of the glands present in our nose and throat. These glands produce mucus continuously, which plays an important role in our body. The main functions of this mucus are, humidifying the air, trapping and keeping away foreign particles from entering into the respiratory tract, cleaning the nasal membranes, and moistening the nasal passage. We usually swallow this mucus unconsciously. But sometimes, due to an underlying cause, the nasal glands produce excess mucus that is either too thin or too thick. Excess mucus secretion gives a feeling of dripping in the throat behind the nose, and hence, this condition is called post nasal drip.
It is basically a symptom of certain health problems, that include bacterial infections, allergies, gastroesophageal reflux disease (GERD), cold and flu, sinusitis, rhinitis, throat infections, etc. Conditions that cause secretion of thin mucus are, hormonal changes, cold and flu, pregnancy, allergies, etc., while that which lead to thick mucus secretion are, sinus infections, cold and dry weather, etc. Whatever may be the cause, the condition is quite discomforting and irritating, and should be treated soon to avoid further complications. The symptoms are hoarse voice, dripping feeling in the throat or stuck mucus in the throat, swollen throat, cough, etc. It is not a medical emergency, and you can follow some simple home remedies initially.
Remedies for Post Nasal Drip
Gargle with Saltwater: Salt water gargling is a very simple method to get some instant relief. All you need to do is add half a tablespoon of salt to warm water, and gargle with this mixture thrice a day.
Take a Steam: One more useful remedy that loosens the thick mucus in the throat is a steam bath. First boil water in a large vessel and then take it down from the heat. You can add a few drops of herb like eucalyptus to the boiling water. Then, cover your head with a towel and breathe in the steam coming from the boiled water. You can use a facial steam instead, if available.
Hydrate Yourself: Drinking fluids is the best cure, since it helps drain down the excess mucus accumulated in the throat. You can drink water or any type of fluid to hydrate yourself. Herbal tea, chicken broth, orange juice, etc., can also be consumed to clear the mucus accumulated in the throat.
Avoid Dairy Products: It is important that you completely avoid consumption of dairy products. Because, the contents of any of the milk product are considered to trigger the thickening of the mucus.
Medications: You can use some prescribed medications that contain decongestants in them, to cure your post nasal drip.
Disclaimer: This Buzzle article is for informative purposes only, and should not be replaced for the advice of a medical professional.