Post Nasal Drip and Sore Throat

Post Nasal Drip and Sore Throat

The condition in which mucous runs down to the back of the throat is called a post nasal drip. Sore throat is a common symptom of this condition. Excessive mucous production causes irritation in the throat and results in its swelling.
HolisticZine Staff
Also known as rhinitis, post nasal drip is a condition affecting the mucous membranes of the nasal passage. The inner lining of the nasal passage gets inflamed and conduces to mucous accumulation in the back of the nose and throat. The person feels as if mucous is dripping from the back of the nose.

Post nasal drips can be caused by sinus infections, allergies, or even excessive mucous in the throat. It is often seen that chronic sore throat develops due to a post nasal drip. This can be very irksome and painful, and although there is no infection, the tonsils and other surrounding tissues in the throat are seen to swell. This results in a lumpy feeling in the throat. The mucous running down the nose to the back of the throat leaves the throat irritated, dry, and raw.

Alleviation Methods

Gargle ...
In a glass of tepid water, add 1tsp. salt and stir. Gargle with this salt water solution several times a day and continue this till the sore throat clears. The salt in the salt water will draw out the excess water in the throat region and will help alleviate the swelling of the throat. However, in the eagerness to subside the swelling, it is important not to overdo. Excess salt can prove detrimental to the mucous glands.

Refrain from Milk ...
Dairy products like milk, ice cream, etc., enhance production of mucous and thicken it, thus, when you are suffering from post nasal drip, it is advised to refrain from consuming milk products. Cow's milk contains a sugar called lactose, which acts as a substrate for bacteria in the throat and intestines. Mucous production is increased as well, thus, by not drinking milk, one will indirectly prevent excess mucous production in the throat, thereby reducing throat irritation.

Drink Plenty of Fluids ...
It is important to drink a lot of fluid such as water, warm tea, soup, etc., when one is suffering from sore throat caused due to a post nasal drip. Drinking lots of fluids not only hydrates the body, but also thins down the consistency of the mucous. The fluid keeps the mucous membrane hydrated and minimizes the amount of irritation caused to it.

Humidifier ...
Dry air causes more irritation to the throat when a person is suffering from post nasal drip. Sore throat condition can be reduced to some extent by reducing the dryness of the air in the room. This can be done by placing a humidifier in the room, which moistens the air. Moist air does not aggravate and result in an irritated throat. It's recommended to get a steam vaporizer because the bacteria and minerals being dispersed or collected are comparatively lesser by this kind of humidifier.

Salt Water Flush ...
To reduce post nasal drip, one can try out the salt water flush, which is nothing but a procedure that involves cleaning of the nose with salt water. In six ounces of tepid water, add ¼ tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. baking soda. Mix well and pour the solution into a nasal rubber syringe and gently squirt the salt solution into your nose. The salt water will flow through the nasal passages and back into your throat. Spit out the salt water and continue squirting. This will help get rid of the excess mucous irritating the throat. It also clears away any irritants causing allergies.

Besides these home remedies, one can also take some over-the-counter medications to alleviate the post nasal drip. Sore throat relief can be obtained by taking cough drops, serums, or medicines like ibuprofen and acetaminophen that suppress the pain. In case of chronic sinusitis, the doctor may have to take the extreme approach, which is surgery. He will open up the nasal passage and clear the blockage.

Disclaimer: This HolisticZine article is for informative purposes only, and should not be used as a replacement for expert medical advice.