This occurs when excess mucous a normal product of the nasal passages lodges itself in the throat instead of disappearing through the nasal passages and out of the nose. It usually occurs when a person is suffering from a respiratory problem and will more then likely go once the respiratory problem has cleared up. The condition is considered chronic when mucous is able to drip into the bronchial tubes which then causes extensive coughing and phlegm. Symptoms include:
A flow of mucous running down the back of your throat
Sniffing and snorting
Swallowing of nasal mucous.
When the mucous is watery rather then thick in consistency and symptoms such as itching eyes, palate and nose occur, the post nasal drip is caused by an allergy. However if the post nasal drip involves thick mucous that include the symptoms of a normal flu or cold it can be associated with a common cold. A bacterial or viral respiratory infection can be indicated by thick yellow or greenish mucous. Sinus is often the problem when thick mucous occurs and it is accompanied by congestive pain in the face and a fever. Women are at risk of post nasal drip if they use oestrogen based birth control drugs and hormone replacement therapy.
Humidifying the air around you, especially in winter and drinking plenty of water can help alleviate the problem.
When to seek further professional advice
If you have been treating the condition with over the counter drugs for more than a week and it has not cleared up you should consult your doctor.
Alternative treatments will help alleviate the underlying cause and this will then relieve the symptoms that you are suffering from. Inhaling steam can clear nasal passages. Essential oils of tea tree, rosemary, eucalyptus or peppermint can be added to the water in a humidifier during the day and essential oil of lavender can be used at night so that you are able to sleep better. A mixture of traditional Chinese herbs brewed in water, such as the Minor Blue Dragon Combination which is recommended to reduce nasal drainage should be taken at prescribed intervals. A professional Chinese herbalist should be consulted for the correct amounts of each herb that need to be used. Eyebright is a herbal remedy often used to help dry up postnasal drip. Homeopathic remedies such as Nux vomica can be used for postnasal drip associated with symptoms of the common cold. You can consult a homeopath for remedies for the other types of post nasal drip.
Once your doctor has discovered the cause of the post nasal drip he will be able to treat you accordingly. Over the counter medicines usually only help for a little while and you should always consult your doctor or pharmacist before using them.
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