Post Nasal Drip Cough Causes and Treatments

When you feel that the food you have just swallowed go right down to your trachea instead of your esophagus, your body’s first defense mechanism is to cough for at least a few minutes. This is normal, but coughing for a few days may mean flu infection, while a week of coughs may be considered bronchitis. Yet, it all depends on many factors. As for post nasal drip, cough can be trigger. In this article, we’ll talk about causes and treatments of this kind of cough.

What Is Post Nasal Drip?

Mucus helps clean nasal tissues, fight body infection, trap harmful bacteria and humidify the air you breathe. The mucus is produced continually by the glands in the nose and throat, although you do not notice it. But even if you swallow it without noticing it, sometimes you would feel that there is something down at the back of your throat or something that’s draining from the back of your nose. This is called post nasal drip.

Post nasal drip gets more noticeable, when your body produces more mucus than normal. At this time, you may have a runny nose or cold. It can be caused by allergies, foods we eat, perfumes, chemical products, pregnancy, illnesses, sinusitis, dry air, etc.

Why Does Post Nasal Drip Cause Cough?

The mucus greatly irritates the throat and post nasal drip causes inflammation in throat, which gives a choking sensation. So the affected person has to constantly cough to drain or clear the throat. Sometimes the cough becomes a chronic one and usually worsens at night when you lie down.

Fortunately, in case of post nasal drip, coughs are usually helpful. These productive coughs help to produce mucus and help to drain or clear the throat and lungs. As a matter of fact, it has been reported that post nasal drip is one of the most common reasons of chronic cough.

Treat Post Nasal Drip to Cure Cough

1. Wipe Out Allergens

Allergens like dust, pollen, dander, as well as mold in your environment can cause nasal cavity irritability which often leads to post nasal drip, cough and other discomforts.

  • Dander causes irritation that leads to post nasal drip. Bathe your pets regularly to get rid of it. Don’t wait until post nasal drip and the cough is severe.
  • Unused pillows and mattresses should be covered and kept clean. Your pillows and beddings must be changed regularly to avoid the accumulation of dust.
  • Get rid of your plants inside the house, both non-flowering or flowering. Plants can cause allergic reactions such as coughing, wheezing, difficulty breathing, etc. For example, if you are allergic to pollens, you will certainly suffer allergy attack when encountering them. To avoid this, keep away from grass, plants and trees.
  • Use a humidifier to moisten your house to help remove allergens out of the air and prevent or relieve symptoms of post nasal drip like cough.

2. Drink Enough Water

Hydration is one of the best solutions to avoid symptoms of post nasal drip (cough for example). So drink lots of clear water, about 8-9 glasses per day to stay hydrated. You must avoid drinking alcohol and caffeine-containing drinks as these causes dehydration.

One good way to determine if you are drinking enough water is through the color of your urine. With dark yellow, you’re definitely not drinking enough water or fluid. If your urine is almost colorless or a little yellowish, then that is good so just maintain it.

3. Get Rid of Excess Mucus Naturally

  • You can avoid the accumulation of mucus by simply blowing your nose and clean it with a clean tissue. If it cannot be cleared through blowing, try to sniff and spit it out quickly. This also prevents halitosis and dry mouth.
  • You can get saline solution and saline kits in any drugstores without prescription. Use it to rinse your nasal cavity as this is a good way to remove the excess mucus if simple snorting won’t work.
  • Nasal irrigation with Neti pot is also a good way to remove excess mucus down your throat. This method is also popular to relive sinusitis.

4. Take Medications

If home remedies fail to work, you can take certain medications to cure the cough.

  • OTC Decongestant

The use of OTC decongestant to relive cough caused by post nasal drip is also recommend by doctors. It reduces the degree of congestion in the nasal cavity as it helps narrow the blood vessel. You can get decongestant spray if you don’t feel like taking a capsule. But do not use decongestant for more than 3 days in a raw. Always use decongestant as recommended; however, if you don’t see any relief, you need to stop this medication.

  • Mucus-thinning medications

Use these medications to remove excess and thick mucus. For example, guaifenesin (Mucinex) is offered over the counter in the form of tablet or syrup. It makes the mucus thinner for you to easily expel it out.

  • Prescription drugs

Your doctor may advise you to take prescription drugs if all above-mentioned solutions do not work for you or if he finds it necessary for you to take prescription drugs such as antihistamine, corticosteroid, and anti-drip nasal sprays to relieve symptoms of post nasal drip – cough, sore throat, etc.

For instance, corticosteroid helps treat post nasal drip caused by non-allergic rhinitis; and anti-drip nasal sprays or anticholinergic are medications usually prescribed for asthmatic patients. This nasal spray can be used in asthma inhalers to help relieve coughs caused by post nasal drip. 

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