At any given time, there are about 2 quarts of mucus constantly running down your throat. This typically does not cause a problem in our bodies, and most of the time we don’t even realize that we have this much mucus in our bodies at all. The mucus helps us to clean out the nasal passages and keep viruses and bacteria at bay from infecting our bodies, and helps humidify the oxygen in our bodies, so mucus is typically beneficial for us. But when the mucus goes crazy and you begin noticing the constant flow of mucus in the back of your throat and your head feels like a balloon, post nasal drip may be to blame.
Post nasal drip occurs for many reasons. It’s basically the result of allergies, pregnancy, pollutants in the air, and illness, such as a cough or cold. When there is an overflow of mucus in your body caused by an irritant or illness, you notice a clear, runny mucus coming out of your nose or trailing down your throat, causing you to cough more often, blow your nose constantly, and feel completely stopped up. If you’re really sick, with say, pertussis or bronchitis, the mucus can be more of a yellow or green color, and be thicker and more irritating to extract. You swallow constantly, are always coughing up mucus, and you can even hear it rattling in your throat. Post nasal drip can be quite the annoyance, and fairly difficult to get rid of.
Gargling salt water helps to battle the bacteria in your throat and ease your sore throat due to post nasal drip that is making you uncomfortable. Simply gargling a half teaspoon of salt mixed with a cup of water can work wonders to soothe your sore throat and ease the mucus in your body from mild irritants, such as pollutants in the air, dust, and allergies. Most post nasal drip symptoms that come on out of nowhere will back off on their own once the irritant is out of the scenario.
For heavier mucus due to a cold or illness or chronic cough, you can make a homemade nasal solution to help break up mucus and quell the overflow of mucus in your body. Take a cup of warm water, add a dash of baking soda, and a teaspoon of salt and mix the contents well. Cup the water in your hands and sniff the water into your nose while tilting your head back, side to side, and forward to get the solution into all your sinus cavities. Try to do this 3 or 4 times (if you have a nasal syringe, all the better) to get the best results, and then blow your nose aggressively to help expel the excess mucus. This helps to get rid of irritants and bacteria that may be causing your post nasal drip, and you can use this solution a few times a day to help ease the post nasal drip.
To help thin out the mucus in your body so you can expel it easier, stay hydrated with water. Drink enough water for your body size by taking your weight, dividing it by 2, and then dividing that number by 8, to get the amount of cups of water you need in a single day. This is a great, natural way to hydrate your body and thin out the mucus that is naturally present in our bodies, making the mucus less noticeable and helping to flush out whatever it is that is causing the post nasal drip in the first place.
Avoid nasal sprays and try a decongestant that comes in pill or cough syrup form instead. This helps to thin your mucus more successfully, and using the homemade nasal spray to clear your sinuses works far better than nasal sprays you can buy in the store. Antihistamines work as well.
Keep your house hydrated. In the winter, we often run our heaters full blast and start using our fireplaces and wood stoves, which dries out the air. A dry environment causes our bodies to create more mucus in response to keep our innards moist, so even keeping a pot of boiling water on the stove or getting a humidifier can work wonders to battle post nasal drip. The more moisture that is in the air, the better to help keep post nasal drip at bay.
If you just can’t seem to get rid of all that mucus in your body no matter what you do, and experience post nasal drip for more than 2 weeks, see your doctor to rule out other illnesses. You may have a viral or bacterial infection that your body is trying to fight off by producing more mucus, so if you can’t get rid of the annoying issue yourself, your body may be telling you something is wrong, and your doctor can help you with your symptoms.