Some of the most effective cures for post-nasal drip are antihistamines and allergy medications. Antibiotics can also be useful when symptoms are related to bacterial infections. Typically, post-nasal drip causes mucus to run down the throat, and produces constant throat clearing, coughing, sore throat, and sometimes, an upset stomach. In addition to infection, post-nasal drip can be caused by allergies, hay fever, and eating spicy foods.
Before a successful treatment plan can be put into place, the exact cause of the post-nasal drip needs to be determined. This can sometimes be difficult, and the condition is often chronic and resistant to common remedies. Medical professionals will sometimes refer the patient to an allergist if traditional treatments do not work.
Antihistamines are widely prescribed as effective cures for post-nasal drip. They work by counteracting the body's reaction to allergens, helping to prevent the body from overproducing mucus that could drip down the throat. Although antihistamines can relieve congestion, they may also cause a dry mouth, urinary retention, sleepiness, and morning grogginess. Decongestants may also be used, since they can also reduce nasal inflammation and mucus production. These medications may cause palpitations, restlessness, and insomnia, however.
When allergies are the culprit in post-nasal drip, allergy medications are often recommended. These medications help the patient become desensitized to known allergens, which can help relieve symptoms. Allergy suffers often have this chronic condition throughout their lives, however, so it's difficult to treat post-nasal drip caused by them.
A disturbing complaint of those who suffer from post-nasal drip is gastrointestinal distress and nausea, which occurs when mucus is swallowed. Over-the-counter antacids are usually helpful in relieving stomach symptoms, but when nausea persists, a patient should talk to a medical professional.
Certain people are susceptible to the effects of spicy foods on the sinuses. For these individuals, eating hot and spicy foods can trigger the sinuses to produce excess mucus and post-nasal drip, which can last for many hours. When the offending foods are eliminated from the diet, however, symptoms generally go away.
Although there are no permanent cures for post-nasal drip, there are effective treatments that are useful in relieving or reducing symptoms. A medical professional can best recommend a treatment plan based on the cause of the condition and whether the patient will be able to tolerate the side effects.