What Are the Best Ways to Get Rid of Persistent Post-Nasal Drip?

Usually, post-nasal drip occurs because a person is suffering from a sinus infection.
Allergy related post-nasal drip is typically caused by outdoor plants.
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  • Written By: Jacob Queen
  • Edited By: Jenn Walker
  • Last Modified Date: 23 July 2014
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According to experts, post nasal-drip is a relatively common problem, but it usually goes away pretty quickly. If a person has persistent post-nasal drip, it could suggest that something more serious is going on. Usually it is a sign of an infection, so doctors may give the patient antibiotics or antifungal medications, depending on exactly what is wrong with him. In other cases, persistent post-nasal drip may be caused by something in the patient’s environment, or it may be a side effect of a physical problem. If it’s environmental, the patient will have to remove himself from whatever is causing it, and if it is a physical defect, he may need surgery.

Usually, post-nasal drip happens because a person is suffering from a sinus infection, and most sinus infections aren’t long-term problems. Every once in a while, a person will develop a more serious sinus infection, and it will linger for months or even years. These are the types of sinus infections that cause persistent post-nasal drip, and sometimes people have a very difficult time dealing with the infections.

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Treating a long-term sinus infection may sometimes require washing out the sinuses with saline solution and a neti pot in a procedure called nasal irrigation. In other cases, people may have to take repeated rounds of antibiotic or antifungal medications. Sometimes steroids are required to reduce inflammation so the sinuses can function normally and cleanse themselves. It is not uncommon for these procedures to take months to completely deal with the sinus infection, and different methods may work more effectively for different individuals.

When sinus infections aren’t causing persistent post-nasal drip, it is usually caused by a lifestyle choice or some kind of allergy. If a person smokes, this can keep the nasal passages constantly inflamed so they continually produce mucus; giving up cigarettes can be effective when this is the cause. In other cases, the person may be allergic to something in his environment.

Most allergies that lead to post-nasal drip come from plants outdoors, and these will usually clear up themselves when the seasons change. In cases when this doesn’t happen, a person may be dealing with a pet allergy or an allergy to something in his home. Sometimes it can be very difficult to determine exactly what is causing an allergy like this, and it may be necessary to visit a doctor for a proper diagnosis. Once an allergy is identified, doctors can do things to help the person overcome them. It is also possible to take antihistamines as a way of dealing with some allergy symptoms, and this may help reduce post-nasal drip.

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Discuss this Article

ddljohn
Post 3

@SarahGen-- I wonder if you have a food allergy or intolerance?

My sister had this problem and it turned out that she's allergic to dairy. Since she continued to have dairy products, the post-nasal drip wasn't going away. She quit dairy and her symptoms disappeared. Even if you're not allergic to dairy, doctors don't recommend it when there is post-nasal drip and sore throat. So try avoiding it for a few days and see if that helps.

Also, try gargling with salt water or vinegar water. These break up congestion very well. You can drink hot tea or use cough drops if you have a sore throat. Get well soon.

SarahGen
Post 2

I've been dealing with a post-nasal drip for the past three months. I've tried over the counter allergy medication an decongestants but they only work for a while. Six or seven hours later, the congestion, the sore throat and the post-nasal drip is back without any improvement. I'm not sure what to do. I can't see a doctor as I don't have insurance right now. Any recommendations?

serenesurface
Post 1

I think most people who have persistent post-nasal drip have a chronic sinus infection which may or may not be triggered by allergies. So the best way to get rid of the post-nasal drip is to get rid of the infection. Usually, this means taking antibiotics.

I would never take antibiotics on my own without doctor approval however. If my doctor says that I have a sinus infection and prescribes them, I will take the antibiotics. Unnecessary use of antibiotics causes antibiotic resistance.

Otherwise, I try to get rid of the post-nasal drip with home remedies like hot lemon and ginger tea with honey.

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