Postnasal drip is an abnormal moist feeling, in the rare part of the nose & throat. It happens because of the extra mucus produced by the glands in there. People with postnasal drip clear their throat more than normal. The excess mucus can lead to many discomforts. There are home remedies to handle the issues related to postnasal drip, though a visit to the doctor is necessary. The nose, throat, and sinuses are all constantly producing mucus in everyone. Mucus is a thick and slimy substance that helps to keep the airways from drying out throughout the day. The air people breathe is full of dust, germs, pollens, and other environmental pollutants. When the air enters the body, these particles can create problems if not filtered. It is the mucus that traps such foreign bodies and helps eliminate them. Mucus usually goes unnoticed. It harmlessly mixes with saliva throughout the day and is swallowed or blown from the nose. However, if the body produces too much mucus, it becomes a situation. When this happens, a person feels the mucus dripping down the back of the throat. This is known as postnasal drip.
Signs & Symptoms of Postnasal Drip
The main sign is – Feeling of extra mucus dripping down the back of the throat
- sore or scratchy throat
- frequently clearing the throat
- excessive spitting up or swallowing mucus
- the foul smell of breath
- a cough that gets worse at night
Causes of Postnasal Drip
- Allergies such as hay fever may trigger postnasal drip, as the body produces extra mucus to try and eliminate the pollen spores.
- Cold weather
- Dry air
- Infections like the flu, sinusitis and the common cold
- Eating overly spicy food
- Objects stuck in the nose
- Irritating chemicals from perfumes, cleaning products, or environmental fumes
- Medications, including oral contraceptives and antihypertensives
- Chronic respiratory conditions, such as COPD
- The deviated nasal septum, which occurs when the nasal septum
Pathophysiology of Postnasal Drip
Postnasal drip (PND) is the collection and drainage of excess secretions from the nose or paranasal sinuses into the pharynx. The exact pathophysiology is not known but hypersensitivity of immune reactive cells is believed to be a part of it. Nasal endoscopy revealing rhinitis and mucopurulent secretions are suggestive, although not diagnostic. The issue when attempting to diagnose PNDS is that there are no objective sensitive or specific tests and no way to quantify the amount of mucus discharge.
Physical examination with a detailed history
Blood tests and skin tests to determine allergic reactions and immunity
Treatments of Postnasal Drip
There are remedies available to treat postnasal drip, including:
Decongestant medications such as phenylephrine (Sudafed PE Congestion) and pseudoephedrine (Sudafed) can help dry out the mucus.
Non-sedating antihistamines such as loratadine (Claritin) fexofenadine (Allegra) levocetirizine (Xyzal) and cetirizine (Zyrtec) are called, meaning they are less likely to cause fatigue.
Mucus thinning medications such as guaifenesin (Mucinex).
Using Saline nasal sprays or irrigation pots with warm salt water
Prognosis of Postnasal Drip
Most postnasal drip is benign but annoying. In most cases, it will get relieved on its own. Any additional symptoms alongside the postnasal drip should be examined well for a proper diagnosis and treatment.
Complications of Postnasal Drip
Complications from postnasal drip are minor in most cases and depend on the cause. However, left untreated, postnasal drip can lead to serious complications. In rare cases, postnasal drip is caused by nasopharyngeal cancers, complications being those related to the spread of cancer.
Ayurvedic Concept of Postnasal Drip
Ayurvedic Nidana of Postnasal Drip
Causative factors for the vitiation of Kapha and Vaata
Ayurvedic Purvaaroopa of Postnasal Drip
Ayurvedic Samprapti of Postnasal Drip
The faulty food habits or lifestyle, results in the vitiation of Kapha and blocks the channels of Vata and impairs digestion, resulting in the impairment of mucus formation.
Ayurvedic Lakshana of Postnasal Drip
Clear watery fluid discharge from nose
Excess at night time
Ayurvedic Divisions of Postnasal Drip
Prognosis of Postnasal Drip
Saadhya in new cases
Asaadhya in chronic & complicated cases
Ayurvedic Chikithsa for Postnasal Drip
Ayurvedic Samana for Postnasal Drip
Lepanam with Rookshana dravyas
Ayurvedic Sodhana for Postnasal Drip
Nasyam – with choorna
Commonly used Ayurvedic medicines for Postnasal Drip
Home remedies for Postnasal Drip
- Indoor herbal fumigation with guggulu, turmeric, neem, garlic etc
- Saline nasal sprays or drainage using a Neti pot
- Sleeping with the head slightly elevated can promote proper drainage.
- Staying hydrated by drinking warm or hot liquid
Diet for Postnasal Drip
- To be avoided
Heavy meals and difficult to digest foods – cause indigestion.
Junk foods- cause disturbance in digestion and reduces the bioavailability of the medicine
Carbonated drinks – makes the stomach more acidic and disturbed digestion
Refrigerated and frozen foods – causes weak and sluggish digestion by weakening Agni (digestive fire)
Milk and milk products – increase kapha, obstruct channels and obesity
Curd – causes vidaaha and thereby many other diseases
- To be added
Light meals and easily digestible foods
Green gram, soups, honey
Freshly cooked and warm food processed with cumin seeds, ginger, black pepper, ajwain etc
Protect yourself from the cold climate.
Better to avoid exposure to excessive sunlight wind rain or dust.
Maintain a regular food and sleep schedule.
Avoid holding or forcing the urges like urine, faeces, cough, sneeze etc.
Avoid a sedentary lifestyle.
Yoga for Postnasal Drip
Yoga and regular exercises are helpful to improve immunity & to maintain proper metabolism and water-electrolyte balance. So, in postnasal drip, regular stretching and mild cardio exercises are advised. Also, specific yogacharya including naadisuddhi pranayama, bhujangaasana, pavanamuktasana is recommended.
Regular exercise helps improve the bioavailability of the medicine and food ingested and leads to positive health.
Yoga can maintain harmony within the body and with the surrounding system.
Simple exercises for lungs and heart health
All the exercises and physical exertions must be decided and done under the supervision of a medical expert only.
Research articles for Postnasal Driphttps://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3332192/