Postnasal Drip- Ayurvedic Treatment, Diet, Exercises, Research Papers, Yoga & Pranayama

Introduction

Postnasal drip is extra mucus felt in the back of the nose and throat caused by the glands in these areas. People with postnasal drip usually feel they have to clear their throat more than normal. The excess mucus can also cause associated symptoms and discomforts. There are many home remedies to treat postnasal drip, though sometimes a visit to the doctor is necessary. Postnasal drip is when the sensation of mucus build-up at the back of the throat causes discomfort. The nose, throat, and sinuses are all constantly producing mucus. Mucus is a thick and slippery substance that helps to keep the airways from drying out throughout the day. The air people breathe is full of germs, pollen, and other environmental pollutants. When the air enters the body, these particles can create problems if they are not filtered out. It is the job of mucus to trap these foreign bodies and help 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 much more noticeable.

When this happens, a person may feel mucus dripping down the back of their throat. This is what is known as postnasal drip.

Signs & symptoms

Mucus dripping down the back of the throat

  • sore or scratchy throat
  • nausea
  • frequently clearing the throat
  • excessive spitting up or swallowing mucus
  • foul smell of breath
  • a cough that gets worse at night

Causes


  • 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
  • Pregnancy
  • Objects stuck in the nose
  • Irritating chemicals from perfumes, cleaning products, or environmental fumes
  • Smoke
  • Medications, including oral contraceptives and antihypertensives
  • Chronic respiratory conditions, such as COPD
  • Deviated nasal septum, which occurs when the nasal septum

Pathophysiology

Postnasal drip (PND) is the drainage of 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 is suggestive, although not diagnostic. The issues 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.

Diagnosis

            Physical examination with a detailed history

Blood tests and skin tests to determine allergic reactions and immunity

Ultrasound

CT scan

MRI scan

Endoscopy

Treatments

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

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

Complications from postnasal drip are minor in most of the 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 spread of the cancer.

Disease & Ayurveda

        Naasaaparisraava

Nidana

        Causative factors for the vitiation of Kapha and Vaata

Purvaaroopa

        Not mentioned

Samprapti

        Not mentioned

Lakshana

        Clear watery fluid discharge from nose

            No discolouration

            Excess at night time

Divisions

        Not mentioned

Prognosis

        Saadhya in new cases

            Asaadhya in chronic & complicated cases

Chikithsa

Samana

Aamapaachanam

Agnideepanam

Lepanam with Rookshana dravyas

Swedanam

Sodhana

Vamanam

Virechanam

Nasyam – with choorna

Avapeeda-theekshna nasyam

Dhoomapanam

Commonly used medicines

        Dasamoolakadutrayam kashayam

            Vyaghriyadi Kashayam

Amruthotharam Kashayam

Balajeerakadi Kashayam

Elakanadi kashayam

            Haridrakhandam

            Thaaleesapathradi vatakam

            Vyoshadi vatakam

Sooryaprabha Gutika

Chukkumthippalyadi Gutika

Swasakutar Ras

Vettumaran Gutika

Laxmivilas Ras

Tribhuvankirti Ras

Brands available

AVS Kottakal

AVP Coimbatore

SNA oushadhasala

Vaidyaratnam oushadhasala

Dhootapapeswhar Ltd

Dabur India Ltd

Baidyanath India

Emami Ltd

Home remedies

  • Vaporisers
  • 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

  • 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, cause obstruction in 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

Behaviour:

Protect yourself from 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 sedentary lifestyle.

Yoga

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 bioavailability of the medicine and food ingested and leads to positive health.

 Yoga can maintain harmony within the body and with the surrounding system.

Pavanamuktasana

Nadisudhi pranayama

Bhujangasana

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

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3332192/

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration, United States. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Please consult your GP before the intake.

Writer:
Dr. Rajesh Nair, the co-founder and chief consultant of Ayurvedaforall.Com, is a graduate of prestigious Vaidyaratnam Ayurveda College (affiliated with the University of Calicut), Kerala, India. Additionally, he holds a Postgraduate Diploma in Yoga Therapy from Annamalai University.

Dr. Nair offers consultation at two busy clinics in and around Haripad, Alleppey, Kerala, the southern state famous worldwide for authentic ayurvedic treatment and physicians. While offering consultation on all aspects of ayurvedic treatments Dr. Nair has a special interest in Panchkarma, Yoga, and Massage.

Through Ayurvedaforall Dr. Nair offers online consultation to patients worldwide and has served hundreds of patients over the last 20 years. In addition to his Ayurvedic practice, he is the chief editor of ayurveda-amai.org, the online portal of Ayurveda Medical Association of India, and the state committee member of Ayurveda Medical Association of India.

Dr. Nair is a regular speaker at Ayurveda-related conferences and has visited Germany to propagate Ayurveda. You can write directly to him-
rajesh@ayurvedaforall.com

Whatsapp – +91 9446918019, +91 8075810816

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