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Post-nasal drip is a condition that impacts millions of people, particularly those who suffer from allergies. A common symptom of chronic rhinitis, post-nasal drip is the accumulation of mucus in the back of the nose and throat and can cause chronic sore throat, coughing, and nasal congestion. The most effective way to treat post-nasal drip depends on the cause and choosing the right post-nasal drip medicine can be accomplished by trying different solutions and talking to your doctor.
Post-nasal drip may be acute or chronic, depending on the cause of mucus build-up. A cold or sinus infection is a typical cause of acute post-nasal drip, which typically goes away when the cold or infection does. Allergy suffers may experience chronic post-nasal drip only when allergy triggers are present. Due to the common connection between post-nasal drip and allergies, one of the best approaches is prevention. Antihistamines are often recommended for allergy suffers experiencing post-nasal drip. Antihistamines block the histamine reaction that can often result in excessive mucus production, rhinitis and post-nasal drip.
For chronic sufferers, antihistamines may also be used in conjunction with nasal steroids. The use of such medication is monitored by a doctor and tapered or reduced as results are achieved. Oral steroids may also serve as a post-nasal drip medicine in situations where a physician determines sufficient cause. Depending on severity and cause, your doctor may also recommend mucus-thinning agents in conjunction with or instead of steroids.
There are also over-the-counter treatments for post-nasal drip that may be effective for less frequent occurrences. Some of the post-nasal drip medicine available to consumers includes saline mist nasal spray, nasal decongestants, antihistamines, and neti pots. Most doctors and allergists do not advocate long-term use of over-the-counter post-nasal drip medicine, so if drug store products don’t seem to help, you should see your doctor, allergist or consult an ear, nose and throat specialist.
Choosing the right medicine to treat post-nasal drip and allergy symptoms may require trial and error. If you experience post-nasal drip as a result of allergies, try to avoid the trigger or take an antihistamine prior to exposure. If you experience chronic nasal congestion, sore throat, difficulty breathing or coughing, you should see your doctor to determine the cause and the best treatment.