How do I Stop Excess Sinus Drainage?

Amy Hunter
Amy Hunter
Drinking a glass of water can help clear sinuses.
Drinking a glass of water can help clear sinuses.

There are a variety of reasons why someone may suffer from excess sinus drainage. Allergies as well as the common cold virus can lead to sinus drainage. The sinus cavities in your head are narrow passages. An excessive amount of drainage can be more than an annoyance. It can lead to painful sinus infections if the fluid builds up in these narrow passages and becomes infected.

Antihistamines can help with excessive sinus drainage.
Antihistamines can help with excessive sinus drainage.

You can use several techniques to reduce drainage. Some people believe that certain foods, such as dairy products, increase the amount of drainage that you produce. While there is little science to back this up, you may give it a try. Dairy products are one food product that many people are sensitive to, so cutting back may decrease the amount of drainage.

Drinking plenty of water is another cure that may help reduce sinus drainage. While the effectiveness of this is not proven either, in general, drinking plenty of water helps thin sinus secretions. This can lead to less noticeable drainage.

Sinus cavity in human head.
Sinus cavity in human head.

If you are suffering from sinus drainage severe enough to keep you awake at night or interfere with your eating habits, you may want to visit a physician. A simple antihistamine may be all that is required to dry up your sinuses. While many of these medications are available over the counter, a visit to the doctor before you begin long term use of any medication is generally a good idea.

Sinus drainage is often a symptom of the common cold.
Sinus drainage is often a symptom of the common cold.

Antihistamines are effective whether you are suffering from excessive drainage from a cold or allergies. They are generally considered safe, but can have side effects. Antihistamines are made to dry you out, and they are effective at that. Not only will they dry out your nose, but they can also dry out your mouth and eyes as well. These side effects are more of a nuisance than a real health threat.

Cutting back on dairy foods may decrease sinus drainage.
Cutting back on dairy foods may decrease sinus drainage.

Antihistamines can cause more significant health concerns in people that have elevated blood pressure or are taking other types of medications. For this reason, it is important that you tell your physician any over the counter or prescription medication that you are taking. If he believes that antihistamines will help treat your condition there are several he can try, and he can also monitor your condition.

You might also Like

Readers Also Love

Discussion Comments


When ever I get a lot of sinus drainage, my tummy starts to not feel good. It takes me a day to feel myself again.


This started about four months ago my nose drains a lot like at night especially when I wake up in the morning. It hasn't stopped and I have to hold my head a certain way all day and night.

I have to sleep with my head in a certain way and when I sit, I have to tilt my head a certain way and I can't bend over. Then it really drains. This is getting in the way at work and home. Like now when I'm on the computer, it's draining, and I have to tilt my head back and wait until it drains back into my head.

I just don't understand why it's like this. I can't afford to go to a specialist, but I see I have to do something.


I lived with sinus drainage symptoms for many years, even while taking a daily antihistamine that was supposed to last for twenty-four hours. I had a doctor tell me that I needed to switch up my medication every now and then, because my body would get used to it and it would stop working.

I tried doing this every six months, but still, I suffered from both sneezing and drainage. This time, I went back for a prescription medication.

My doctor gave me a combination antihistamine and decongestant, and that did the trick. The decongestant got the trapped mucus flowing, and the antihistamine prevented an excess from forming after that.

True, my sinuses were rather dry as a result, but I found a way around that. I used a humidifier, both in my office and in my bedroom at night, and it kept my sinuses moist.


@FirstViolin – It does sound like it's an allergy related problem. I've heard that eating local honey can help your immune system fight allergies.

If this works, then your drainage should end. I really don't know of anything besides allergies that can cause long-term drainage.


@orangey03 – I know what you mean! Having a cold is the worst.

It's the nasal sinus drainage that bothers me most, though. My nose becomes a faucet that I cannot turn off.

All I can do is plug my nostrils with tissue. I have to change the tissue out every fifteen minutes, because it becomes saturated with snot!


Throat sinus drainage is really gross. I don't have allergy issues, so I'm not used to it. Whenever I get a cold, I'm really appalled by the mucus dripping into my throat!

The bad thing is that no medication seems to work when my nose is this full of mucus and it is draining everywhere. Even good antihistamines are ineffective.

The only thing I can do to get any sleep at night is take a cold medicine that contains an antihistamine, a decongestant, and some alcohol to knock me out. By some miracle, I can sleep through the night, in spite of the drainage.

I am ready to pass out within minutes of taking this medicine, and it makes me forget about all that mucus in my throat. I have crazy, complicated dreams while on it, which makes sleeping more enjoyable than being awake during this time!


Does anybody know a non-drug way to get rid of chronic sinus drainage?

I always feel like I have sinus drainage in my throat, and it makes me feel like I have to clear my throat all the time.

Could this be allergies? If so, what are some good allergies sinus drainage remedies? I am really trying to avoid going on antibiotics, so natural remedies would be appreciated!


My wife gets sinus infections with ear pain a lot, and she usually has to get an antibiotic to help get rid of the drainage and pressure.

However, if you don't have too much ear pressure, or if you are waiting for the antibiotics, one stop-gap measure is to hold a hot washcloth to your ear -- that can kickstart the sinus drainage and ear pressure relief.


I get chronic sinus infections, so I am way too well-versed in sinus infection drainage.

One good home remedy to help the drainage come out is to take a really hot shower. The steam can get up in your head and help clear everything out.

While this usually turns out to be a temporary solution, especially in the case of severe sinus drainage, as anybody who gets these things knows, you'll be grateful for whatever sinus drainage relief you can get!

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Drinking a glass of water can help clear sinuses.
      By: studiovespa
      Drinking a glass of water can help clear sinuses.
    • Antihistamines can help with excessive sinus drainage.
      By: takasu
      Antihistamines can help with excessive sinus drainage.
    • Sinus cavity in human head.
      By: turhanerbas
      Sinus cavity in human head.
    • Sinus drainage is often a symptom of the common cold.
      By: Subbotina Anna
      Sinus drainage is often a symptom of the common cold.
    • Cutting back on dairy foods may decrease sinus drainage.
      By: lidante
      Cutting back on dairy foods may decrease sinus drainage.