Formation of Mucus and Sore Throat
Often, an irritated throat accompanies a post nasal drip. This throat irritation is nothing more than the uncomfortable feeling due to swelling of tissues or accumulated mucus. Glands produce 1–2 quarts of a protective layer of mucus each day that lines your stomach, airways, intestinal tract, throat and nose. This moist substance is thick and forms the defensive shield against viruses and bacteria.
Mucus in your nose, in the normal course, is swallowed unconsciously all through the day. At times though, you notice the mucus, either because it is thick, or because your glands produce more than what it normally will. You get a sensation of accumulation or dripping in the back of the throat. This feeling is known as post nasal drip.
Causes for Post Nasal Drip Sore Throat
You have numerous reasons for the formation of irritation in the throat. Predominantly, they fall into these classes.
- Growth in food passage: This happens due to heredity or due to infection. The nasal passages are blocked and cause excessive mucus secretion.
- Pregnancy: Hormonal imbalance during pregnancy causes excess production of mucus.
- Fumes: Exposure to smoke or acidic fumes will result in thickening or thinning or mucus due to irritation of the bronchi, trachea, larynx or esophagus.
- Swelling in nasal passage due to bacterial infection: Tissues of the nasal cavity and the breathing passages may become irritated by infection resulting in abnormal mucus formation.
- Loosening of muscles due to age: Age makes the muscles to loosen. This will result in unrestricted flow of mucus.
- Secretion that gathers while you sleep: The position of the head when you sleep will help the mucus to gather at the base of the throat.
- Deviated septum: The separating wall present in nose is not properly formed during birth.
- Change in the weather: Cold weather results in our body producing thicker mucus.
- Certain food items: Raw food items may cause Oral Allergy Syndrome (OAS). This occurs only in people who have pollen allergy or are allergic to pet dander.
- Gastro-esophageal reflux disease causes heartburn and sore throat
Treatment for Nasal Drip Throat Problem
Your physician will conduct laboratory examination of your ear, throat and nose. This may entail an X-ray study or an endoscopic examination.
Allergy treatment: Use nasal irrigation to flush out allergens and bacteria. Keep the humidity of the room more. Sprinkle water on the floor or choose a room that opens to a well-watered garden. The expectorant Guaifensin acts as mucus thinning agent and Robitussin that has Bromhexine (to clear chest congestion) in addition to Guaifensin helps. Home remedies for post nasal drip sore throat include drinking lots of water, inhaling essential oils (eucalyptus, peppermint and rosemary), drinking tea made with either peppermint or ginger and having chicken soup.
- Gastro-esophageal reflux disease treatment: Avoid eating three to four hours before going to bed. Raise the head of the bed by about 8 –9 inches. Antacids such as Zantac, Mylanta or Pepcid might provide relief. Avoid alcohol and coffee. GERD – Gastro-esophageal Reflux Disease often occurs due to hiatal hernia – a pouch that forms at the point where the stomach and the esophagus meet.
- Treating infections: Antibiotics form the nub of treating bacterial infections. Sinusitis requires surgical intervention. If mucus turns green and yellow or has a foul smell, it indicates infection. Thick secretions may occur during a flu or cold, due to consumption of food you are allergic to, due to pregnancy or hormonal changes or due to external factors like bright light or excessive heat.
- Deviated septum correction: Surgery is a solution for correcting deviated septum. Nasal septum is the thin bony separation between the nostrils. In some people, this is not formed properly. The surgeon will decide the severity and solution of the case after examination.
- Home remedies: Prop up your pillows when you sleep at night. This prevents mucus from gathering at the base of the throat. Wash bed sheets and pillow covers in hot water. Use dust mite proof bed linen.
Use Sore Throat Medication with Care
Antihistamines, nasal spray and sublingual remedies exist, in addition to decongestants and injectable steroids, for treating throat irritation. Sprays for the drip containing steroidal medication do not have any side effects when taken under medical supervision. Decongestants create aggravation in patients having thyroid and heart disease. People who already have high blood pressure should consult their physician before they take this medication for Post Nasal Drip Sore Throat.