Postnasal Drip: What you need to know

What Are The Reasons Behind Your Postnasal Drip?

Postnasal Drip: What You Need to KnowDo you feel a tickle in the back of your throat? If it is followed by a cough or causes you to clear your throat, then you are most-likely experiencing the ever-so-common postnasal drip. It is a common symptom that can happen for many reasons including:

  • Allergies
  • Sinus Infections
  • Colds
  • Flu
  • Certain medications
  • Changes in the weather
  • Irritants from fumes, chemicals or smoke

If you are prone to experiencing seasonal allergies each year especially, you may already be familiar with post nasal drips. Despite how many times you try it can feel impossible trying to rid yourself of it. Postnasal drips occur the most during allergy season. The combination between pollen and influx of air quality can trigger symptoms. 

Postnasal drips occur when the glands in the lining of your nose or throat overproduce mucus. Mucus is a thick, slippery fluid substance that provides a protective and moisturizing layer for critical organs. It works in your favor to trap harmful irritants like chemicals or dust from entering your body. While this fluid is essential to keep our bodies functioning well, having too much of it can impact your health. 

Most people that notice slight changes in color from soft to heavily pigmented hues of yellow or green panic, at first. Mucus can vary in color and strength to indicate when antibodies are fighting off germs. 

  • White – associated with congestion or stuffy nose and common cold.
  • Yellow or Green – signals a virus or infection is taking hold. It is also an indicator that your white blood cells are working to fight off the infection.
  • Pink or Red – this is an indicator of blood. This can happen from blowing your nose too frequently. If you find that you are getting frequent nosebleeds, consider: applying Vaseline to the nasal passages, using saline spray, blowing your nose gently.
  • Black – normally produced from excessive drug use or a more serious infection.

When your body overproduces mucus, oftentimes it is not clearing up on its own. Symptoms are simple to identify. You may first experience a constant feeling to clear your throat. As the mucus thickens it will trigger you to cough, which will vary throughout the day. 

If you sleep flat on your back, you may find that the mucus will sit uncomfortable in the back of your throat. When that happens try this method: switch to a different sleeping position. Use pillows to adjust your support. The higher you elevate your head at night, the more your coughs will subside. 


  • Determining how to combat the issue is dependent on how the postnasal drip was caused. 
  • Antibiotics work best for treating bacterial issues, such as sinus or ear infections.
  • You can request over-the-counter medication or get a doctor’s prescription for colds. Keep in mind, if your mucus is changing from a clear fluid to a pigmented yellow color, antibiotics may not work as well.
  • Antihistamine and decongestants are great for sinusitis infections and treating seasonal allergies.

When To Start Seeking Medical Help

In California mild seasonal weather can mean year-round allergy seasons and elevated pollen counts. Southern California is especially subject to a higher influx of people who experience allergy triggers. Depending on how you fare through your symptoms, like postnasal drip, there is never a wrong time to seek medical help when you need it. 

However, prolonging when you get treatment for worsening mucus can lead to a serious sinus infection, ear infection, or sore and scratchy throat. Sore throats are similarly warning signs for common colds and viral infection. If you are experiencing any of the symptoms mentioned you should consider post nasal drip treatment in Los Angeles. Specialized treatments can offer more relief and better results outside of taking medication.

Preventative Methods

  • Running a humidifier can do wonders to avoid getting a nasal drip throughout the day or before you go to bed
  • Prevent a post nasal drip from getting worse by taking medication as soon as it starts
  • Stay hydrated 
  • Choose nasal irrigation to flush out mucus and debris from your nose and improve breathing
  • Take an oral decongestant when needed or medications that specifically thin out mucus
  • Avoid eating spicy foods, which increase mucus production

ENT Doctor In Los Angeles

Everyone reacts differently to remedies and treatment. Some methods may work for you and others might not fix your postnasal drip just as well. It is best to try an assortment of options before turning to medication. Depending on the severity, home-remedies can provide a quick fix if you start early. Something as simple as an extra pillow or using a dehumidifier could mean all the difference. 

It will be a trial and error to determine the right solution for you. If none of these methods are as helpful, and do not completely fix your nasal drip, you should strongly consider seeing an ENT doctor in Los Angeles.  At Westside Head & Neck, we offer minimally invasive and effective services for sinus and nasal breathing relief. Not only do our treatments provide long-lasting effects, but can also significantly improve quality of life and limit how often you get postnasal drips as a byproduct of allergies and sinusitis.

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