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What Should I Do For Congestion?

Coughing, sneezing, and a sore throat can accompany many illnesses. But when congestion doesn’t go away, there may be an underlying problem to treat. Try these 3 remedies to get rid of post-nasal drip.

What is post-nasal drip?

The glands in the nose and throat are continually forming mucus. This mucus helps to fight infections and filter out foreign matter. However, the body sometimes produces extra mucus that accumulates at the back of the throat, known as post-nasal drip.

1. Thin out mucus

Thick mucus will be more bothersome. While thinning out mucus is not a cure-all, thinner mucus is less noticeable. Some easy ways to thin post-nasal drip are to drink lots of water and take nasal sprays or medications. Also, try running a humidifier or vaporizer to increase moisture in the environment.

2. Is chicken soup a cure?

Chicken soup has long been considered an effective remedy for fighting a sore throat and congestion. While there is nothing magic about chicken soup specifically, any hot liquid will provide some relief. The steam of hot soup helps to open up nasal passageways, similarly to a hot shower. Soup can also help fight dehydration, reducing post-nasal drip.

3. Keep mucus from collecting

Perhaps the most uncomfortable part of post-nasal drip is the feeling of mucus sliding down the back of the throat. Prevent this at nighttime by using extra pillows to keep the head slightly elevated. This reduces congestion and coughing and can lead to better sleep.

When to see a specialist

Most of the time, post-nasal drip from minor infections like the common cold will clear up in a week or so. If congestion persists for more than 10 days, people may consider making an appointment with a doctor. Some other reasons to see a physician include fever, wheezing, and mucus that produces an odor.

Treatment options

If an infection is to blame for the congestion, a doctor may prescribe antibiotics. In some cases, chronic sore throat and congestion could be due to a deviated septum. People with a deviated septum should consult with an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist to explore treatment options. In many cases, the best approach will be to get a corrective surgery called a septoplasty.

Find relief today

Post-nasal drip is common, especially during cold and flu season. If mucus buildup is chronic, patients should schedule an appointment with an ENT. These specialists can provide treatment options for chronic sore throat and congestion.