What is the best way to get rid of sinus drainage in the throat?

The neti pot is an over-the-counter (OTC) sinus drainage treatment that comes with saline to empty the nasal passages.

Preventive measures and medications are among the best ways to deal with sinus drainage. It can be treated with over-the-counter (OTC) or prescription medications and self-care measures. Over-the-counter antihistamines can dry up drainage, and decongestants thin mucus and reduce swelling in the nasal membranes; these are available in tablet and spray formulations. Prescription antihistamines or steroid nasal sprays decrease mucus production and decrease swelling. Self-care measures, such as daily nasal rinses and removing environmental triggers, can also help combat sinus drainage at the back of the throat.

Pet dander can trigger an allergic reaction and cause the sinuses to drain into the throat.

Chlorpheniramine is an over-the-counter antihistamine that works to dry up sinus drainage at the back of the throat. OTC decongestants, such as pseudoephedrine thin mucus, making it easier to cough or blow your nose. Combination antihistamine and decongestant medications are often available over-the-counter for people who need both types of medication but want to take as few pills as possible.

An air filter can help reduce post-nasal drip.

OTC nasal sprays can be used when drainage is worse, but should not be used regularly. Regular use promotes what is known as the rebound effect. This effect actually causes the body to produce more mucus, which can worsen sinus drainage into the throat.

Prescription antihistamine nasal spray, such as azelastine, is designed to treat the allergic reactions that lead to mucus in the throat. Ipratropium bromide is another prescription antihistamine that can help clear your nasal passages and sinuses. Sometimes a medical professional prescribes a steroid nasal spray. Steroid spray reduces inflammation, but it doesn’t do it right away. It can take weeks or months of consistent application before the desired effects are noticeable.

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A cross-section of the head, including the sinuses.

Nasal washing with a neti pot clears the nasal passages and sinuses of mucus. Pots of neti pot can be purchased on the shelf of many drugstores. They usually come with several saline packets that can be added to the water. Medical professionals may recommend a nasal rinse once or twice a day, depending on the severity of symptoms.

Another self-care measure that can eliminate sinus drainage into the throat is to assess the environment and remove potential triggers. Dust, pet dander, or other environmental allergens can be at the root of sinus drainage. Keeping the house dusted, vacuumed and/or using an air filter can significantly decrease post-nasal drip.

A nasal spray can be effective in treating mucus buildup.

A person with nasal drainage in the throat may find that a combination of medications and nasal washes gives the best results. Some allergists recommend that patients with postnasal drip use the nasal solution every night before using a steroid nasal spray. Many patients do very well with this multifaceted approach to managing sinus drainage.

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