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How to Stop Sinus Drainage in the Throat

by
author image Sandra Ketcham
Sandra Ketcham has nearly two decades of experience writing and editing for major websites and magazines. Her work appears in numerous web and print publications, including "The Atlanta Journal-Constitution," "The Tampa Bay Times," Visit Florida, "USA Today," AOL's Gadling and "Kraze Magazine."
How to Stop Sinus Drainage in the Throat
Sinus drainage in the throat can cause chronic coughing. Photo Credit Lisa F. Young/iStock/Getty Images

Sinus drainage in the throat, or post-nasal drip, is the sensation of mucus in the back of your throat that triggers an urge to cough or swallow. While the condition itself is a symptom and not of serious medical concern, post-nasal drip may lead to throat irritation, night coughing and difficulty sleeping. When caused by allergies or environmental irritants, it may become chronic and disruptive to daily functioning. Most cases of sinus drainage in the throat are treatable at home. Cases that last longer than 10 days or that are accompanied by signs of infection require medical evaluation.

Step 1

Drink extra fluids and run a humidifier inside your home to thin the mucus in your nose and sinuses. Saline nasal sprays are useful for flushing the nasal passages and throat. Avoid caffeine and diuretic medications, as both can thicken mucus secretions and make sinus congestion worse.

Step 2

Sleep in a semi-reclined chair or with your head propped up on pillows to stop sinus drainage during the night. If you must lie flat, sleeping on your side may be more comfortable than sleeping on your back.

Step 3

Take an over-the-counter antihistamine medication to reduce the amount of mucus in your sinuses and stop sinus drainage in your throat. Antihistamines may cause drowsiness and should therefore be used with caution.

Step 4

Try nasal steroids, which are inhaled medications designed to decrease mucus production and stop post-nasal drip. These medications are typically effective at clearing up congestion, but they require a prescription and may cause side effects.

Step 5

Call your doctor for a prompt appointment if you develop a high fever, severe headache, ear pain, or a thick green or yellow discharge. These symptoms may indicate the presence of an infection that requires professional treatment and antibiotic medication.

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