The glands in the nose and throat produce mucus on a continuous basis. The American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery points out that the secretions typically amount to between one and two quarts per day. When the secretions become overly thick or thin, the result is the individual noticing the mucus drainage, which is known as post-nasal drip. On a typical basis, the secretions go unnoticed. Post-nasal drip is likely to cause a sore and irritated throat.
There are a number of ways to thin mucus secretions that cause post-nasal drip. The American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery suggests increasing fluids to thin the mucus. Individuals should opt for clear fluids, such as water, herbal teas or soups. The warmth of the fluids can soothe the throat while thinning the secretions. Sipping warm herbal tea made with lemon and honey to taste can both thin mucus secretions and coat the throat for temporary pain relief.
There are several commercial nasal irrigation tools, such as a neti pot. A small bulb syringe or other similar device can also be used to carry out nasal irrigation. This procedure consists of mixing warm water with salt at a ration of 1 teaspoon of salt to a pint of water and allowing the water to run into the nasal passages of one nostril while blocking the other side with a finger. This procedure can be carried out as often as necessary throughout the day. The Mayo Clinic suggests using a saline nasal spray to thin the mucus and soothe nasal dryness.
Running a humidifier when post-nasal drip and a sore throat are present can reduce the risk of further irritation. Warm, moist air can be less irritating to the throat, especially when sleeping. The humidified air can also prevent the nose from becoming too dry, which contributes to an increase in mucus drainage.
A mixture of warm water and salt can be gargled in the back of the throat to provide temporary pain relief. The mixture can be made of 1 teaspoon of salt in 1/2 cup of warm water.