Mucus in the throat is uncomfortable and annoying. The constant throat-clearing, trouble breathing and frequent swallowing is a nuisance that is usually associated with allergies. Throat mucus can be related to either seasonal or chronic allergies, as well as post nasal drip. There are many different types of treatments that can help to clear up unpleasant mucus in the throat. Below are a few common treatments and medications that can be taken to alleviate or even prevent symptoms.
Improving your nutritional intake is not just important in keeping the rest of your body healthy, but certain foods can cause post-nasal drip, which leads to excessive throat mucus. Fried foods and dairy are considered “mucus-forming,” meaning they are more prone to form mucus in the throat than other foods. Also, you can avoid throat mucus by taking plenty of Vitamin C, E and zinc. Drinking water is also vital in mucus prevention, so plenty of fluids should be ingested daily.
Humidifiers are a good way to help thin excessive mucus caused by post nasal drip. Basically, a humidifier projects moisture into the air, which keeps the mucus membranes in your sinuses moist and healthy. Dry mucus membranes in the nose can lead to sickness, which could lead to post nasal drip. You can also add essential oils such as eucalyptus to the water in the humidifier to clear your sinuses.
Cleaning out your sinuses, or nasal irrigation, is a good way to avoid throat mucus. Neti pots, which look similar to small teapots and can be purchased in any drugstore, are commonly used to break up and remove built-up mucus in the sinuses and the throat. The spout of the Neti pot is inserted into one nostril, and with your head tipped to the side, the solution will either run out the other nostril or down the back of your throat. A solution of salt water with baking soda is generally favored for nasal irrigation.
You can purchase antihistamines over-the-counter or a doctor can prescribe them for more serious cases. They can come in pill form or in the form of a nasal spray, which is inserted into the nostrils and inhaled. Basically this treatment relieves congestion and other allergic reactions that block the histamines that cause discomfort in some people. These are typically used as preventative measures for people with seasonal or chronic allergies.
Expectorants are used to thin the mucus in your throat or sinuses, making it less sticky. This makes coughs more productive, meaning more mucus will dislodge from the throat. Guaifenesin is the most widely used expectorant, and is found in popular drugs such as Mucinex and Tussin DM. Again, increased water consumption is encouraged when taking these drugs since it can expedite the process of mucus breakup.
A popular home remedy for relieving mucus and post nasal drip is a spoonful of honey mixed with ginger powder taken several times a day. Gargling salt water is also a preferred method, although that shouldn’t be done too often since you can dehydrate with too much salt ingestion. Spicy foods such as chili peppers, wasabi and dishes with cayenne pepper cause the nose to run, which is a result of the thinning of mucus.