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How To Treat A Post Nasal Drip Cough

Understanding Post Nasal Drip Cough

Adam Partridge, PA-C Profile Photo

Written by Adam Partridge, PA-C on June 1, 2021

Postnasal drip is extremely annoying, and when your child is dealing with this symptom they might be feeling pretty uncomfortable… and that’s when it isn’t accompanied by other symptoms.

When postnasal drip causes a cough, the coughing can be constant and your kiddo’s symptoms may leave them in a pretty dismal state of mind. Luckily, postnasal drip, and all of its accompanying symptoms, can be pretty easily treated right at home.

Home remedies and OTC medicine can make a world of difference when it comes to easing symptoms, and your doctor will be able to recommend methods of treatment if further guidance is needed.

Why Does Post Nasal Drip Cause a Cough?

Postnasal drip happens when your body produces too much mucus, like as a response to illness or infection, and the excess mucus drips down the back of your throat instead of being flushed out through the nose.

Postnasal drip can cause symptoms like:

  • Frequent throat clearing
  • Sore throat
  • Raspy voice
  • Cough
  • A feeling of mucus draining down your throat

Postnasal drip can sometimes cause a cough because of all the mucus traveling down the throat and through the airways. Typically, treating the illness or infection that caused postnasal drip in the first place will eventually clear up any kind of cough or other symptoms happening as a result.

Postnasal drip can be caused by a multitude of illnesses and infections, but it can also be caused by things like allergies.

The main causes of postnasal drip include:

  • Bacterial infections, like strep throat
  • Allergies or hay fever
  • Nonallergic rhinitis, which can be understood as an overly sensitive nose
  • Gastroesophageal reflux

How Can I Ease My Child’s Symptoms at Home?

When postnasal drip causes a cough, the symptoms can be really unpleasant, but they are generally highly treatable… which means your kiddo can get some relief pretty quickly.

There are plenty of home remedies that can ease the symptoms caused by postnasal drip.

Remedies that can be used to treat most of the symptoms associated with post nasal drip include:

Add Moisture To The Air

There are a couple of ways you can approach this method of treatment. One method is to run a hot shower and allow your child to sit in the steam for a while. The steam can help soothe an irritated throat and irritated airways, thus helping to relieve the nagging cough that can be caused by postnasal drip. When your child is having a coughing fit, the shower method is a great option.

Another approach is to use a humidifier to add some moisture to the air since dry air can aggravate symptoms. You can also fill the sink with hot water and then have your child lean over it with a towel covering their head to keep the steam near their face.

Stay hydrated

When your kiddo is struggling with post nasal drip, making sure they are drinking plenty of fluids can help ease some of the discomfort. Staying well-hydrated is a great way to get rid of a pesky cough.

Prop your child’s head up at night.

When your child goes to sleep at night, using an extra pillow to prop their head up a little bit higher can ease symptoms by preventing any excess mucus from collecting in the back of their throat and making them cough.

Sleep, and rest in general, is also a critical part of recovery, so this method may also be great in terms of helping your child sleep through the night while they are under the weather.

Saline nasal irrigation.

Using saline solution or drops to help flush out your child’s nasal passages may help thin and loosen the mucus in their nose, thus reducing symptoms.

When it comes to a cough specifically, these remedies may come in handy as well:

  • Tea with lemon and honey can make a great remedy for a pesky cough, and may also help with relentless coughing fits. Warm liquids help soothe the throat and break up mucus, and honey offers a coating for the throat that can work against irritation.
  • Keeping cough drops on hand is another great idea because these work very well during coughing fits and are easy to keep around. Just be careful, because it is easy to choke on cough drops, and if your child is under 6 years old this method is not highly recommended.

In some cases, your little one’s symptoms just might be too uncomfortable to respond to these kinds of remedies. When this happens, over-the-counter cough or cold medicine might do the trick.

Genexa’s Kids’ Cough & Chest Congestion oral suspension medication works hard to thin and loosen mucus, control a cough, and relieve chest congestion, making it a great choice when your kid has a postnasal drip cough. Additionally, Genexa’s Kid’s Honey Cough Syrup is a helpful remedy that soothes coughs associated with dry throat and irritation while supporting immunity.

Genexa is the first clean medicine brand, meaning that they make medicine with the active ingredients you need and without the artificial inactive ingredients you don’t need. They are working hard to revolutionize the world of medicine one product at a time, and are committed to making real, clean medicine that you can trust. Any inactive ingredients that you find in Genexa’s products are non-GMO, gluten-free, and certified vegan so that you can rest assured that you are giving your kids safe and effective medicine without the health risks posed by artificial ingredients. Genexa was founded by two dads who know what it is like to constantly be on the hunt for the best of the best when it comes to your child’s health and wellbeing, and this is why they are determined to change commercially available medicine for the better.

How Do I Know If I Should Consult a Doctor About My Child’s Symptoms?

Postnasal drip will almost always be nothing to worry about, but it might be easy to mistake something more serious for postnasal drip… and this is when problems happen.

Sometimes, more concerning symptoms will present themselves that indicate that your child needs to see a doctor.

Symptoms you should keep your eyes peeled for include:

  • An unexplained fever, especially if it is high
  • Bloody mucus from the nose, or bloody mucus being coughed up
  • Wheezing or shortness of breath
  • Foul-smelling nose drainage or heavy drainage that only comes from one nostril
  • Persistent symptoms that do not respond to treatment

One key thing to be especially mindful of here is if your child’s symptoms do not respond to medicine and other treatment. This is a huge sign that there may be something bigger going on and your kiddo may need prescription medication in order to feel better.

If your child’s symptoms do not get better with treatment or if they continue to persist after a week or so, it is important to get in touch with your doctor or pediatrician in order to get to the bottom of it.

Even if these more concerning symptoms do not appear, it still doesn’t hurt to contact your pediatrician and talk about your kiddo’s symptoms. Doctors can make great recommendations when it comes to managing symptoms at home, and they can also offer guidance as to whether or not it would be helpful for your child to be brought in for an exam. There is no shame in playing it safe when your child is not feeling quite right, and a doctor can put any questions or concerns to rest.

Postnasal Drip Cough: Outlook

Though it can be pesky, uncomfortable, and all-around annoying, a cough caused by postnasal drip usually does not last too long and is fairly easy to treat. This kind of cough is caused by excess mucus that drips down the back of the throat, so treatment methods aimed at thinning and loosening mucus tend to work best when it comes to finding relief.

Drinking more fluids, getting some rest, and inhaling steam are three highly effective methods of calming the nagging cough caused by postnasal drip, but over-the-counter medicine is another option if these types of home remedies don’t cut it.

If your child’s symptoms do not respond to treatment, whether it be over-the-counter medicine or prescription medication, it is important to consult a doctor, as this is a major indication that something more serious is going on and your child may need a new treatment plan.

Additionally, symptoms that persist for more than a week or so should be discussed with a doctor. Your doctor will always be able to answer any questions you may have, and they can also offer guidance when it comes to medication dosages, treatment recommendations, and the amount of time it should take for your child to start feeling a little bit better.

When in doubt, consult a doctor.


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