Pregnant And Breastfeeding Women
It’s not clear whether it’s safe to take any type of decongestant if you’re pregnant, so you should only use them if told to by a healthcare professional.
Some decongestants that come as nose sprays or drops are safe to use if you’re breastfeeding, but check with a pharmacist or GP first before using them.
The patient information leaflet that comes with your medicine will say who should not use it and who should get advice before using it.
How Do You Clear A Stuffy Nose
Here are ways you can clear nasal congestion:
- Drink lots of water and clear fluids. Fluids help thin mucus and ease congestion.
- Use a saline nasal spray or wash to flush out mucus.
- Apply adhesive strips to your nose to open nasal passages.
- Use humidifiers to moisten the air at your home and/or workplace.
- Ask your healthcare provider to recommend over-the-counter medication that treats nasal congestion. Be sure they know about all medications you take so they can recommend medications that wont interact with your existing medications.
- If nasal congestion keeps your baby from nursing or taking a bottle, use a nasal bulb syringe to clear mucus from their nose.
Prescription Medicine For Post
If over-the-counter medications do not clear up your post-nasal drip, you may need a prescription medication from your medical provider.
If they believe your post-nasal drip is caused by a bacterial infection, they will write a prescription for an antibiotic.
Take the antibiotic as directed and complete the whole course even if your sinuses appear to clear up before you are done.
Not completing the course could allow the infection to come back.
If your medical provider believes you have a viral infection, antibiotics will not help.
Instead, they may order prescription steroids, antihistamines, or decongestants.
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Feeling Fully Plugged Reach For A Decongestant
In almost all cases of nasal congestion, the main cause of that stuffed up feeling is inflammation, which makes tissues in nasal passageways swell, explains Jonathan Auth, MD, a pediatrician at CHOC Childrens, a healthcare system based in Orange, California.
Oral and nasal decongestants work by shrinking the swollen blood vessels in the nose and air passages, with nasal decongestants offering the fastest relief. Thats because the medicine goes straight to the site of congestion without going through your body first, so there are fewer side effects than with oral decongestants, explains , department head and professor of pharmacy practice at the University of Illinois at Chicago College of Pharmacy.
However, nasal decongestants come with a major drawback: Nasal sprays can be used only for a short time because of the rebound effect, she says.
The rebound effect means the congestion can come back even stronger when the drug is discontinued, so you have to take more of it this can also lead to dependency on the drug. As Michael Seidman, MD, an otolaryngologist in Kissimmee, Florida, puts it, Dont use a nasal decongestant for more than two to three days, or else the nose becomes addicted to it.
An increased heart rate is a possible side effect of decongestant use, so these drugs should be avoided if you have high blood pressure, heart disease, or an irregular heartbeat.
What Causes Postnasal Drip
- Certain medications, including some for birth control and blood pressure
- Deviated septum, which is the crooked placement of the wall that separates the two nostrils, or some other problem with the structure of the nose that affects the sinuses
- Changing weather, cold temperatures, or really dry air
- Fumes from chemicals, perfumes, cleaning products, smoke, or other irritants
Sometimes the problem is not that you’re producing too much mucus, but that it’s not being cleared away. Swallowing problems can cause a buildup of liquids in the throat, which can feel like postnasal drip. These problems can sometimes occur with age, a blockage, or conditions such as gastroesophageal reflux disease, also known as GERD.
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How Can I Stop Coughing From Postnasal Drip At Night
One of the symptoms caused by postnasal drip is coughing. Coughing can make it difficult to sleep at night, which put further stress on the body. One of the best ways to ease coughing at night is to take preventive actions throughout the day. Staying hydrated, gargling with salt water, or doing nasal irrigation with a neti pot will help get rid of excess mucus that causes coughing. At night, sleeping with your head slightly elevated can help keep irritants from reaching the back of your throat and nose, which causes coughing. Sleeping with a humidifier next to the bed can help the throat feel less irritated, which could help reduce coughing.
Things To Note When Using A Decongestant
If you have health conditions such as high blood pressure, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, thyroid disease or an enlarged prostate, take note that your condition could be made worse by the use of decongestants.
Its best to seek the advice of a healthcare provider before you begin using it.
Take special care to make sure youre not consuming more than one decongestant. Multiple decongestants may have similar active ingredients that add up to be too much medicine and taking more than the recommended amount can be dangerous.
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Use A Nasal Steroid Spray
Available over the counter, these sprays can help reduce the inflammation that adds to congestion. Sometimes the inflammatory reaction is self-perpetuating, Kern says. The 2015 sinus inflammation and congestion treatment guidelines from the American Academy of Otolaryngology Head and Neck Surgery Foundation advises using local steroid treatments and, if necessary, antibiotics to break the cycle.
And while nasal steroid sprays and saline sprays are both helpful, Kern stresses that other nasal sprays, such as decongestant sprays, can make the problem worse if you rely on them consistently.
Do Antihistamines Have Side Effects
A common side-effect of antihistamines is drowsiness. Though this side effect of antihistamines makes it inappropriate to consume at certain times, not all of them cause drowsiness. The newer second-generation of antihistamines are less likely to cause drowsiness.
- First-generation antihistamines
First-generation antihistamines have strong sedative action and would likely give you an unpleasant dry mouth after consumption. They are mostly used for allergic rhinitis and conjunctivitis, contact dermatitis, hay fever and even motion sickness.
If your nasal congestion is keeping you awake, first-generation antihistamines may be a godsend for you. However, ensure that you do not take these before operating any machinery or driving.
- Second-generation antihistamines
On the other hand, second-generation antihistamines are non or less -sedative antiallergic agent.
If you are dealing with nasal congestion at work, you may want to use a second-generation antihistamine so that you can remain alert.
When youre rifling through your drug cabinet, being able to differentiate between the first and second-generation antihistamines may save you a lot of time and distress. Heres a table listing the different types and their side effects:
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
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Bacterial Sinus Infections: When To Suspect
- Yellow or green nasal discharge is seen with both viral and bacterial sinus infections. Suspect a bacterial infection if the discharge becomes thick . But, it also needs one or more of these symptoms:
- Sinus Pain, not just normal sinus congestion. Pain occurs mainly behind the cheekbone or eye or
- Swelling or redness of the skin over any sinus or
- Fever lasts more than 3 days or
- Fever returns after it’s been gone for over 24 hours or
- Nasal discharge and post-nasal drip lasts over 14 days without improvement
When Should You See A Doctor For A Stuffy Nose
Home remedies may not always prove useful. Certain scenarios may mean that your stuffy nose indicates health conditions like sinusitis or even severe allergies.
If you start to feel that your symptoms could be caused by another health condition, its time to speak with your doctor.
Here are some clear signs on when to see your doctor:
- When congestion lasts for over 10 days
- When congestion is accompanied by high fever for over three days
- When sinus pain and fever is accompanied with green nasal discharge
- If you have a weakened immune system
- If you have respiratory conditions like asthma or emphysema
- If the patient is an infant
If your infant has a stuffy nose, it is important that you see a doctor as soon as possible. This is because nasal congestion may be indicative of potentially fatal breathing problems.
Nasal congestion might also interfere with infant feeding and can cause choking and aspiration, which is when fluid ends up in a childs lungs.
Getting your infant prompt medical attention by a certified healthcare practitioner can also help make sure that normal speech and hearing development is unaffected.
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Whats Causing Your Nasal Congestion
Nasal congestion, commonly referred to as a stuffy nose, is the obstruction to the flow of air in and out of the nose due to the blood vessels inside the nose becoming inflamed and the tissues inside the nose swelling.
Nasal congestion is a very common condition. Nasal congestion can be caused by anything that irritates or inflames the tissues inside the nose. This includes minor illnesses like the common cold or sinus infection, which will typically improve within a week.
If your stuffy nose has persisted for more than a week, it often indicates an underlying health issue that you need to look into and get appropriate treatment.
Some underlying causes of nasal congestion that lasts longer than a week are:
- Chronic sinusitis
- A deviated septum
- Non-cancerous growth called nasal polyps, including benign tumours in the nasal passages
Nasal congestion may also occur during pregnancy due to hormonal fluctuations and a surge in blood supply. Pregnant women may experience this during the end of their first trimester. These changes may cause the tissue inside the nose to become inflamed, dry or even bleed.
How Can I Safely Take Otc Decongestants
Before you take OTC decongestants, read the directions on the drug facts label. It will tell you how much medicine to take and how often to take it. If you have any questions, call your doctor.
Follow these tips to make sure youre taking the right amount of medicine:
- Take only the amount shown on the medicines label. Dont assume more medicine will work better or quicker. Taking more than the recommended amount can be dangerous.
- If youre taking a prescription medicine, ask your doctor if its okay to also take an OTC decongestant.
- Dont use more than 1 OTC decongestant medicine at a time unless your doctor says its okay. Multiple medicines may have similar active ingredients that add up to be too much medicine.
If using a liquid decongestant, use the measuring spoon that came with the medicine. This spoon is the right size for the dose you need. Dont use a kitchen spoon.
When using decongestants, keep a record of the OTC medicines youre using and when you take them. If you need to go to the doctor, take this list with you.
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What Vitamins Are Good For The Respiratory System
- Vitamin E is important for immunity and has been shown to reduce allergic airway inflammation and improve pulmonary function. In the Womens Health Study of 38,597 women, the risk of developing chronic lung disease was reduced by 10 percent in women using vitamin E supplements.
- Vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, has been linked to asthma prevention studies also show increased vitamin C can reduce wheezing, improve lung function, and protect against bronchitis and sinusitis.
- Flavonoids, a group of antioxidants found in many fruits, vegetables, coffees, and teas, have anti-inflammatory properties and can reduce the prevalence and severity of asthma and allergies. Pycnogenol, a supplement that contains a mixture of flavonoids, can be especially effective, and has been shown to increase lung function and improve breathing.
- Vitamin D protects against respiratory infections and sinusitis, and low levels of vitamin D have been shown to impair normal lung function and exacerbate symptoms of asthma.
Treatment For A Stuffy Nose: Antihistamines Or Decongestants
Antihistamines and decongestants are both over-the-counter drugs that can relieve nasal congestion.
They come in various forms, including tablets, nasal sprays, oral liquids and eye drops. Both have advantages and disadvantages, but more importantly, they work very differently and may tend to your needs differently.
If you have fallen victim to uncontrollable sleepiness after taking one of those drowsy pills for your stuffy nose, you likely took an antihistamine. Mostly found in tablet and liquid form, antihistamines are good at relieving and preventing the symptoms of allergies, runny noses, itches and hay fever.
If you have taken one of those nasal sprays that are somewhat uncomfortable but seem to work in an instant, you likely took a decongestant. Decongestants are good at providing instantaneous relief, freeing up a constricted nose.
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Is Pseudoephedrine Safe Why Is It Sold Behind The Counter
Pseudoephedrine is safe and effective when taken as directed. But some people use OTC pseudoephedrine illegally. They combine it with other products to make methamphetamine . Meth is an illegal and dangerous street drug. To keep people from making meth, OTC medicines that contain pseudoephedrine are sold behind the counter. In most states, you dont need a prescription from your doctor to buy these medicines. But you will have to ask your pharmacist for them. Additional restrictions include:
- A limit on the amount you can purchase each month
- Customer purchasing history
Some states have more requirements for medicines containing pseudoephedrine. These requirements may include a doctors prescription.
How To Cure A Postnasal Drip Cough
Coughing associated with postnasal drip can be caused by different things, like allergies or a cold. If allergies are causing postnasal drip cough, then over-the-counter medications containing antihistamines can help. If postnasal drip cough is caused by a cold, OTC cough medications can help with mucus production and coughing. Many home remedies have proven effective for helping treat coughing as well. Gargling with salt water, using a humidifier, and trying nasal irrigation are just some of the ways people alleviate their symptoms. Its important to seek medical advice if you arent sure whats causing your postnasal drip cough to make sure you get the right treatment.
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Which Antihistamine Is Best For A Runny Nose
There are several good options among antihistamines to dry up a runny nose, including diphenhydramine , brompheniramine , and doxylamine . Second-generation antihistamines are typically non-sedating or non-drowsy, which are suitable for daytime use. Other antihistamines can cause drowsiness and help you sleep through the night.
Foods That Boost Respiratory Health:
- Omega-3 fatty acids in fish, walnuts, flax, and hemp are associated with improved lung function and decreased symptoms of asthma.
- Apples, onions, citrus fruits, and tea are high in quercetin, an antioxidant that reduces inflammation and helps prevent sinus problems.
- Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that helps reduce asthma symptoms and improves pulmonary function.
- Cayenne pepper, garlic, onion, ginger, and horseradish break up congestion, thin mucus, and clear excess mucus.
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When To See A Doctor
If you have a persistent post nasal drip, a doctor can help you identify the cause of the condition and treat it.
If you have tried over-the-counter and home remedies for a few days without improvement or you have post nasal drip that lasts longer than a week, you should seek medical attention, Thompson says.
Likewise, you should see a doctor if you have a fever since that can indicate an infection.
“If post nasal drip is accompanied by facial pain or pressure and loss of smell then you may have a sinus infection requiring antibiotics. If you have indigestion or heartburn then you may have acid reflux.
If you have itchy eyes and nose then you may have seasonal allergies,” he says.
What Are The Best Home Remedies For Postnasal Drip
Many people rely on home remedies and natural treatments to help treat their postnasal drip. Certain lifestyle changes may help prevent postnasal drip from worsening. Home remedies, natural treatment options, and lifestyle changes are all ways that people who have postnasal drip can try to reduce their symptoms. Here are some popular home and natural remedies for postnasal drip:
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What To Do About Your Stuffy Nose And Congestion
A stuffy nose can be an annoying condition that can linger for days or even weeks. There are many underlying causes for a stuffy nose , but, contrary to popular belief, the nostrils are not clogged by mucus.
This article explores the causes of a stuffy nose and the various drug and non-drug treatments. It also explains when to call a doctor if the symptoms persist or are a sign of something more serious.
Best Medicine For Post
Glands in your nose and throat continuously make mucus to help keep your sinuses moisturized and fight infection.
Sometimes those glands may make extra mucus that you feel running down the back of your throat.
This is called post-nasal drip.
In this article, first Ill explain in detail what post-nasal drip is and what causes it.
Then Ill discuss the best over-the-counter and prescription medications to treat post-nasal drip.
Ill wrap up with home remedies and when to see a medical provider about post-nasal drip.
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