Sinus drainage occurs everyday and is a normal process, usually without people noticing it. The sinus cavities produce a thin mucus that is excreted by the mucous membrane and helps in eliminating dust, pollen, dirt and other irritants from the body. Some individuals may even experience sinus drainage when they inhale an irritating and strong odor or while eating spicy food.
Sometimes if the mucous membrane becomes irritated due to an infection or inflammation it results in the thickening of the mucus. This sinus drainage, that is caused due to sinus infections, may irritate the throat and cause difficulty in swallowing. The mucous membrane becomes irritated due to the presence of foreign bodies and over exposure to dust and other pollutants can aggravate sinus drainage. There are two types of sinus drainage - acute and chronic. Sinusitis, which lasts longer than 8 to 10 weeks can result in what is known as chronic sinus drainage.
Causes of Chronic Sinus Drainage
Abnormal sinus drainage can be caused due to a bacterial or viral infection. The exact reason why sinus drainage makes you cough is that when the thick, infected mucus drains into the throat, it tends to irritate the throat and nasal passage. Viral infections like common cold and influenza (or flu) can lead to excessive drainage of the mucus. Irritating exhaust fumes and other pollutants are also one of the major causes of sinus drainage since these two factors irritate the sinus passages and aggravate the condition.
Another disorder which leads to excessive sinus drainage is acid reflux disease, which is also known as Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD). This condition results due to the rise of stomach acids in the esophagus to the throat. This can lead to overproduction of mucus leading to sinus drainage problems.
Signs of Persistent Sinus Drainage
Sinus drainage is a sign that indicates the presence of an adverse reaction or infection in the sinus cavities. Sinus drainage and sore throat are common symptoms of sinusitis. Other signs of sinus infection include headache, feeling of pressure in the face around the sinuses, bad breath (halitosis), fever, nausea and pain in the ears.
Treating Abnormal Sinus Drainage
There are various therapeutic methods that can provide relief from this disorder. Using neti pot is an excellent way to clear the blocked sinuses. Fill the neti pot with a solution of warm water and salt and slowly pour this saline solution into one nostril by tilting your head slightly. Once the sinuses are filled, the solution will flow out of the other nostril, thus clearing the congestion. Another method for relieving sinus problems is the use of a nasal bulb syringe that contains a solution of warm water, salt and a pinch of baking soda. Spraying this solution in the nasal passage with the help of the syringe will provide immediate relief.
Sinus drainage in throat can be reduced by gargling with warm water or saline solution. One popular sinus drainage remedy to treat nasal congestion is the use of inhalers, vaporizer or humidifier. Inhaling steam is another popular remedy that is known to get rid of this disorder immediately and clear the mucus. The doctor may also prescribe a few antibiotics to treat symptoms caused due to bacterial or viral infection. Other sinus drainage treatment measures to get complete relief from sinusitis is keeping the body well hydrated, drinking soups, broths and tea and proper rest.
If you suffer from any kind of allergies which may lead to abnormal sinus drainage, then you can take certain precautions. If you experience persistent and chronic sinus drainage, then consult a doctor. Take care!