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How does postnasal drip cause a productive cough?

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If you find yourself coughing every night, it may be a sign of postnasal drip. That's when mucus drips down the back of your throat. The main culprits are:

Sometimes, medicine or pregnancy can cause it. Kids who get something stuck in their nose may get postnasal drip, too.

You may have other symptoms, like a sore or scratchy throat. You might also feel like throwing up.

The best way to fix postnasal drip is to find out what's causing it. If your cough lasts longer than 8 weeks, talk to your doctor. They may give you medicine or another treatment you can take at home.

  • Allergies
  • Colds
  • Other infections

SOURCES:

Harvard Health Publishing: “Cracking the cough code,” “Treatments for post-nasal drip.” 

Cleveland Clinic: “How Doctors Crack the Code for Your Chronic Cough,” “Postnasal Drip, Can It Make Your Queasy?”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “Cough,” “Pneumonia,” “COPD,” “Cystic Fibrosis,” “Bronchiectasis.”

CDC: “CDC Features: Common Colds: Protect Yourself and Others,” “Influenza (Flu): Treatment; Who Needs a Flu Vaccine & When,” “Antibiotic Prescribing and Use in Doctor’s Offices: Chest Cold (Acute Bronchitis),” “Pneumonia: Vaccines help Prevent Pneumonia.”

American Lung Association: “Pneumonia Symptoms and Diagnosis.”

American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery: “What Is Post-Nasal Drip?”

International Journal of Otolaryngology : “Chronic Cough, Reflux, Postnasal Drip Syndrome, and the Otolaryngologist.”

Reviewed by Carmelita Swiner on April 17, 2020

SOURCES:

Harvard Health Publishing: “Cracking the cough code,” “Treatments for post-nasal drip.” 

Cleveland Clinic: “How Doctors Crack the Code for Your Chronic Cough,” “Postnasal Drip, Can It Make Your Queasy?”

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute: “Cough,” “Pneumonia,” “COPD,” “Cystic Fibrosis,” “Bronchiectasis.”

CDC: “CDC Features: Common Colds: Protect Yourself and Others,” “Influenza (Flu): Treatment; Who Needs a Flu Vaccine & When,” “Antibiotic Prescribing and Use in Doctor’s Offices: Chest Cold (Acute Bronchitis),” “Pneumonia: Vaccines help Prevent Pneumonia.”

American Lung Association: “Pneumonia Symptoms and Diagnosis.”

American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery: “What Is Post-Nasal Drip?”

International Journal of Otolaryngology : “Chronic Cough, Reflux, Postnasal Drip Syndrome, and the Otolaryngologist.”

Reviewed by Carmelita Swiner on April 17, 2020

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