In the modern world we live in, the most common reaction to any medical problem is to go to the pharmacy and buy the pill, spray, or supplement that we’ve seen advertised most frequently on television. If the commercial says it works, it must work, right? In some cases it does, but when it comes to finding ways to relieve congestion and post nasal drip, you might want to stop for a moment before picking up that box or bottle of pharmaceutical panacea you heard about while watching the afternoon soap operas. It could actually worsen the condition instead of curing it.
One of the problems with using antihistamines too often is that they can be habit-forming. Some of the ingredients can actually be quite addictive, and over-use can lead to the body building up immunity to them. Stopping the intake of antihistamines after reaching that point can lead to a reemergence of the original condition, often worse than it was in the first place. The build-up of mucus and phlegm in the nose and throat will quickly become uncomfortable and lead to a new quest for ways to relieve congestion and post nasal drip.
Another potential side effect of using an antihistamine is the appearance of dry mouth and the subsequent case of halitosis, or bad breath as it is more commonly known. The anaerobic bacteria that cause bad breath thrive in an environment where there is little saliva and low oxygen levels. They can also sustain themselves on the amino acids cysteine and methionine, both of which are present in mucus, phlegm and dairy foods. In some cases, it is actually the presence of these bacteria that causes discomfort and not the build-up of mucus that we attempt to treat with antihistamine.
Mucus build-up is caused by a malfunction in the cilia, tiny hairs that sweep and clean the nasal membrane, keeping the nasal passages clear and preventing any mucus or phlegm build-up. Antihistamines may dry up the build-up, but they don’t address the cause of the problem. Instead of looking for temporary relief that may actually worsen the condition, try using a nasal irrigation product that will rejuvenate the body’s own defense system against the condition. More and more studies are concluding that these products are a far better way to relieve congestion and post nasal drip. They are also considered safer because they are non-addictive and don’t cause the body to build up a resistance to them.