Nasal drainage related to allergies can be annoying, but rarely presents a serious problem. This discharge of mucus and other fluids from the nasal cavity is unpleasant to deal with and can interfere with daily activities, but there are steps you can take to reduce the amount of drainage.
Allergy-Related Nasal Drainage
Hay fever is one of the leading causes of nasal drainage and discharge. Also known as allergic rhinitis, this condition is caused by an allergen such as pollen that is found in trees, grasses, and ragweed. Hay fever is the immune system’s reaction to the offending irritant; when you breathe in something you are allergic to, your body produces chemicals called histamines that fight off the invader. Histamines trigger an inflammatory response that causes sneezing, nasal drainage, and congestion. The amount of pollen in the air is higher on days that are hot, dry, and windy.
Sometimes excess mucus makes its way down the back of the throat. Referred to as postnasal drip, this can lead to a sore throat and chronic coughing, especially at night.
A doctor can determine the allergen responsible for your nasal discharge through skin allergy testing and blood tests, and come up with an appropriate treatment plan based on the findings.
Treatment & Prevention
Treating nasal drainage related to allergies can be as simple as avoiding the allergen responsible for triggering your symptoms. This is not always feasible, however; home care can help alleviate the symptoms and bring you relief. Drink plenty of fluids to stay hydrated. Saline nasal sprays can be used to keep your nasal passages moist, and using a humidifier or vaporizer to moisten the air may also help.
Antihistamines are useful in reducing the amount of mucus being produced. Antibiotics won’t work for allergy-induced nasal drainage, as they only offer effective relief from bacterial infections.