Cold, dry air can also affect the mucus that is commonly present in our lungs, triggering a nagging cough and increasing our risk for illness.
“We have a protective mucus in the lungs, but when it’s cold that mucus thickens and gets stickier, which can harbor more bacteria and increase our risk of infection,” Gonshor says.
Treatment for a postnasal drip will depend on its cause, Gonshor says. If it is due to a bacterial infection, for example, antibiotics can help. Antihistamines and decongestants can be effective if the condition is due to allergies or a viral infection.
For temporarily relief, many people turn to hot showers, soups and drinks, which can help thin out mucus. Nasal saline sprays can also help keep the mucus thinned and flowing, Gonshor says.
Propping up your pillow at night can help, as can the use of a humidifier. However, if your postnasal drip is caused by allergies, a humidifier may circulate allergens in your environment and make the problem worse.