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HomeHEALTHHow to get rid of catarrh

How to get rid of catarrh


            Everyone at one point of life must have had an episode of runny nose and feeling their nose is stuffed due to cold or flu. Most often it is also associated with phlegm production that surely causes a person to feel the throat or nose is plugged with mucus. Such conditions may not be serious but usually are a nuisance. In this DoctorOnCall’s article, we will be focusing on one catarrh, a symptom constantly linked with such a condition and how to get rid of it so that you can breathe better.

            Catarrh is a condition characterised by the build-up of mucus in the airway or cavity in the body such as the sinus, nose and throat. Catarrh is actually a word coming from the ancient Greek which means ‘to flow down’. Hence, another term for catarrh is a ‘postnasal drip’ as it is often described as the feeling of build up mucus at the back of the nose and slowly drip down the back of the throat. Catarrh is usually a temporary condition but there are those who experience it for months or years. This is known as chronic catarrh.

            It remains unclear what causes catarrh but it has been stipulated that it is common with some factors causing the immune system to react which causes swelling of the lining of the nose and throat, resulting in mucus production. This includes infection such as the common cold and sinus infections, those with allergies reaction towards allergens such as dust and pollen, hormones changes, environmental changes such as changes in weather or insults to the lungs like pollutants and problems with the nasal structure such as nasal polyps or deviated septum. The exact cause of chronic catarrh is not clear but it is considered not be related with allergies or infection.

            Beside the sensation of the mucus running down the nose or throat and the urge to clear the throat, symptoms of a catarrh are numerous. Symptoms are a congested nose or a blocked nose, a runny nose, persistent cough, ineffective nose blowing, headache, disturbance in smell and taste and a crackling or dragging sensation in the ear which may result in temporary hearing loss. These symptoms, even though they are not harmful, certainly is a frustration to live with and a person can get easily tired just from experiencing it. Some symptoms can get worse to the point of causing sleep disturbance.

       Since having catarrh impose a degree of emotional distress at some point, getting rid of it would be the best way to have a comfortable living. There is no need to get immediate medical advice from doctor unless the catarrh persists for a long while even after much self-help being done to help improve it fails or the condition makes it hard for you to live such as having difficulty breathing, chest pain, difficulty swallowing and bloody or bad-smelling mucus.

       Luckily, catarrh is usually to be managed on your own. There are many steps a person can take to help improve the catarrh symptoms. Below are suggestions of what can be done:

1-  Avoid known triggers such as the allergens or pollutant environment

2-  Sipping cold water instead of clearing the throat as constant attempt of clearing it will make things worst

3-  Use saline nasal rinse such as saline nasal drops or sprays several times a day to thin the thick mucus

4-  Use over-the-counter medicine such as decongestants, antihistamines or steroid nasal spray

5-  Humidifier can help keep the air humid and help to relieve stuffy nose by thinning the mucus

6-  Those with chronic catarrh would benefit from finding remedies that improve the symptoms rather than finding a definite cure


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