ZocdocAnswersHow do I get rid of the mucus in my throat?

Question

How do I get rid of the mucus in my throat?

I'm a 29 year old female, who does most of my work indoors, and deals with allergies pretty consistently. For the past 8-10 years I've had an accumulation of mucus in my throat, usually when I wake up in the morning, but which often lasts into the day. I can cough it up sometimes, but it also has the tendency to cause me to choke in the morning. The only medication that has helped is MucinexD, the highest dosage, but it is never a permanent fix and I am nervous about taking it for too long, so I rarely use it. I've tried other things, gargling salt water, prescriptions from the doctor, and nothing else seems to help. Any ideas?

Answer

I would recommend going back to see your doctor. Allergy symptoms can usually be controlled pretty effectively with proper and persistent treatment. Mucinex is not a useful medication, because it does not prevent symptoms or treat the route cause of the symptoms, which is inflammation and congestion in the sinuses and nasal passages from smoke, dust, mold, and mites in the air. Important elements of treatment include preventing exposure to the allergens. This may include removing carpet from your home, applying a dust mite cover to your mattress, getting rid of pets, and the like. Next, nasal saline irrigation can be extremely effective. There are multiple commercial systems, such as the Nettipot, available for nasal irrigation; it is cheap and one of the best treatments for nasal allergies as long as you perform it regularly every day even when you do not have symptoms. Next, your primary care doctor can prescribe medications for you. Probably the best medication is a nasal steroid spray, like Flonase or Nasonex. Again, these medications absolutely must be taken every day even on days when you do not have symptoms for an indefinite period of time in order to be most effective. Talk to your primary care doctor about your options.

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