Excess Mucus In The Throat – Causes And What Works Best

Though you may not be aware of it, the glands in your throat produce lots of mucus every day. Mucus, also known as phlegm, is essential for keeping your respiratory tract moist and healthy, and wards off infection. Excess mucus, however, can be unpleasant and bothersome and can cause a number of issues, including swallowing problems. Let’s take a look at what causes a build-up of mucus and some of the remedies that work best.

What Causes Excess Mucus In The Throat?

The stomach, nose, sinuses, and throat can all produce mucus, so getting a good diagnosis requires a medical examination. Possible causes of excess mucus can be food allergies, an acid reflux from the stomach, or an infection. The consistency of mucus in the throat also varies depending on what is going on in your body.

Elderly woman suffering from excess mucus touching chest while talking to the nurse

Common causes of too much mucus in the throat include a cold or flu, acute bronchitis, sinusitis or pneumonia. When mucus runs from the back of the nose down the throat after a meal, this could indicate an allergy. Causes can be mild, chronic, or severe (the onset of congestive heart failure), so be sure to seek medical advice.

Symptoms of mucus overproduction

Symptoms of excess mucus are coughing up phlegm, shortness of breath, or congestion in the throat. If the cause of mucus in the throat is a bacterial, viral, or fungal infection, symptoms may be different. They may include fever, itchy eyes, a runny nose, headache, and difficulty breathing. Frequent throat-clearing may be a symptom of stomach problems, as mucus formation is a protective mechanism against acidity.  

What foods help excess mucus?

Some food and drinks tend to lead to a build-up mucus, while others relieve it. Things that help include broccoli, berries, oranges and greens, fatty fish like trout, and olive oil. Cayenne pepper, ginger, lemon, and herbal teas are also beneficial. Things that can aggravate mucus build-up include milk, soy, cheese, yoghurt, caffeine, processed meat, and alcohol.

Further tips and remedies

Many people with excess mucus find that sleeping with their head raised on an extra pillow helps. This is because elevating the head and shoulders in this way relieves congested nasal passages. Quit smoking and stay away from irritants and polluted air whenever possible. Blow your nose, inhale steam, gargle with salt and warm water, raise the humidity, diffuse essential oils, drink warm liquids. Remember dehydration is also bad, so make sure to drink a lot of water.

If your doctor diagnoses an allergy, allergy medications may help address the problem of excess mucus. Be aware of your swallowing and if you think something unusual is happening get medical advice. Another tip is not to eat a large meal before going to bed as this can cause indigestion and the production of more mucus.

Fairview Adult Day Care Center in Brooklyn NY pays close attention to the symptoms and causes of excess mucus as part of its comprehensive medical care regime. We provide education and guidance as to how to manage health issues in the elderly as well as people with neurological conditions.