COVID-19 Symptoms: post nasal drip
Written by Ada’s Medical Knowledge Team
- COVID post nasal drip causes the secretion of mucus from your nose into the back of your throat.
- Post nasal drip with COVID-19 usually goes away on its own.
- Post nasal drip can have many other causes, so you should consider your other symptoms.
Post nasal drip is a possible COVID symptom of the nose, like a decreased sense of smell and a runny or stuffy nose. Given that post nasal drip is more frequently caused by several other conditions, it's essential to know the different possible causes of this symptom, as well as the potential treatment of it. We'll explain more in this article.
Is post nasal drip a symptom of COVID?
Post nasal drip is a common symptom that's also referred to as posterior rhinorrhea. People with post nasal drip have excessive mucus secretion in the back of the nose, draining into the throat. Post nasal drip can cause discomfort and irritation in the throat, which may go together with many symptoms such as: 1
- A cough, which may get worse when you lie down
- Bad breath
- An urge to constantly clear your throat
- A sore throat
- A blocked or runny nose
Scientists are still investigating the possible link between post nasal drip and COVID, as post nasal drip can be caused by viral infections that target the nose and throat. Some studies suggest that there may be a link between postnasal drip and COVID-19 and that it's crucial to make the distinction between postnasal drip caused by COVID-19 and postnasal drip caused by other viral infections such as the common cold or the flu so that the spread of the coronavirus can be prevented.2 3
Other possible causes of postnasal drip may include infections of the sinuses, allergies such as hay fever, or gastroesophageal reflux disease. Postnasal drip is not worrisome in most cases. However, in rare cases, it may also be a sign of a lesion in the pharynx or a malignancy if the postnasal drip is persistent, unexplainable, and associated with other warning signs.2
Cases of COVID with postnasal drip are possible as more recent variants of the coronavirus, such as Omicron, mainly tackle the upper respiratory tract. As postnasal drip isn't a prevalent symptom of COVID-19, it's important to tell your doctor about all of the symptoms you're experiencing so that they can be taken into account. Other frequent symptoms of a COVID-infection are: 4 5 6
How long does post nasal drip last after COVID?
Most symptoms of COVID-19, including post nasal drip, go away after a few days or weeks. If you notice that you still have postnasal drip weeks after your COVID-19 infection, then you should contact your healthcare provider, as you may be experiencing a condition called long COVID.
What is the appropriate post nasal drip COVID treatment?
The treatment of post nasal drip depends on its cause. If your postnasal drip is caused by COVID and you do not have severe illness, the best treatment consists of home remedies to relieve your symptoms while your immune system fights the infection. While you're recovering, it's vital to take rest and to stay hydrated.7
When should I see my healthcare provider if I have COVID post nasal drip?
Post nasal drip with COVID on its own isn’t worrying. However, you should contact your healthcare provider if: 8
- You’re gradually feeling worse
- You have difficulty breathing without exercising
- You feel very weak, and basic tasks are becoming too difficult
- You’re shaking or shivering
- You still feel unwell after a month
COVID and postnasal drip may be related in some cases. Given that post nasal drip can also be caused by various other conditions, it's crucial to consider your other symptoms. In most cases, a post nasal drip goes away on its own. You can contact your healthcare provider if your condition worries you.
Q: Does COVID cause post nasal drip?
A: COVID can cause a wide range of symptoms, which may include symptoms of the nose, such as a stuffy or runny nose and a loss of sense of smell. In some cases, COVID can also cause post nasal drip, although it's more often caused by other conditions such as sinus infections.
Q: Can you have post nasal drip without a runny nose if you have COVID?
A: It’s possible to experience post nasal drip without having a runny nose, although it’s more common to experience both symptoms together.
Q: Can I have post nasal drip after COVID?
A: Although symptoms of COVID usually go away after a few weeks, some people experience long-lasting symptoms of COVID-19. If this is the case, then you should contact your healthcare provider.
Q: Is sinus drainage a symptom of COVID?
A: The drainage of mucus that is produced in your sinuses can go to your throat, which is how post nasal drip can cause a sore throat. This is a natural process, although excessive mucus production can also be caused by viral infections such as sinusitis, the common cold, or COVID.