Catarrh is usually caused by the immune system reacting to a cold, infection or irritation.
Other causes can include hay fever and allergic rhinitis – inflammation of the inside of the nose caused by an allergen such as dust or an animal.
While it will often pass in a few days or weeks, the condition can be frustrating, particularly with its symptoms.
Catarrh can lead to a constant need to clear your throat, feeling that your throat is blocked, a runny nose, a reduced sense of smell and taste, and a crackling sensation in your ear and some temporary hearing loss.
But there are some easy things you can do at home to relieve symptoms, such as taking sips of cold water when you feel the need to clear your throat – which is recommended by the NHS.
This is because constantly clearing your throat may make things worse.
You should also avoid things that trigger your symptoms, such as allergens or smoky places.
Using a saline nasal rinse several times a day can also help – these can be bought from a pharmacy or made at home with half a teaspoon of salt in a pint of boiled water that’s been left to cool.
You should also avoid warm, dry atmospheres, such as places with air conditioning and car heating systems, stay well hydrated, and talk to a pharmacist about suitable over-the-counter medications – including decongestants, antihistamines or steroid nasal sprays.
If your catarrh persists and becomes difficult to live with, speak to your GP.
Hay fever can be a cause of catarrh, so how can you get rid of it?
There is currently no cure for hay fever and you can’t prevent it. But there are things you can do to ease symptoms.
Holland and Barrett recommend eating immune system-boosting foods.
It states: “When you’re deciding what to have for your evening meals, try to have some foods that are rich in beta-carotene which your body uses to make vitamin A.
“This can help keep your mucous membranes healthy rather than dry and irritated, as well as boosting you immune system.”
Apricots, available for around 6p in supermarkets, are a good source of this.
Other foods rich in beta-carotene include carrots, sweet potatoes, spinach and kale.
But the high street health shop does add: “If you prefer, you could decide to take a daily vitamin A supplement instead.”
One surprising way of keeping a runny nose and itchy eyes at bay is cutting down on alcohol.
Boots UK pharmacist Angela Chalmers said: “Whilst it might be tempting to enjoy a drink on a warm, summer evening, alcohol can worsen the symptoms of hay fever, so maybe try to avoid on the days when your symptoms feel particularly bad.”
Other tips range from using petroleum jelly to taking an evening shower.
Source : EXPRESS