5 Ways to Stop Post-Nasal Drip

By Jessica Migala  for Livestrong.com

woman in bed drinking water to stop post-nasal drip

Staying hydrated is always important, and especially when you’re dealing with post-nasal drip.Image Credit: Maskot/Maskot/GettyImages

Nose gunk in general isn’t fun, but when it drips down the back of your throat? Yuck

Post-nasal drip is the secretions from mucus originating from the back of your nasal passages, David Erstein, MD, a board-certified allergist and immunologist working with Advanced Dermatology PC in New York City, tells LIVESTRONG.com.

Fun fact: The glands in your nose and throat produce one or two quarts of mucus per day, notes the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation. And that mucus plays an important role in your health, keeping your nasal lining clean and moist and stopping infection. Post-nasal drip can occur as a result of allergies, acid reflux, sinusitis or a viral infection like a cold or flu.

You might have post-nasal drip if you, well, feel mucus dripping in the back of your throat, find yourself swallowing or clearing your throat often or have a sore throat, the Foundation points out. It may also taste pretty gross, too.

While there are medications that can help, it’s best to try non-drug treatments first, Dr. Erstein says. Over-the-counter meds are generally safe, but they come with a risk of side effects and can interact with other meds you might be on.

Here’s where to start to stop post-nasal drip:

1. Try Nasal Irrigation

woman using neti pot to stop post-nasal drip

A neti pot can help flush out your nose and provide relief for post-nasal drip.Image Credit: South_agency/E+/GettyImages

Nasal saline (salt water) sprays and saline rinse kits are effective, non-medication treatments for post-nasal drip, Dr. Erstein says. These are available as squeeze bottles and sprays, and some people like to use neti pots (small containers usually shaped like a teapot that are designed to rinse out your nose).

If you do use a neti pot, use distilled or sterile water; tap water is not safe to use in your nasal passages, per the U.S. Food & Drug Administration.

2. Drink Water

Filling your glass with more H2O is never a bad idea, and it’s even more important when you’re dealing with too much mucus.

“Make sure you are hydrated to thin out the secretions,” Dr. Erstein says.

Plus, you’ll wash away any yucky taste, too.

3. Sleep Propped Up

When laying down, mucus can collect at the back of your throat, making you cough (and probably disturbing your sleep).

To stop post-nasal drip from waking you up, put an extra pillow under your head, which will help gravity usher down the drip while you snooze.

4. Run a Humidifier at Night

woman sleeping with an air humidifier to get rid of post-nasal drip

Higher humidity can help tamp down mucus and stop post-nasal drip.Image Credit: MICROGEN IMAGES/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY/Science Photo Library/GettyImages

Dry air irritates sinuses and can cause your body to ramp up mucus production. To counter that, upping the humidity in your room while you sleep can help clear your nasal passages.

If you use a humidifier, though, make sure to clean the filter as recommended by the manufacturer to prevent mold growth, something that can make breathing more difficult, especially if you have allergies, according to the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology.

5. Consider Medications for Post-Nasal Drip

If things like saline rinses, drinking water, sleeping more upright and running a humidifier don’t work, then you can turn to a medication for short-term relief, Dr. Erstein says.

Options include:

  • Decongestants such as pseudoephedrine (Sudafed), which relieve congestion and decrease excess mucus
  • Mucinex to thin and loosen mucus
  • Nasal decongestants like Afrin
  • Antihistamines

Talk to your doctor about what’s right for you. For example, people who have high blood pressure are usually told to avoid decongestants (because these narrow blood vessels), Dr. Erstein says. And nasal decongestants like Afrin should not be used for more than three days, because prolonged use can worsen congestion.

(Note: If you get sore throats every spring, like I do, this could be the cause.)

Source: 5 Ways to Stop Post-Nasal Drip, According to a Doctor | Livestrong.com

Navy SEALs Use a Technique Called “Box Breathing” to Relieve Stress and So Can You

woman in blue denim jacket sitting on brown grass during daytime

Nicholas Bartos photo via unsplash

Even as hope appears on the horizon with respect to the COVID-19 pandemic now that vaccine rollout is ramping up, Americans remain besieged by unprecedented anxiety. As such, your personal threshold for stress is probably lower right now, which means you may find yourself going from zero to panic in mere moments. To combat this overwhelm, it’s helpful to have a number of tools on tap—and you’d be hard-pressed to find one with a better endorsement than box breathing, a calming technique used by elite U.S. Navy SEALs.

The practice itself, which gets its name because there are four equal parts to it, is super simple. It works on the principle that slowing down your breathing helps you to relax, increases your oxygen intake, releases tension, and stimulates the vagus nerve, which is the longest nerve in your body and starts in the brain. One of its main functions is to slow the sympathetic stress response, says Erika Polsinelli, a Kundalini yoga teacher and founder of Evolve by Erika, a virtual wellness center. She points out that some pilot research published in the journal, Brain Stimulation, shows that stimulating it may improve anxiety.

And the more you do box breathing on a regular basis, the more you will notice stress doesn’t affect you the same way, says Rabinowitz. “So absolutely use it when needed, but don’t just wait for a stressful moment,” she suggests. “Find five minutes wherever you can, and watch the way you react to life start to change.”

How to do box breathing

  1. Set a timer for five minutes.
  2. Sit with a straight spine on the floor or in a chair with your feet flat.
  3. Close your eyes and inhale for a count of four.
  4. Hold your breath for a count of four.
  5. Exhale for a count of four.
  6. Hold for a count of four.
  7. Repeat until the alarm sounds.

Something to try when you’re feeling stressed.

Article by Erin Bunch for Well + Good

Source: Navy SEALs Use a Technique Called “Box Breathing” to Relieve Stress and So Can You | Well+Good (wellandgood.com)

Shade Perennials for Weed Suppression

These quick-spreading ground covers are perfect for reducing understory maintenance

‘Burgundy Glow’ ajuga grows streaks of variegated white among purple and green dappled foliage. Photo: Michelle Gervais

Pulling weeds usually isn’t at the top of the list of anyone’s favorite things to do, so why not utilize nature to prevent those weeds from growing in the first place? Try planting one of these weed-suppressing, colony-forming, shade-loving perennials.

Pink lily-of-the-valley

Convallaria majalis var. rosea syn. Convallaria majalis ‘Rosea’, Zones 3–8

Lily-of-the-valley (Convallaria majalis, Zones 3–8) is an old-fashioned plant that spreads somewhat aggressively in partial to full shade, creating a dense colony to a height of 6 to 12 inches. Fragrant bell-shaped flowers in spring are usually white; however, there is a pink lily-of-the-valley. There are also a few varieties with very soft pink flowers, but unless they are examined right next to the white flowers, any difference is too hard to notice. ‘Flore Pleno’ is a double-flowered variety worth seeking out, as is ‘Prolificans’, in which each flower is replaced by a cluster of three to seven flowers, giving even more flowering power and fragrance.

Brighten up the understory of your trees with the yellow flowers and streaked foliage of ‘Herman’s Pride’ yellow archangel. 
Photo: Bill Johnson

Yellow archangel

Lamium galeobdolon, Zones 4–9

A species to consider in dry shade is yellow archangel (Lamium galeobdolon, Zones 4–9). Growing 1 to 2 feet in height and width, yellow archangel features medium green leaves with silvery markings along the margins and beautiful, tubular yellow flowers. The plant spreads quickly and somewhat aggressively, requiring some thought into placement in the garden to avoid having to weed it out later. However, there is a clump-forming and nonspreading cultivar called ‘Herman’s Pride’ that only grows 10 to 14 inches tall and wide and has similar yellow, tubular flowers to the species but with more noticeable silver marking to the leaves.

Ajuga is a wonderful shade plant

Ajuga

Ajuga reptans, Zones 3–10

Reaching only a few inches high, ajuga is a wonderful plant for weed suppression in shade. As it steadily spreads, the flat leaves and vigorous stems form an intertwined and dense net that prevents weed seeds from even getting started. The main feature is the foliage, which can come in a wide array of colors: green, white, cream, pink, bronze, and shades of purple. As a bonus, blue spikes of flowers cover the plants in late spring, and these blooms are popular with pollinators. If you grow one of the variegated varieties such as ‘Burgundy Glow’, promptly remove any nonvariegated sections, as they will quickly dominate. My favorite cultivar is ‘Bronze Beauty’, which sports deep blue flower spikes and attractive, contrasting, bronze-tinged green foliage.

It might take a little work to get shade perennial plantings established, but it will save you time in the long run that you won’t spend weeding. For more ideas on how to suppress weeds in shade, read about these 10 ground covers for shade.

Article By Chris Schlenker for Fine Gardening

—Chris Schlenker is the head gardener of McCrory Gardens at South Dakota State University in Brookings, South Dakota.

Source: Shade Plants that Suppress Weeds – FineGardening

Is your iPhone feeling slow? The fix might be quick and simple (and free)

graphical user interface, application

© ZDNet

The other day someone mentioned that their iPhone had become so slow and so sluggish as to almost be unusable.

“The battery life is also terrible,” she added glumly.

She offered me the iPhone 8 Plus so I could “do your thing and take it apart” and was going to scrape together the cash to buy a replacement as soon as possible.

She left with an iPhone that was, in her words, “working like new.”

There are numerous reasons why an iPhone can be slow, and a worn battery causing processor throttling is a common issue, so it’s a good place to start.

So, I took a look at the iPhone 8 Plus. It wasn’t that old, bought new in the last three years, and it was in good condition. According to iOS, the battery was in good condition, and checking it out with the excellent CoconutBattery app showed that the battery was a little more than halfway through its 500 recharge cycles.

I ruled out the battery being the problem.

Then I noticed the problem.

The iPhone had very little free space. Well under a gigabyte.

And the iPhone was trying to shuffle apps and data around to make enough free space for updates.

See, iOS is clever. If you are running low on space, it will automatically free up storage space so you can install an app, and update iOS, and even try to make space when you download new music, take photos or record more videos. iOS only moves stuff that you don’t need or stuff that can be downloaded again, but the process is system intensive, and takes more battery power.

And that’s what was going on here. With under 600MB of free storage space — Apple considers 1GB of free space to be a low storage — the iPhone was having to do a lot of juggling and shuffling of data and free space.

The fix was easy. Delete some (actually many) games and some unwanted videos/photos, and I then connected the iPhone to a high-speed network so it could do all the updating it was trying to do, and then after a quick reboot the iPhone was back to working great again.

Another gadget saved from the recycling heap.

(Use this tip if updates can’t happen because of space requirements.)

Article by Adrian Kingsley-Hughes for ZDNet

Source: Is your iPhone feeling slow? The fix might be quick and simple (and free) (msn.com)

Windows 10 spring 2021 update: Every new feature, when to download and more

Microsoft has confirmed that its latest Windows 10 update, version 21H1, will arrive in the spring of this year, first in a tech community post on Feb. 15 and in a more formal company blog post on Feb. 17. This follows Microsoft’s usual pattern of rolling out two major Windows 10 updates per year, with this one following the latest October 2020 update. (If you’re running Windows 7, you can still download Windows 10 free to get the latest updates.)

icon: Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

© Provided by CNET Avishek Das/SOPA Images/LightRocket/Getty Images

While we can expect a few useful new features to arrive this spring, it seems likely that Microsoft is using this smaller update cycle to prepare for a larger Windows 10 UI update, reportedly codenamed Sun Valley, that will be part of Microsoft’s renewed focus in Windows 10 that executives mentioned last year. We won’t know exactly what that means until a larger update is confirmed, but we’ve collected some rumors below.

Here’s what we know about Windows 10 version 21H1 so far, and what it could mean for the future of the OS. 

What is Windows 10 version 21H1?

Windows 10 version 21H1 will be Microsoft’s latest update to the OS, arriving sometime this spring. These updates often end up being called the April or May update. 

Usually, Microsoft releases a larger feature update in the spring, and a smaller one in the fall. But version 21H1 appears to be a more minor update as well, rather than an overhaul. 

What new features will the new update include?

According to Microsoft’s blog post, new Windows 10 features will include:

  • Multicamera support for Windows Hello, allowing users to choose an external camera when using high-end displays with integrated cameras.
  • Improvements to Windows Defender Application Guard, including optimizing document opening scenario times.
  • Improvements to Windows Management Instrumentation (WMI) Group Policy Service (GPSVC) updating, to support remote work. 

“The features we are releasing in this update are focused on the core experiences that customers have told us they’re relying on most right now,” the post said. “So, we optimized this release to support our customers’ most pressing needs.” 

According to Digital Trends, the update will also include new icons, updated settings pages and some tweaks to Cortana and the search box experience. 

When can I download the new update?

Microsoft said the Windows 10 21H1 update will be available in the first half of the year. A Windows Central report says it will arrive in May, though Microsoft did not confirm this.

In March, Microsoft began rolling out a 21H1 build to Windows Insiders in the Beta program. New features will be offered in future Windows Insider Preview builds as they are ready. 

When the update is generally available, it will be the first time an H1 (first half of the calendar year) feature update will be delivered using Microsoft’s servicing technology. That means it’ll arrive the same way that monthly Windows 10 updates do. It’s also the same way the October 2020 update was released. If you’re already running either Windows 10 version 2004 or version 20H2, it’ll be a fast installation process to get the newest update.

When it’s generally available in the spring, you’ll be able to download version 21H1 by going to Settings > Update & Security > Windows Update, and clicking Check for Updates. If available, you’ll see Feature update to Windows 10, version 21H1. Click Download and install

What’s this bigger Windows 10 update that could be coming next? 

On an October 2020 earnings call, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said that Microsoft is “doubling down” on Windows and PCs, and will continue to innovate. 

This could take the form of a major OS update for Windows 10 later this year that would bring a major design refresh to the UI, according to a report from Windows Central. The update, reportedly codenamed Sun Valley, could bring a redesigned Start menu, Action Center and File Explorer, with a more modern look and new features. Sun Valley is expected to be released around the 2021 holiday season, Windows Central says, but that could change. 

Article by Alison DeNisco Rayome for cnet

Source: Windows 10 spring 2021 update: Every new feature, when to download and more (msn.com)

HERBS THAT GROW TOGETHER IN A POT

herbs in pot

When it comes to having a herb garden, there’s really nothing more satisfying than picking your very own fresh herbs for that night’s dish! These herbs that grow together can be planted in just one pot or directly in your herb garden outdoors for a full, healthy harvest in no time! These herbs not only enjoy each other’s company, but also feed off of each other by exchanging important nutrients and therefore, making sure your harvest is plentiful! Herbs that grow together stay together!

A rule of thumb when planting any herb or vegetable together, is to make sure they have everything in common including irrigation, sun needs, and soil. Another thing to consider is the herb’s height – for example, fennel grows quite tall and would like ridiculous planted alongside smaller herbs such as mint.

Herbs such as rosemary, thyme, and sage like a fairly dry soil, while basil and parsley like a little more moisture. One herb that you absolutely must always plant by itself is mint. Mint does not go well will other herbs as it will take over the entire pot and could also cross pollinate with other varieties of mint plants, such as spearmint. Herbs that like the same type of environment, will usually grow very well together! Take for example these Mediterranean herbs that can be all planted together in one pot.

MEDITERRANEAN HERBS:

OTHER HERBS THAT CAN BE PLANTED TOGETHER

So now that you know about these herbs that grow together, it’s time to get to planting!  

Posted by Aniela M.

Source: Herbs That Grow Together In a Pot – Plant Instructions