With the change in season upon us, it's that time of year again when allergies start to flare up. If you're one of the unlucky individuals among us that are plagued by clogged sinuses, watery eyes and facial pain when Spring is in the air, you've probably tried a whole host of allergy medications, but have you considered nasal irrigation? This simple practise of flushing out the sinuses with salt water has been used in India to treat various sinus problems for centuries – and with good reason. It's a simple, natural and effective treatment that could put an end to your suffering and prevent future problems. The best part is that its something that you can do in the comfort of your own home, and it only takes a few minutes!
Why It Is Effective
Nasal irrigation involves squirting or pouring salt water into your nose to rinse your nasal passages and sinuses. The most basic explanation of how it works is that the saline solution thins mucous in the nose and sinuses, and then flushes it out via the nose or the throat. In biological terms, it actually improves the function of the hair-like structures in the nose and sinuses that push mucous, pollen, allergens and irritants to the back of the throat or into the nose in order to expel them.
The Many Benefits
Sinus irrigation can provide relief from the symptoms of chronic sinus infections, acute bacterial sinus infection, viral upper respiratory infections, allergic rhinitis and irritant-based congestion (such as hayfever). In addition, it can be used to eliminate excess mucous when you have a cold, and can effectively soothe and moisturise your nasal passages when they're dry to provide instant relief.
For most individuals, daily nasal douching is safe. Stinging, irritation and nosebleeds are a rare side effect of nasal irrigation, but if experienced, you should reduce the amount of salt used, or reduce the frequency of treatment.
As a precaution, you should always use distilled, sterile or cooled, recently boiled water to prevent infection. Wash and dry your nasal irrigation device – whether its a Neti pot, syringe or nasal spray applicator – in warm water and dry it completely between uses.
How To Do It
One of the most-popular methods of nasal irrigation is to use a Neti pot – a teapot-like device that you use to pour saline solution into your nostril. While a Neti pot is effective for sinus douching, you can also purchase nasal sprays and syringe systems that allow you to control the pressure and volume of the solution.
Start with pure table salt or a sachet of nasal rinsing solution and distilled, purified or (cooled) boiled water. Add a quarter of a teaspoon of salt to one cup of water, or follow the instruction on your nasal rinse sachet. Always ensure that the salt or solution has dissolved completely before you begin the irrigation process. Follow the instructions provided with your irrigation device to ensure that you are administering the solution correctly. The process should only take a couple of minutes and can be repeated daily.
Best Nasal Irrigation Systems at Health and Care
NeilMed Sinus Rinse Starter Kit
We recommend the NeilMed Sinus Rinse Starter Kit as a convenient and easy-to-use sinus irrigation system for newbies and those who prefer a simplistic approach to nasal douching. This kit includes a squeeze bottle, instruction brochure and 15 sachets of USP-grade Sodium Chloride and Sodium Bicarbonate powdered mix of the purest quality available. This educational video demonstrates how to use the NeilMed Sinus Rinse Starter Kit for the best results:
The NeilMed Sinugator is a cordless, pulsating nasal irrigation device that gives you complete control over the pressure and volume of the solution. It is provided with an instruction brochure and 30 sachets of USP-grade Sodium Chloride and Sodium Bicarbonate mixture. The following video provides more information on this nasal irrigation system: