What is a sinus rinse?
A saline sinus rinse is the practice of clearing nasal passages using a salt solution. Solution is sprayed or poured into one nostril until it pours out the other nostril. All of the sinus and nasal cavities are connected allowing this process to occur.
There are a couple of different devices that can be used to perform this rinse including a nettie pot (looks like a teapot) or a spray bottle.
There are also disposable and reusable products on today’s market.
What should a nasal rinse be used for?
- To remove pollens and other allergens from the nasal cavities
- To moisturize in dry climates or during dry winter months
- To remove excess mucous during periods of congestion (i.e. when you have a cold)
- To ease symptoms of chronic sinusitis
- To reduce cough symptoms due to post nasal drip
- To prevent colds and flu
How does the rinse work?
The nose acts as a filter. The nasal passages are lined with thin hair and mucous that filter the air we breathe and remove dust and pollen from the air and then moving it into the stomach where most of it is destroyed. The mucous layer also prevents viruses and bacteria from penetrating the nasal lining leading to infection.
The saline rinse works to carry some of these impurities out of the body. It also helps to maintain the healthy functioning of the protective mucous layer. If mucous in the nose becomes too thick, too dry or too runny, it is easier for viruses and bacteria to penetrate the nasal lining and cause a cold.
These rinses can be used on a daily basis once to twice daily to prevent chronic sinusitis. They can also be used as needed during allergy season to relieve allergy symptoms.
Ask your pharmacist if a rinse kit is right for you!