Nasal irrigation is often recommended as a complementary non-pharmacological therapy for the relief of nasal congestion associated with allergic rhinitis (hayfever) and rhinosinusitis. Nasal irrigation is a personal hygiene practice in which the nasal and sinus cavities are washed using an isotonic saline solution.
Most problems that occur within the sinonasal cavities begin with inflammation caused by the presence of an infection, allergen or irritant. Saline nasal irrigations help to relieve inflammation and congestion by flushing away problem allergens, irritants and infectious materials, excess mucous and the inflammatory mediators (such as histamine) it may contain, from the sinonasal cavities.
When performed regularly, saline irrigation can help improve nasal symptoms, reduce medicine consumption and enhance the quality of life of allergic rhinitis sufferers (Hermelingmeier et al., 2012). For best results, irrigation should be performed twice daily, or as directed by your healthcare professional.
Nasal irrigation using a saline solution is generally well tolerated, inexpensive, easy to perform, and associated with no adverse side effects. Nasal irrigation kits are available from most leading pharmacies throughout Australia.
ENT Technologies. 2012. Flo Sinus Care. Accessed August 21, 2015, http://www.enttech.com.au/products/flo-sinus-care Hermelingmeier, K., et al. 2012. Nasal irrigation as an adjunctive treatment in allergic rhinitis: a systematic review and meta-analysis.American Journal of Rhinology & Allergy 26, 5, e119-e125. Pictures courtesy of ENT Technologies. http://www.enttech.com.au
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