Nasal irrigation is an ancient health practice that originated from the yoga tradition. During the 19th century, nasal flushing was encouraged by physicians as a method of routine cleansing. Now, a growing body of scientific evidence shows that this practice is safe, effective, and beneficial. It is becoming more accepted in the medical profession as a simple way of treating common sinus problems caused by allergies, colds, and sinus infections. In practice, nasal irrigation is the flushing of a warm saline solution through the nostrils to clean out the nasal passages and to alleviate stuffiness and nasal blockage.
Nasal Irrigation and Sinus Wash Systems
One of the most advanced nasal irrigation systems, the SinuPulse features variable pressure control, dual spray operation, and LED display. It is the only pulsating nasal irrigation system designed by experts to deliver both a thorough cleansing rinse and a micronized mist spray for doctor recommended rinses and solutions. The system includes two sinus tips and two throat tips with tongue cleaners. A complete instruction guide with healthy sinus tips from Dr. Robert Ivker is included with the system.
- Easy to use and clean
- System has a hypoallergenic design
- Includes 30 SinuAir saline packets
- Fully variable water pressure control
This nasal irrigation system features variable pressure control, a calibrated pulse rate, and soft color-coded nasal tips. It pulsates at the normal rate of healthy nasal cilia, so using this system can mean long term improvement for your sinuses and short term relief for s stuffy nose. The system includes two sinus tips, two throat tips with tongue cleaners, and complete instructions.
- Extremely easy to use and clean
- Includes sample Breathe-ease packets
- Adjustable water pressure
NasaFlo Saline Rinse Kit
The NasaFlo neti pot is a simple and effective way to gently cleanse and rinse irritated sinus passages.Â Simply fill with a nasal rinse and allow gravity to soothe away dry or inflamed sinus cavities.Â Though very simple, the neti pot is the most basic and effective form of sinus irrigation.
- Uses free-flowing gravity rinse rather than a bottle
- Comes with 50 premixed packets & complete instructions
NeilMed Sinus Rinse Kit
This physician-developed sinus rinse kit includes pre-measured packets, a smooth flow rinse bottle with cap and tube, and an educational pamphlet. The mixture is preservative free and pH balanced for no burning or stinging. There are re-fill mixture packets available as well.
- Includes pre-measured packets
- Easy squeeze bottle
$5.99 - $18.95
SinuAir Nasal Wash System
This kit provides relief that can be used virtually anywhere.Â The complete wash system gives you everything you need to mix your own nasal wash solution.Â The all natural mixture is formulated to approximate the body's natural salinity and electrolyte composition.Â SinuAir can be purchased as entire kits, 30 packets boxes or 200-300g jars. Works well with the SinuPulse.
- 100% All Natural, with no preservatives or harsh chemicals.
- Dissolves quickly in warm water for easy use.
This kit provides everything you need to mix your own nasal wash solution.Â The mixture is formulated to approximate the body's natural salinity and electrolyte composition. It has no preservatives or additives which create burning and stinging.Â The package includes detailed instructions, 190 grams of Breathe-ease XL mixture, two measuring spoons, and a spray bottle for use while traveling. Works well with the HydroPulse.
- Feels very soothing, with no burning or discomfort.
- Dissolves quickly in warm water for easy use.
Narial Nasal Cup
With a spout to make dispensing the fluid easier, this is the ideal container to be used according to the steps above.Â Simply fill with a nasal rinse. You can even mix the rinse in the cup.Â This is a very simple solution that is easy to use and to clean up.
- Offers gentle hydration.
- Clear, easy instructions are included.
SaltAire Sinus relief is a drug-free, pH balanced nasal wash. It comes in a manually operated pump bottle, so that you can control the solution's flow with your finger tips. The nasal wash ingredients are buffered to ensure gentle cleansing. If you want to keep on using the dispenser after the solution runs out, you can purchase a large re-fill bottle of solution.
- No mixing required. The dispenser and solution are self-contained and easy to transport.
- Quick and easy to use
What Is Nasal Irrigation?
Nasal irrigation dates back to the yoga practice of "jala neti". This ancient personal hygiene practice is now used today as a home remedy for treating sinus problems, allergies, and colds, and relieving nasal blockage. This method of nasal cleansing can be more soothing and less expensive than a typical over-the-counter sinus relief drug, and does not have the same unpleasant side effects like drowsiness or an upset stomach.
As mentioned above, nasal irrigation is the practice of flushing a warm saline solution through the nostrils. This can be done using a variety of delivery methods (like a neti pot, a bulb syringe, a cupped hand, or a device specially designed for nasal irrigation) and different saline solutions strengths (how much salt is added to the water).Flushing water through the sinus cavity seems challenging and unpleasant, but don't worry, we are going to explain the process step by step--the treatment is not as terrible as it sounds. Using one of the specially-designed devices mentioned on this page makes the process very easy.
Who Should Use Nasal Irrigation?
Nasal irrigation is not harmful and can be used for a number of sinus problems. It can be used to fight colds, to clean out the nasal passages, and to reduce symptoms from allergies. For people who suffer from seasonal allergies, nasal irrigation flushes and removes pollens from the nose. You should not use nasal irrigation if you are suffering from acute sinusitis or you have frequent nosebleeds.
How Does Nasal Irrigation Work?
You start with a saline solution. There are various types of solutions available, as well as, various schools of thought on the best way to prepare a nasal wash. However, the best idea is to use a saline (salt water) solution at a moderately warm temperature.
Next, you need a container for the solution. These range from the primitive cupped hand to the more advanced technological devices. Some people like to use a bulb syringe, or a neti pot.
Then, you get to the process of flushing your nasal cavities. If you are using a simple device like a neti pot or syringe, use the following steps:
- Lower your head over a sink, so that dripping water stays contained.
- Turn your neck to the side so that one nostril is down.
- Using the container, pour the solution into the elevated nostril.
- The fluid will drain out of the lower nostril and down into the sink. (It can help to plug the other nostril).
- Gently blow nose to remove excess moisture.
- Repeat this procedure with the other nostril.
Make sure that you continue to breathe steadily and evenly through your mouth to avoid accidentally inhaling the saline solution.
Can I Mix My Own Solution?
Yes. The saline solution used in nasal irrigation can be purchased or prepared at home. To mix a saline solution with similar salt content to your body fluids: mix 1/4 tsp salt, 8 oz warm water, and 1/4 tsp baking soda. Using filtered, or distilled water, and a non-iodized canning salt rather than a general table salt is preferred, but it is not completely necessary.There are two kinds of home prepared saline solutions. An "isotonic" saline solution contains a salt concentration similar to the concentration in the body's fluids (like the example above). This is a more soothing mixture. A "hypertonic" saline solution, which is more like ocean water, contains a higher concentration of salt. Because salt absorbs moisture, this type of solution can do more to relieve swelling. The higher salinity, or salt content, means that the water in your swollen tissues will be absorbed. However, research on the effectiveness of hypertonic solutions has shown controversial results; and, it can be more irritating to your sinuses than the isotonic saline solution.
Why not just use plain water? The salt in the saline solution will absorb moisture. Because there is some salt content in your body's tissues, rinsing with a plain water solution, which has lower salt content than your body, actually can increase the swelling in your sinuses. The salt content in your sinus tissues will absorb the water rinse and will cause them to become more swollen.
What Are Cilia and How Do They Help With Nasal Irrigation?
Cilia are tiny microscopic membranes which line your respiratory tract. They move bacteria out of the nose by beating at about 20 pulses per second. Many sinus problems are caused because the cilia have slowed their beating or stopped beating all together. Using a nasal irrigation wash in a special device which pulsates the flow of the rinse can cause the cilia to return to their normal rate of beating. For this reason, it can be beneficial to use a specially designed irrigation device which automatically pulsates the flow of saline solution.
Is Nasal Irrigation Safe?
Yes, nasal irrigation is safe in the same way that ocean water is safe. It can be used every day for nasal irrigation with no side effects. At worst, the process is mildly uncomfortable. You quickly become used to the sensation. The benefits of breathing better are worth it.