What Nasal Irrigation Does For You

 By: Jillian Phillips
It may not seem that apparent, but confinement and treatment expenses resulting from common infections like sinus infections actually consume a chunk of the average American budget yearly. And why not, sinus infections are often managed using various combinations of medications including expensive antibiotics, nasal corticosteroid sprays, decongestants and analgesics. But did you know that a simple, virtually costless technique can help you save all the money to be spent with sinusitis medications? This technique is known as nasal irrigation.

How It Works
It is very important, first and foremost, to keep in mind that nasal irrigation is NOT meant to substitute your doctor's prescribed medications. However, nasal irrigation can help you prevent sinus infections, thus having no more need for the medications in the first place.

Wondering how is it so effective? First, when you do nasal irrigation, the nasal cavities are flushed with a salt-water combination solution. The flushing action itself takes out allergens, excess mucus, micro organisms and other particles that may have lodged inside the nasal cavities and sinuses. By removing all that debris, it becomes considerably easy for the cilia to finish the job of clearing out the nasal passages. You see, most bouts of sinusitis commence as irritation or infection of the nasal passages. When it stays unresolved, the infection may progress into the more distally located sinuses. What's more is that salt is known for its anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties, so it helps to shrink the inflamed sinuses and thin out mucus secretions.

Ways to Do It
Nasal irrigation can be done in a lot of ways. Probably, the simplest way of doing it is by snorting the solution from your cupped hands into one nostril and letting the liquid run through the nasal passages and exit the other nostril. There is also a simple instrument called a neti pot which you can use for this purpose. A neti pot is a traditional tool resembling a teapot with a long spout. The long spout helps to direct the fluid better into the nostril. You can also substitute a squeezable bottle or a needleless syringe for a neti pot. Remember though, that whichever of these you use, the success of the irrigation depends on the precise position of the head to facilitate drainage of the solution by gravity. It can also be uncomfortable and quite difficult at first. But after practicing, you'll be happy to have done it because the advantages just outweigh these temporary discomforts following the first few attempts at nasal irrigations.

Because nasal irrigation is really effective, sinus pharmaceutical companies out there found it worthwhile to develop and improve the means for people to be able to do nasal rinsing. They developed irrigator bottles or machines which were especially designed for this purpose. One such company is Sinus Dynamics and its irrigator model called ActiveSinus. With its specially designed nozzle, it is able to direct the solution into the sinus openings even when they are constricted due to inflammation. The result is that relief is obtained faster and the treatment course is more effective.
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Sinus irrigation is the process of flushing excess mucus, bacteria and other debris out of the nose and sinuses. The principle of this process is quite simple: a solution made from a combination of water and salt is allowed to enter through one nostril and drain out of the other. Sinus irrigation works not only for sinus infections but also for conditions like common colds, asthma and nasal allergies.

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