Monday, September 6, 2010

Nasal sinus rinses with saline solution part 2

I am writing about nasal sinus rinses using saline solution or water because I have been thinking about this for a long time.  (It's been almost 2 years since my original post on this topic.  Thank you, loyal readers!)  I get lots of questions about the optimal frequency, the best technique and which preparation to use.  Here are my answers.....
1. I recommend doing nasal sinus rinses at least twice per day.  The best time is to do it while you are brushing your teeth.  You are already at the sink.  If you have been exposed to allergens (pollen, etc.) or irritants (perfumes or mowed grass) or some one with an infection, then you should rinse as soon as possible.  Don't leave these things lying on your nasal and sinus mucosa.  Remove them as soon as possible.  How long would you leave dirt on your hands before washing them?
2. After watching some U.S. Open tennis, the serves in particular, I can tell you my definition of the best technique for nasal sinus rinses.  Lean forward so your head is even with your lower back.  Turn your head sideways, so your nose is about 45 degrees from vertical.  Insert the saline solution or water in the upper nostril, gently but firmly.  I had never had water enter my ear.  Water has entered my throat when I was not leaning forward enough.  Let the water drip out by itself.  Brush your teeth in the mean time.  Don't forget to use all of the water in the bottle to rinse that side and then switch and rinse from the other side.

3. There are more preparations trying to cash in on the market, not that I blame them (photo).  The Nasopure (blue, photo) worked fine.  The ActiveSinus bottle (orange capped bottle, photo) was the only product I tested where the bottle consistently leaked when I squeezed.  Water went on my face, but not into my nose.  Sorry, but I rate this as a "Fail."  There are several products in a can pressurized with air (photo). When the nozzle is depressed, either a fine mist (photo) or a squirt of water comes out.  The pressure within the canister is sufficient to spray the water about 3 feet vertically.  If you use a canister, be careful not to scrape against the nasal septum, because you may get a nose bleed.  The nozzles don't form a complete seal, so there is a strong tendency for the water to leak back out the same nostril in which it was introduced.  Yet this is gentler and may be preferred by kids.  If this is the case, I prefer the spray canisters not the mist.

And now for the bonus feature: a video on youtube of your Allergy Dude demonstrating his technique for nasal sinus rinsing.
Go, go, nasal rinsing!!

1 comment:

Dobo said...

Dr. Kao,
I got my shots today at ADAC and I have had a headache all day. Greenville is the allergy hell of anywhere I have ever been BUT your nasal rinsing video really cheered me up! I have done the neti pot since 2001 or so. This is the 1st time I've seen your blog. I started at ADAC in 1988. Obviously I have not enjoyed a cure, but I have renewed hope that YOU might find one for me. Thanks!

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