Nasal irrigation (rinsing the nose with salt water) may be recommended for people with seasonal allergies, a cold, a sinus infection, or other conditions that affect the nasal passages. This practice helps thin mucus and remove allergens from the nose, resulting in less nasal congestion and postnasal drip. Many products are available, including bulb syringes, bottle sprayers, and Neti pots.
What Is Nasal Irrigation?
Rinsing the nose with salt water (saline) is called nasal irrigation. This practice is recommended for a wide range of conditions that affect the nasal passages. This includes:
- Upper respiratory infections, such as the common cold or flu
- Seasonal allergies (allergic rhinitis)
- Sinus infections (both acute and chronic sinusitis).
Irrigating the nasal passage may also be helpful after nasal surgery to decrease the hospital stay.
Saline nasal irrigation has been called a number of other things, such as nose bidet, nasal douche, nasal wash, nasal saline, and Neti pot therapy.
When performed correctly, there are few side effects with nasal irrigation.
Benefits of Nasal IrrigationThere are several benefits to nasal irrigation. These include:
- Removing nasal secretions
- Rinsing allergens and irritants from the nose
- Thinning mucus
- Keeping the sinus passages moisturized.
This helps to improve:
- Nasal congestion
- Postnasal drainage (drainage down the back of the throat)
- Nasal dryness.