sinus and nasal rinsing- how helpful is it?
Sinus and nasal rinsing or lavage has actually been used since ancient times to treat sinus and nasal disease. However, only recently has research been presented to evaluate the benefits of using saline solution to clear nasal and sinus passages. First, saline acts as a mechanical cleanse for the nose and sinuses. Studies have shown that rinsing with a relatively large volume such as 100 cc’s per side was much more beneficial than using a saline spray or smaller quantities of solution. This has been shown to clear excessive and thick mucous as well as allergy irritants from the nose and sinuses.
It’s been demonstrated to reduce the time that it takes for a cold or sinus infection to resolve. It also helps manage allergy symptoms of congestion and mucus discharge. Second, it has been shown that the amount of saline irrigation used is much more important than the pressure under which it is delivered. Relatively low pressure and high volume is better than a higher pressure.
Saline rinsing is particularly beneficial after a nose or sinus surgery because it also helps reduce swelling within the nose and clears blood or mucus that may be present immediately after the procedure.
A recent study demonstrated that the balloon sinus dilation resulting greater quantities of saline irrigation within the sinuses–particularly the frontal sinus.
Overall, saline irrigation performed appropriately and regularly is extremely beneficial for patients with a variety of sinus and nasal problems.