*The Doctor
*Health Notes

Nasal Irrigation

by Laura A. Schissell, ND, DC

Rinsing the nasal passages with salt water (saline solution) is an ancient technique and has been recommended by doctors for centuries. It is a safe, simple and effective technique for treating the symptoms of chronic sinusitis, nasal congestion and discharge, allergies, facial pain, headaches, bad breath, cough, nosebleeds, and it has also been proven useful in preventing colds. Studies have shown that nasal irrigation can be just as effective in treating these symptoms as drug therapy, and that its regular use reduces the need for antibiotic use and surgery. In the 1970's a number of nasal decongestive and cortisone sprays were introduced and strongly promoted, and the simple process of nasal irrigation fell out of favor. Nasal irrigation is also used by professional musicians to maintain a clear singing voice. The process works by clearing the nasal passages of excess mucous and unwanted particles such as pollens, dust, microbes and crusty secretions. It also decreases inflammation of the nasal passages thereby allowing for freer nasal breathing.

Many use a device called a Neti pot. I began using one of these 20 years ago at the recommendation of my medical doctor. Since then I have discovered a device that is much easier and more comfortable to use, the Nasaline. It is a long plastic syringe with a latex free silicon tip. The results are phenomenal. I have many patients using this with great success and often get referrals for friends and family to pick up a Nasaline at my office. A solution of warm water and non-iodized salt is used in the syringe (1/2 tsp salt to 1 cup warm water,) and each nostril is rinsed generally twice per side 1-2 times per day. Sometimes I will add herbs to a patient's solution to help manage a more acute sinus condition.

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Abundant Health Naturopathic Clinic, P.S.
202 E. McLoughlin Blvd, Suite 201, Vancouver, WA 98663 | Phone: (360) 823-0888 | Fax: (360) 823-0889
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