How to use nasal saline irrigations
You can either buy a saline solution from the pharmacy and follow the directions on the label – or make your own. To make your own start with one to two cups of warm water. Add 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of non-iodized salt and a pinch of baking soda to soften the effect of the salt. Use distilled, sterile, or previously boiled and cooled water to make the solution to help prevent infection.
Saline nasal irrigation recipe
For nasal irrigation, you’ll need a container and saline solution. You can buy pre-filled containers, or use a bulb syringe or neti pot. Most nasal saline irrigations systems are available at chemists.
An irrigation bottle or bulb syringe with 100 to 200mL of solution may be used in each nasal cavity 2 to 3 times each day or as often as prescribed
It is recommended that you prepare fresh solution each day and clean the bottle as needed
The standard mixture contains 1/2 teaspoon of table salt per 250 mL of warm water – adding an equal amount of baking soda will make the solution more pH balanced
Irrigations are used when greater volumes of salt water are needed – for example when large crusts accumulate or nasal polyps cause obstruction to effective mucus clearance
Good results depend on regular flushing of the nose and sinuses
Use twice daily or more frequently as directed
Nasal saline irrigation promotes good sinus and nasal health. Patients with chronic sinusitis including symptoms of facial pain, headache, bad breath, cough, runny nose and nasal congestion often to find nasal saline irrigation to provide relief.
In published studies, “daily hypertonic saline nasal irrigation improves sinus-related quality of life, decreases symptoms, and decreases medication use in patients with frequent sinusitis”, and irrigation is recommended as an adjunctive treatment for chronic sinonasal symptoms.
Saline nasal irrigations are a commonly recommended remedy for:
Saline nasal irrigations may also be helpful after nose and sinus surgery including:
- Broken nose closed reduction surgery
- Endoscopic sinus surgery
- Nasal septoplasty surgery
- Turbinate reduction surgery
For more information about nose and sinus conditions click here.