Nasal irrigation

Synonyms

Antral lavage, antral washout, bulb syringe, endonasal mucosa care, hyperthermia, hypertonic Dead Sea salt, hypertonic saline, inhaler humidified warm air, intranasal douche, Jala Neti, jet lavage, nasal douche, nasal hyperthermia, nasal lavage, nasal saline solution lavage, nasal sprayer, nasal washing, nebulization, neti (irrigation) pot, power irrigation, respiratory hydrotherapy, Rhinomer®, saline lavage, saline nasal irrigation, Smiegelof's irrigation, steam inhalation.

Not included in this review: Proetz displacement (saline irrigation combined with suctioning).

Background

Yoga enthusiasts have used nasal irrigation for thousands of years to clear the sinuses and the mind. Today, nasal irrigation is becoming more widely accepted as a home remedy for allergies, colds, and sinus infections. Nasal irrigation can be performed up to twice daily at home or in a doctor's office, as long as it does not irritate the mucous membranes.

Saline lavage is a type of nasal irrigation that uses a warm liquid solution. Humidified warm air lavage (hyperthermia) uses heated mist, steam, or humidified air. Large-particle nebulized aerosol therapy uses a saline solution nasal spray. Occasionally, antibiotics are added to the solution.

There is variability in nasal irrigation techniques. Differences include the method of saline delivery, the strength of the saline solution, and the use of other additives. Delivery methods include the traditional neti (irrigation) pot, nasal sprayer, bulb syringe, cupped hand, and commercially available devices. The strength of the saline solution depends on the amount of salt added to the water. Additives have included antibiotics, substances that narrow the blood vessels (called vasoconstrictors), and buffers, which reduce acidity. Some practitioners recommend buffered hypersaline solution, although this may irritate the nasal tissues. Gravity-fed normal saline is often used in Jali Neti, one form of nasal irrigation.

There is growing evidence to support nasal irrigation because it is more natural, soothing, generally safe, and less expensive than many over-the-counter medications. It also does not cause side effects often associated with these medications, such as drowsiness and nausea.

The International Consensus Report on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Rhinitis recommends nasal irrigation for the treatment of swollen nasal airways (called rhinitis). There is good evidence for the use of nasal irrigation in allergic rhinitis and sinusitis. There is also promising early evidence that nasal irrigation may help treat the common cold, respiratory symptoms from occupational exposure, and wounds after sinus or nasal surgeries. Nasal saline irrigation is still the main treatment for acute rhinitis in infants because excessive use of nasal drops that narrow blood vessels is unsafe in early childhood.

Yoga enthusiasts have used nasal irrigation for thousands of years to clear the sinuses and the mind. Today, nasal irrigation is becoming more widely accepted as a home remedy for allergies, colds, and sinus infections. Nasal irrigation can be performed up to twice daily at home or in a doctor's office, as long as it does not irritate the mucous membranes.

Saline lavage is a type of nasal irrigation that uses a warm liquid solution. Humidified warm air lavage (hyperthermia) uses heated mist, steam, or humidified air. Large-particle nebulized aerosol therapy uses a saline solution nasal spray. Occasionally, antibiotics are added to the solution.

There is variability in nasal irrigation techniques. Differences include the method of saline delivery, the strength of the saline solution, and the use of other additives. Delivery methods include the traditional neti (irrigation) pot, nasal sprayer, bulb syringe, cupped hand, and commercially available devices. The strength of the saline solution depends on the amount of salt added to the water. Additives have included antibiotics, substances that narrow the blood vessels (called vasoconstrictors), and buffers, which reduce acidity. Some practitioners recommend buffered hypersaline solution, although this may irritate the nasal tissues. Gravity-fed normal saline is often used in Jali Neti, one form of nasal irrigation.

There is growing evidence to support nasal irrigation because it is more natural, soothing, generally safe, and less expensive than many over-the-counter medications. It also does not cause side effects often associated with these medications, such as drowsiness and nausea.

The International Consensus Report on the Diagnosis and Treatment of Rhinitis recommends nasal irrigation for the treatment of swollen nasal airways (called rhinitis). There is good evidence for the use of nasal irrigation in allergic rhinitis and sinusitis. There is also promising early evidence that nasal irrigation may help treat the common cold, respiratory symptoms from occupational exposure, and wounds after sinus or nasal surgeries. Nasal saline irrigation is still the main treatment for acute rhinitis in infants because excessive use of nasal drops that narrow blood vessels is unsafe in early childhood.


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