Nasal allergies, also called allergic rhinitis, are very common. As you breathe, allergens, such as...
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Nasal allergies, also called allergic rhinitis, are very common. As you breathe, allergens, such as pollen, mold spores, or animal dander, cause your body to release chemicals that create a collection of symptoms, mostly involving the eyes and nose. Many people with allergic rhinitis also have other nasal and sinus symptoms. Drainage from the nose and sinuses can make rhinitis worse, especially at night. In a recent survey, almost 90% of family physicians recommended nasal saline irrigation for sinus and nasal symptoms. A salt-water nasal wash, or saline irrigation, helps to clean mucus from your nose, decrease nasal swelling, and increase air flow. It can also rinse allergens or pollen from your nose and make nasally administered medications more effective. Regular nasal irrigation helps remove bacteria and viruses from the nose, which reduces the potential for infection. It also moistens tiny hair like structures called cilia. They pass allergens and other invaders like bacteria to the throat to be swallowed without causing harm.There are different methods for performing nasal irrigation. Some, like the traditional neti pot, rely on gravity. Saline is poured into one nostril and drains out the other. Other devices, such as squeeze bottles, use positive pressure. Controlled-pressure spray canisters with pre-mixed sterile saline are also available. Some include multiple tips for both spray moisturizing and stream irrigation. They eliminate the need to mix your own saline and clean the device after each use.