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Nasal saline rinse

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Problem[edit]

Exposure to airborne irritants and allergens leading to allergic rhinitis (hayfever) can be relieved with a nasal rinse of saline solution. Availability and cost of commercially prepared saline solutions may limit accessibilty to treatment.

Summary[edit]

A homemade recipe of boiled water, salt, and baking soda is made for irrigation of the nasal mucous membranes.

Instructions[edit]

(Also available by download as a patient handout.)

Nasal saline (salt water) rinses can help allergies and sinus infections by:

Thinning secretions
Removing pollen, dust and other allergens from your nose
Removing secretions to make surfaces in your nose available for nasal steroid sprays

To make your own saline rinse, mix together in a clean container:

¼ teaspoon salt,
1 cup warm water
1 pinch baking soda

Remember:

If possible, use a non-iodized salt such as sea salt
If needed, adjust the amount of salt so that it tastes as salty as tears
Make a new batch every 24 hours
Use the saline rinse at least 15 minutes before using nasal steroid sprays
Use a clean dropper bottle to put drops in nose
You can also clean your hands, pour a small amount into your palm and snort the solution into your nose

Interwiki links[edit]

References[edit]

Ferguson BJ. Allergic rhinitis. Options for pharmacotherapy and immunotherapy. Postgrad Med. 1997 May;101(5):117-20, 123-6, 131.

Rabone SJ, Saraswati SB. Acceptance and effects of nasal lavage in volunteer woodworkers.Occup Med (Lond). 1999 Aug;49(6):365-9.

Family Practice Notebook ENT166