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Nasal saline rinse
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.
A homemade recipe of boiled water, salt, and baking soda is made for irrigation of the nasal mucous membranes.
(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
- 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
- Wikipedia:Nasal irrigation - general information about a method of flooding the nasal cavity with saline.
- Wikipedia:Jala neti - a traditional Indian (yoga) method of nasal irrigation.
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.