It's a sloppy endeavor, says Todd Templin, but he and others who perform nasal rinsing swear by its sinus-soothing powers. "I figure with all of that water shooting up my nostrils, there has to be something good going on," says Templin, an executive vice president for a Fort Lauderdale public relations firm, who suffers from chronic allergy and sinus problems. Also called nasal washing or nasal irrigation, the practice is believed to have roots in ancient yoga traditions. But now, an increasing number of people with sinus woes are expressing interest in the age-old treatment, say doctors and makers of saline rinse products.
Annie Lent, an allergy and immunology specialist at National Jewish Medical and Research Center in Denver, says patients are interested in saline rinsing because it's homeopathic. "It appeals because it doesn't involve drugs, it's all natural," Lent says. Sinus rinsing is not painful, just uncomfortable, Lent says. "The object is not to blast your brains, but to cleanse. You don't want to do it too hard and hurt your ears," says Lent, who notes that the pressure should be no stronger than the flow of a water fountain. Most of the research on nasal rinsing shows that if it is practiced regularly, there are positive benefits, Lent says.
A recent study by University of Wisconsin researchers that followed patients for six months showed that participants who "rinsed" daily experienced decreased symptoms and medication use and overall improved health. Another study by Wake Forest University scientists, in Winston-Salem, N.C., found that use of nasal wash saline solutions decreased inflammation of the nose better than other treatments, and the benefit lasted several hours.
"I see marked improvements in breathing and congestion in the children here who do regular rinsing with me," says registered nurse Michelle Freas, coordinator of medical and health services at The Kunsberg School in Denver, a special school where most of the students have asthma and allergies.
Courtesy of USA Today
Steve - this has been very helpful to many of our clients. Whether it is a neti pot or your thimerosal-free saline nasapl spray, now is the perfect time to try it. We are in the middle of spring allergy season.