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Monday, 12 March 2012 09:51

Nasal Irrigation: A Better Treatment option for Sinusitis

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Nasal irrigation, also known as nasal wash- an ancient technique is found to be good for treating sinus infection rather than antibiotics. hear.

nasal_rinseSinus infection is the fifth most common reason where doctors regularly prescribed antibiotics. However, they are no help against most sinus infection, according to study published in the Journal of the American Medical association. Dr.Jane Garbutt of Washington University School of Medicine in St.Louis, who lead the study said, “There is not much to be gained from antibiotics.”As in most cases causative agent is a virus, prescribing antibiotics in them are just worthless.

In such a situation, another modality for treating sinus infection comes in a role i.e., Nasal irrigation, or nasal wash as commonly known is  a technique that flushes out congested nasal passages with saltwater solution with the help of Neti Pot or a nasal bulb syringe.

In WebMD article, Evangeline Lausier, M.D., assistant clinical professor of medicine and director of clinical services at Duke University’s department of integrative medicine said, “I find it to be first line of defence in dealing with complicated sinus problems and allergy problems.” He further added, “Particularly if you are developing congestion or have a sinus infection, it’s very helpful.”

Understanding sinusitis
Sinusitis is clinical condition characterized by inflammation of the lining of sinuses. Sinuses are the air-filled spaces in the facial bones, which can produce mucus, a thick gelatinous fluid. Sinuses are lined by cilia; tiny hair likes projections, which sweep out mucus through sinuses and nasal passages. Both mucus and cilia help in trapping bacteria and foreign substances from air that we breathe.

Change in temperature or air pressure, excessive use of nasal decongestant, swimming, smoking, and allergy to dust and pollen can damage cilia, so they are not able to function properly. Hence, mucus gets accumulated inside sinuses and nasal passages. Blocked nasal passages produce typical symptoms of sinusitis such as.

• Headache

• Nasal congestion/stuffy nose

• Pain or pressure over an affected sinus

• Thick, yellow-green nasal discharge

• Fever

• Cough, especially worse at night

• Bad breathe or halitosis

• Decreased sense of smell and taste

• Teeth ache

Pain-killers, decongestant and antihistaminic can offer temporary relief from sinusitis symptoms. Mostly doctor prescribed antibiotics for treating sinusitis considering bacteria as a cause for infection. However, antibiotics don’t seem to be a powerful weapon to fight with infection, especially when a causative agent is a virus.

Nasal irrigation: Better treatment modality
Nasal irrigation is a centuries-old technique that has been described in “Ayurveda.”Basic principle is to act on a root cause rather than proving only symptomatic relief. During procedure light saltwater solution, mixture of the one-half teaspoon unionized salt in an 8-ounce of sterilized water is poured into one nostril with the help of Neti pot. As it flows through nasal cavity into the other nostril, it washes out mucus and allergens from sinuses and nasal passages.
Different types of nasal wash techniques are available but use depends on personal choice and doctor’s advice.

Benefits of Nasal Irrigation

•It thins out mucus favouring its easy clearance through sinuses and nasal passages

• As it cleans mucus from the nasal passages, medications become more effective. It can be used complementary to antibiotics and steroids.

• Improve coordination of cilia, so they function effectively to trap bacteria and foreign particles and sweep them along with mucus

• Cleans allergens, irritants, bacteria, and viruses from nasal passage, minimizing their effect

• Decrease swelling in nose and increases airflow

Use in moderation
Experts advised use of nasal irrigation for one to three weeks only, because it can turn out harmful when used regularly over the long period.

According to study abstract published in archives of American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), patient practicing nasal irrigation for a year and then discontinuing it for a year had only 62% decreased incidence of sinusitis in discontinuation phase.

Repeated saline use may wash away beneficial antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral agents from mucus and hence result in increased frequency of acute infection.

Nasal irrigation is contraindicated in those having the complaint of frequent nasal bleed.

So next time when you have sinus infection you can think of  nasal irrigation rather than relying on antibiotics.

Allergic Rhinitis

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Image: webMd


Read 113619 times Last modified on Monday, 12 March 2012 10:47


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  • Comment Link  MIKE Saturday, 17 March 2012 21:30 posted by MIKE

    You MUST use pure water.

    Brain diseases from nasal cleansing have occurred frequently by using tap water.

    "Dec 16, 2011 · A 51-year-old woman from DeSoto Parish and a 20-year-old man from St. Bernard Parish, a suburb of New Orleans, died after using Neti pots containing tap water"

  • Comment Link Duane Dobrowolski Thursday, 15 March 2012 10:12 posted by Duane Dobrowolski

    Yes, I lived with sinus blockage for years AND it smelled awful. I've been doing neti for 35 years every morning and have never had a stuffed nose since. If I feel a cold coming on I might do it three times a day to flush out the mucus before it accumulates. It's wonderful in its effect, but is also refreshing to do

  • Comment Link Monisha Wednesday, 14 March 2012 11:36 posted by Monisha

    Thanks so much, you always find a way to give us detail information, which is so helpful.

  • Comment Link Dr. Purushottam Deshpande Tuesday, 13 March 2012 21:45 posted by Dr. Purushottam Deshpande

    If one pinch of turmeric powder and salt is added while sterilizing water and used for Neti ( nasal irrigation), it gives added benefit due to antibiotic content in turmeric powder.

  • Comment Link MUKESH SHARMA Tuesday, 13 March 2012 21:43 posted by MUKESH SHARMA

    Yes, it might work, but at the initial signs of the infection (like , irritation in throat, sneezing, etc), but where you have blockages which are 2-3 yrs old, neti is not the immediate solution. there are people who have undergone surgery (polyps etc.), they can start with the neti process and breath in and breath out process of yoga, so as to avoid reinfection. Many people are prone to allergy and infections(Cold, flu like symptoms), i would recommed them to have a clove or GARLIC early morning on empty stomach, or can chew ginger with a small pinch of turmeric and salt (if reqd) after dinner. or brush your teeth before going to bed and them gargle with turmeric and salt luke warm water and should drink luke warm water through out the day. water or liquid consumption should be max.

    Pls do revert if incase any other clarification.

  • Comment Link Mukul Guru Tuesday, 13 March 2012 11:58 posted by Mukul Guru

    dear sejal according hath yog ,yogic shatkarm therepy we suggest NETI to pass the saulted water through nostrils.then exell the breathing

  • Comment Link Girish Tuesday, 13 March 2012 09:02 posted by Girish

    Yes ,
    This is my personal experience just last week..
    Gives safe and fast relief....
    I totally avoided any other medication

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