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What Exactly is Nasal Irrigation?

Got a stuffy nose from allergies or a cold?  Nasal irrigation, or nasal lavage or nasal douche, is a personal hygiene practice in which the nasal cavity is washed to flush out excess mucus and debris from the nose and sinuses. Nasal irrigation in a wider sense can also refer to the use of saline nasal spray or nebulizers to moisten the mucous membranes. A nasal irrigation system works through a combination of humidifying and rinsing actions, but with an added pulsating feature that aims to clear thick mucus out of nasal passages more thoroughly.

  • In a nasal douche you pour a saltwater (saline) solution into one nostril. The water flows through your nasal cavity into the other nostril, it washes out mucus and allergens.
  • A saltwater sinus flush is generally considered safe and simple remedy for nasal congestion and sinus irritation that just about anyone can do at home.
  • Nasal Irrigation also helps to moisten the mucous membranes.
  • Neti pots are traditional apparatus that help deliver the salt water to the nasal cavities.


How to Do a Sinus Flush At Home?

Gather your supplies like a neti pot, sinus solution, and sterile water, clean cloth or tissues. You can sterilize water by boiling it for a minute and then allowing it to cool.

To clear your sinuses, follow these steps:

  • Stand with your head over a sink or in the shower and tilt your head to one side.
  • Using a squeeze bottle, bulb syringe, or neti pot, pour or squeeze the saline solution slowly into the upper nostril.
  • Allow the solution to pour out your other nostril and into the drain. Breathe through your mouth, not your nose, at this time.
  • Repeat on the opposite side.
  • Try not to let the water go down the back of your throat. You may need to adjust your head position until you find the correct angle.
  • Gently blow your nose into a tissue when you’re done to clear out any mucus.