Nasal irrigation washes the nasal cavity with saline solution, clearing out excess mucus and allergens while moisturizing the nasal cavity. Nasal irrigation helps reduce postnasal drip, sneezing, and congestion, which is a helpful adjunct in the treatment of non-allergic rhinitis (NAR) and allergic rhinitis (AR) for a better breathing through the nose. The recommended solution for nasal irrigation is normal saline solution (sodium chloride 0.9% w/v).
When should you perform nasal irrigation?
Nasal irrigation can be performed when you have nasal congestion, runny nose, postnasal drip, or sneezing, before using nasal spray, or use as directed by a physician. Nasal irrigation is safe and can be performed whenever you feel the need.
Sterile normal saline solution (Sodium Chloride 0.9% w/v)
Other equipment such as clean cup and facial tissue
Prepare nasal irrigation equipment.
Wash your hands, syringe (5 – 50 mL), and “Klean&Kare Nasal Adaptor.”
Fill the syringe with normal saline solution. Attach “Klean&Kare Nasal Adaptor” to syringe to turn regular syringe into nasal syringe.
Lean over sink with your head bowed slightly, hold your breath, and keep your mouth slightly open. Insert the tip of syringe into your nostril. Gently push the solution up the nostril. The solution will flow through nasal passages and drain out the opposite nostril into the sink.
Gently blow your nose. Small amount of solution may drain into the back of your mouth, just spit it out.
Repeat steps 2-4 with your other nostril. When you are done, you will notice you can breathe much better through the nose.
Use “Sterile” Normal Saline Solution. Use only sterile normal saline solution (Sodium Chloride 0.9% w/v) for nasal irrigation to prevent bacteria and other microorganisms from entering the nasal cavity, which may lead to serious infection.
Do Not Use “Pure Water” Pure water is hypotonic to nasal tissue. Washing the nasal cavity with pure water may cause pain and may damage the nasal mucosa.
Gently Irrigate Nasal Passages To avoid irritation, let normal saline solution gently flow through the nasal passages. Do not squirt or gush the solution.
Blow the Nose Gently After nasal irrigation, blow your nose gently with both nostrils open. Blowing too hard or with one nostril may create pressure that can cause ear fullness, discomfort, or ear pain.
Using Nasal Spray After Irrigation After nasal irrigation, wait 3-5 minutes for the nasal cavity to dry before using nasal spray.
Stuffy Nose If one side of your nose is always blocked, consult a physician before performing nasal irrigation.
Nasal Irrigation in Children Nasal irrigation is safe to perform in children. Parents performing nasal irrigation to their children for the first time should consult a pediatrician to prevent discomfort and nervousness. Very young children (those who cannot blow their nose or hold their breath) may not tolerate the procedure. Nasal congestion in infants and young children may be relieved by placing a few drops of normal saline solution in each nostril and then immediately suction with bulb syringe.
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