This time of year, there are many elements that irritate the nasal passages — allergens, bacteria, and dry air from heaters are just a few.
According to the FDA, nasal irrigation devices such as Neti pots, bulb syringes, squeeze bottles and battery-operated pulsed water devices are safe and effective if used properly.
In addition, preliminary reports from MedRxiv — an online archive for complete but unpublished manuscripts (preprints) in medical sciences — revealed that patients who received a nasal flush after a positive COVID-19 PCR test were 19 times less likely to be hospitalized than the national rate.
“It’s very important to only flush the nasal cavity with a saline or saltwater solution using distilled or sterile water,” said ENT Jessie Clairvil, DO. “Tap water can contain low levels of organisms which are killed by stomach acid when swallowed but can hide out in your nose and cause severe infections.”
Tap water boiled for 3 to 5 minutes then cooled is safe to use, she said.
When using the irrigation device, directions should be followed exactly.
“Lean over a sink and tilt your head to one side,” Dr. Clairvil said. “Be sure your chin and forehead are level to avoid water flowing into your mouth.”
Insert the spout into the upper nostril so the liquid can drain down to the lower nostril.
“After the first flush, clear the nostrils of anything left behind, then prepare for a second flush,” she said.
Lean over the sink and tilt to the opposite side. Repeat the flushing process.
“Flushing like this can help relieve nasal symptoms of sinus infections, allergies, colds, and flu,” Dr. Clairvil said. “Just be sure to follow all instructions and contact your doctor or pharmacist with any questions.”
To make an appointment with Dr. Clairvil, call 856-339-0800.