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| Welcome to the April edition of the National Allergy E-Mail Newsletter! This month we will be discussing Why Doctors Recommend Nasal Irrigation - Can It Help You? Between 30 and 50 million people suffer from sinusitis and allergic rhinitis, battling symptoms such as runny noses and headaches. There are countless others with air quality sensitivity and unexplained chronic allergy symptoms. You may be one of these millions looking for relief, and you just may find some by developing a habit of nasal / sinus irrigation. This ancient practice has increased in renown and popularity over the years as an effective drug-free strategy for reducing allergy symptoms, sinus infections and the risk of chronic sinusitis.
In This Month's Issue:
Katie Weaver & The National Allergy Newsletter Team
What Doctors Say About Nasal Irrigation - Can It Help You?
What Is Nasal Irrigation?Known by a myriad of terms such as sinus rinsing, nasal washing and saline rinsing, nasal irrigation basically entails running a gentle saline solution through your nasal passages and sinuses. It definitely takes a little getting used to, but most people find that in a short time they are comfortable with the twice-daily irrigation regimen. Often compared to cleaning your body's "ducts" or "filters", nasal irrigation cleans the passages of your nose where particles get trapped. In addition, nasal rinsing will help stimulate cilia movement and healthy secretions, keeping the mucosa moist and trapping unwanted particles like bacteria, dirt, and other allergens. Many people find irrigation particularly important during spring and fall pollen seasons when airborne allergens seem to be everywhere.
What Doctors Say About Irrigation
"Daily nasal irrigation resulted in improvement in the symptoms of chronic sinusitis in over 70% of subjects. Medication usage was decreased in approximately one third of participants." - Heatley DG, McConnell KE, Kille TL, Leverson GE. Otolaryngology Head Neck Surgery. 2001 Jul; 125(1): 44-8
"Nasal irrigation is effective in improving symptoms and the health status of patients with sinonasal disease." - Lance T. Tomooka, MSIV; Claire Murphy, PhD; Terence M. Davidson, MD. Laryngoscope. 2000;110:1189-1193
"Nasal cleanliness is central to good health and is effective for anyone that wishes to prevent nasal woes or wishes to reduce their use of medications." - Solomon MD, Hana. "Nasal Washing Works During The Allergy Season." 2005 May
Different Irrigation MethodsNasal irrigation has been used for centuries through a wide variety of methods - everything from sniffing salt water from the cupped hand to the use of infant bulb syringes (which we do not recommend as mold can and probably will grow in the bulb). One of the most ancient techniques is the neti pot style irrigation device which is used to pour warm saline into the nasal passages. Positive pressure irrigation is a method by which the saline solution is gently propelled into the nose rather than sniffed or poured in and has been shown to be most effective according to the medical journal Laryngoscope. The Nasaline Irrigator is a portable example of positive pressure irrigation, while the Hydro Pulse System uses a patented pulsatile application similar to a WaterPik for maximum effectiveness.
The Saline SolutionSalt and water are the primary ingredients for nasal irrigation, and some solutions contain baking soda as well. The saline safely washes the nasal tissues of bacteria and germs, and acts as a natural decongestant by shrinking the mucus membranes in the nose and sinuses so drainage is controlled. Our recommended homemade solution is a combination of 1/4 teaspoon of non-iodized table salt and 1/8 teaspoon of baking soda (optional) per 1 cup (8 ounces) of warm water. If you use tap water, boil it first, or use bottled water stored in a clean container. For best results, use kosher, canning or refined sea salt. Also be sure that if you pre-mix a larger quantity of solution to store, that you use it within three days. When it comes time to use the saline solution, the water temperature should be comfortably warm for you - not too cool and definitely not too hot, so be sure to test it on your wrist first.
Many nasal irrigation systems come with pre-measured packets of buffered saline in powder form that make preparation simple and delivery more consistent. Larger, more economical quantity jars such as Breathe-Ease XL are also available. Pre-mixed saline can also be obtained in ready-to-use liquid form as it is with the SaltAire System.
Finding the right balance of salt is very important because using too much can cause a burning sensation when irrigating. While some doctors suggest that their patients use hypertonic solutions (those with a higher salt concentration), we have found that a majority of doctors recommend isotonic solutions because they most resemble the salt concentration of body fluids. Some doctors will recommend starting with isotonic, then increasing the salt concentration as the nose becomes more comfortable with irrigation.
Who Can Benefit From Nasal IrrigationThere is a growing body of support for practicing nasal / sinus irrigation as a daily maintenance routine for keeping children and adults healthy. There are also some specific conditions for which irrigation is often recommended:
What Patients Are Saying
"My sister was recently referred to your company by her doctor where she purchased the Hydro Pulse irrigator for her and myself. I have to tell you this thing has given me my life back. I have tried other products - but this item is so much easier and effective. Thanks again for the quick shipping and great phone support."
"I'd like to give my personal testimony to nasal irrigation. For years I've suffered with a chronic cough. Many doctors have tried to fix the cough. It wasn't until I had an ENT perform the old roto-rooter on my sinuses that I finally started to reduce the cough. Then it was followed by nasal irrigation. Not only can I finally breathe but I find that if allergy season is particularly harsh, a quick nasal washing can make me breathe again. It took some getting use to but once I started I can't stop. The ability to breathe through my nose versus mouth breathing is amazing to me. I'm 50 years old and have been doing this for about 2 years. A true lifesaver."
"Hey Dr. Hana! It is hard to believe that one year ago I was desperately searching for ANYTHING that would ease the constant persisting pain of my frequently reoccurring sinus infections. . I would spend $480 on doctor's visits and at least 18-24 weeks of the year down and out from sinus trouble! Enter Dr. Hana and Nasopure. I wash my nose once in the morning and evening. I have some new yearly totals I would like to share with you: I have spent $0 on Dr. visits and 0 minutes being affected by sinus trouble!"
Recommended Sinus Care ProductsNational Allergy carries a wide-range of sinus and nasal care products. We have tested them, gathered customer feedback and made sure that they will help you.
Doctor-Recommended Irrigation Systems:
This information is for educational purposes only. Always consult with your doctor first about your specific condition, treatment options and other health concerns you may have.
Remember that our customer service representatives have plenty of experience guiding people through the options for allergy, asthma and sinus relief, so feel free to contact us by calling one of our phone experts at 1-800-522-1448 Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 am and 5:30 pm Eastern Time. You can also e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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