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Nasal Irrigation: A Better Treatment option for Sinusitis

Health & Lifestyle
Contributed by : Dr. Sejal Shah
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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.


Nasal congestion/stuffy nose

Pain or pressure over an affected sinus

Thick, yellow-green nasal discharge


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.


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