Nasal Irrigation: Spring Cleaning for Your Nose
May 26, 2009
Before you reach for expensive over-the-counter or prescription allergy remedies, you might want to try an inexpensive alternative treatment that really seems to work: nasal irrigation, or washing out your nose once or twice daily with warm salt water. Most medical studies on nasal irrigation for allergies are rather positive, and there's little risk and little expense in trying.
Spring marks the beginning of pollen season, and the same yellowish dust that coats your car also fills your nasal passages, causing enough irritation to trigger an allergic reaction. Nasal irrigation simply washes away the irritants causing the allergy symptoms.
Many medical institutions, such as the Mayo Clinic, advocate the use of nasal irrigation. The most recent study appeared in January 2009, with the 200 patients in the study reporting some relief of symptoms from twice daily irrigations.
To try it, you can invest two dollars in a bulb syringe. or you can buy a neti pot, which looks like a little oil lamp, often used by yoga devotees. Nasal irrigation is known as jala neti in the ancient Indian practice of Ayurveda.