Sinunasal Irrigation: Cleansing Care for a Healthy Nose and Sinuses
The nose that serves as an entrance to our airways is not a straight pathway as some imagine it to be. There are holes leading into our sinuses as well as bends and curves which may serve as areas where germs, dust and dirt from the air that we breathe may lodge into and cause various health problems affecting our nose and sinuses. Clearing away these irritants could be achieved most effectively by thoroughly washing the nasal passages and sinuses through large volume sinunasal irrigation.
Unlike nasal sprays or pumps, sinunasal irrigations deliver a large volume of solution under low pressure to gently wash the nasal passages and the sinus cavities. Sinunasal irrigation washes away and removes excess mucus containing bacteria, viruses and irritants or allergens such as dust, pollen, pet dander, and smoke particles.
Following are the benefits of sinunasal irrigating solution:
• Clears and cleanses the sinunasal cavity
• Aids in thinning secretions, lessens pressure and pain in the sinuses relieving symptoms of sinunasal congestion
• Helps moisturize the sinunasal mucous membranes
• Promotes the natural protective action of cilia to sweep away mucus, dirt or debris
• Provides relief of symptoms associated with cold, sinusitis, allergies, pre and postoperative care
• Optimizes patient’s recovery following nasal and sinus surgery
In irrigating the nose and the sinuses, a number of clinical experts advocate the use of a mineral- rich solution called Ringer’s lactate instead of plain saline as the appropriate irrigating solution. The composition of Ringer’s lactate solution more closely approximates that of the extracellular fluid. Ringer’s lactate, which is composed mainly of sodium chloride, potassium chloride and calcium lactate pentahydrate, closely mimics the body’s own extracellular fluid that naturally bathes the body cells. The minerals of the sinunasal irrigation solution act together for the relief of nasal and sinus conditions. Such irrigating solution is not associated with serious side effects and does not sting as other concentrated solutions are prone to do. There are commercially available sinunasal irrigating preparations that are of the same composition as Ringer’s Lactate.
For more information on sinunasal irrigation and if you have persisting or worsening symptoms, please consult your doctor.