Are you tired of always being stuffy and having sinus headaches? Rather than running off to the drug store for more pills that either make you tired, too dry, or raise your blood pressure, it is time to start washing your nose. “Irrigating” the sinuses can effectively restore normal drainage and relieve you of those miserable sinus symptoms. Nasal saline soothes irritated nasal mucosal tissue, liquefies tenacious mucus, augments natural flow of nasal secretions, reduces nose bleeding and improves the sense of smell. Saline can be administered as follows:
1) Commercial buffered saline spray (Ocean, Salinex, etc.) – Two sprays in each nostril 3-4 times a day. This is too weak (0.9%) and too little volume to truly irrigate sinuses, but fine for dry or bloody nose problems.
2) Homemade Saline – Fill a one-quart glass jar with tap water (or distilled water). You do not need to boil water. Add 2-3 tbsp. of salt (table salt is OK, but pickling/canning salt contains fewer additives). Add 1 tsp. Arm & Hammer® Baking Soda (pure bicarbonate). This produces a 3.5% salt content, similar to seawater. Mix and store at room temperature, discard after one week. If too strong, decrease the salt to 1-11⁄2 tbsp. You can use a bulb syringe to irrigate or more conveniently a sinus rinse bottle that comes with premixed salt (ask us at Windom Allergy about one of these). Express saline into alternating nostrils by placing your head sideways with ear held down so that saline goes in the lower nostril. Rotate your head around so the solution comes out the opposite nostril or down your throat. You may blow or spit out the saline solution. It will not harm you if you swallow a little.
Best of luck washing away your sinus problems! Let us know which method you like the best!