Here in the Midwest, it's pretty normal for most folks to get to the end of February with a full-on itch for spring. The groundhog has come and gone, pro-football has ended for another six months, and we typically experience big swings in temperatures that tease us with thoughts of the warmer days ahead.
With spring on the brain, you may be ready to kick off your spring cleaning:
- Junk Drawer
That's probably not something you usually find on your spring cleaning to-do list. And yeah - it's so gross that it may even give that fuzzy mystery fruit (meat?) you found in the back of the fridge a run for its money.
But with the shifts in temperature this time of year, and allergy season bearing down, now is the perfect time to introduce this simple at-home practice.
What is a Sinus Rinse?
If you suffer from seasonal allergies, chronic sinusitis, frequent colds and infections, or deal with environmental irritants from your job or hobbies, sinus rinses may be an ideal solution to keep your nose free and clear.
A sinus rinse is a salt-water mixture that acts as a natural decongestant. It's a safe and mostly effective way to clear out build-up, mucus and other debris inside your nasal passage. While it's not a perfect solution for everyone, studies have shown that it can reduce those nagging and irritating symptoms - improving the quality of life for many of those who decide to run their nose through the 'car wash.'
Nasal rinses are also highly recommended following any nose procedures to improve and accelerate the healing process.
There are a variety of sinus rinse solutions, and one of the most common is the neti pot - a teapot-shaped pitcher. There are also nasal syringes and irrigation bottles, which both give you more control over the flow and pressure. The most important thing with any nasal rinse is having the appropriate amount of salt mixture and distilled water - most over-the-counter systems include packets of the salt and baking soda.
How to do a Sinus Rinse (Safely)
- Fill a bottle or neti pot with distilled water. (Never use regular tap water.)
- Add the provided mixture into the distilled water. (Be sure to let the mixture dissolve thoroughly.)
- Lean over a sink or bathtub. (Keep your head tilted so that your chin and forehead are level.)
- Turn your head sideways and insert the spout into the upper nostril. Depending on your system of choice, spray or pour the solution into the nostril. It will exit through the lower nostril. (Be sure to breathe through your mouth.)
- Clear the nostril, turn your head the other way, and repeat the process with the other nostril.
After performing the rinse, you may have some solution left behind, all you have to do is gently blow your nose. Including this practice into your life a few times per week can clear your nose of irritants, reduce inflammation, decrease dryness, and remove mucus. They can even help quiet your snoring!
As we anxiously await the end of another long winter, think of a nasal rinse like a car wash for your nose. Just like that first 50 degree day when you can't wait to rid your car's paint job of months worth of salt and road grime, your nose too can be squeaky clean!
Watch Dr. Kandula and ADVENT patient Allie run through how easy it is to use a sinus rinse.