There are really two types of allergy sufferers: those with allergic rhinitis and those, like me, who have non-allergic rhinitis. What does that really mean? It means that regardless of which you have you will still have triggers, suffer the same symptoms, and, most likely, use the same medications (prescription and over the counter).
Many times you are prescribed a nasal spray to take on a daily basis. Other times, if you don’t have a chronic condition, you may stop by the store and get something over the counter, such as Zicam, to relieve your nasal symptoms. You may even have a humidifier in your home to help you breathe so that you can sleep at night.
But what if you don’t want to use medication stand-bys such nasal sprays or constantly deal with a humdifier? Then you might want to try nasal irrigation.
What is nasal irrigation?
Nasal irrigation is also known as sinus irrigation, sinus rinse, and sinus lavage. The process, regardless of the product you choose, uses salt water to rinse the nasal cavities.
Doctors sometimes suggest this procedure to relieve post nasal drip, relieve symptoms related to allergic rhinitis and prevent sinus infections. If you are a chronic sufferer of allergies or sinus infections, you may already be familiar with this type of treatment.
Products for Nasal Irrigation
There are a variety of products that can be used for nasal irrigation. Some are simple bottles with the salt water mixed in, others, such as the Neti Pot, require that you mix the salt water yourself. The Neti pot is a device that resembles a tea pot. You still may need to mix the water.
You can find kits for nasal irrigation in health food stores, online and your local drugstore. However, if you have an acute sinus infection, you may want to avoid this procedure. Use your best judgment and consult a doctor if you have any questions.
About.com: Nasal Irrigation
NPR: Got a Runny Nose? Flush It Out