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Nasal rinsing eases sinusitis

Nasal irrigation, a traditional therapy that has been shown to help people with chronic sinus problems, can be easily learned.

Nasal rinsing eases sinusitis

Nasal irrigation, a traditional therapy that has been shown to help people with chronic sinus problems, can be easily learned through a 30-minute group training session. Used for thousands of years in the Ayurvedic and Yogic traditions (known as Jal neti), nasal irrigation involves rinsing the nasal cavity with a saline solution to get rid of mucus that may contain allergens or infectious agents. Previous research has shown that a six-month trial of nasal irrigation in patients with chronic stuffy nose (rhinitis) and sinusitis reduces symptoms and medication use, and improved quality of life. In the current study, researchers from the University of Wisconsin at Madison, USA, surveyed 28 patients who participated in the study about their experience. The patients found that barriers to learning the technique included fear of having liquid in the nasal cavity, initial discomfort and mild side effects, the need to learn how to perform nasal irrigation effectively, and the need to set aside time for nasal irrigation. However, participants said that the 30-minute group sessions in which they learned to perform the technique helped them to overcome these misgivings. They also reported incorporating nasal irrigation into their existing daily hygiene routine, using warm water, and making adjustments to the salt content and schedule to ease discomfort. This ability to manage their own treatment contributed to the reported sense of empowerment and personal control of their chronic symptoms, further enabling continued use. The above technique eased their symptoms and improved their quality of life.
Annals of Family Medicine,
July 2006
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