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How to flush sinuses

How to flush sinuses

Little teapots with long spouts have become a fixture in many homes to flush out clogged nasal passages and help people breathe easier.

Along with other nasal irrigation devices, these devices — commonly called neti pots — use a saline, or saltwater, solution to treat congested sinuses, colds and allergies. They’re also used to moisten nasal passages exposed to dry indoor air. But be careful. Improper use of these neti pots and other nasal irrigation devices can increase your risk of infection.

Nasal irrigation devices — which include neti pots, bulb syringes, squeeze bottles, and battery-operated pulsed water devices — are usually safe and effective products when used and cleaned properly, says Eric A. Mann, M.D., Ph.D., a doctor at the FDA.

What does safe use mean? First, rinse only with distilled, sterile or previously boiled water.

Tap water isn’t safe for use as a nasal rinse because it’s not adequately filtered or treated. Some tap water contains low levels of organisms — such as bacteria and protozoa, including amoebas — that may be safe to swallow because stomach acid kills them. But in your nose, these organisms can stay alive in nasal passages and cause potentially serious infections. They can even be fatal in some rare cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

What Types of Water Are Safe to Use?

  • Distilled or sterile water, which you can buy in stores. The label will state “distilled” or “sterile.”
  • Boiled and cooled tap water — boiled for 3 to 5 minutes, then cooled until it is lukewarm. Previously boiled water can be stored in a clean, closed container for use within 24 hours.
  • Water passed through a filter designed to trap potentially infectious organisms. CDC has information on selecting these filters.

Safely Use Nasal Irrigation Devices

Second, make sure you follow instructions.

“There are various ways to deliver saline to the nose. Nasal spray bottles deliver a fine mist and might be useful for moisturizing dry nasal passages. But irrigation devices are better at flushing the nose and clearing out mucus, allergens and bacteria,” Mann says.

Information included with the irrigation device might give more specific instructions about its use and care. These devices all work in basically the same way:

  • Leaning over a sink, tilt your head sideways with your forehead and chin roughly level to avoid liquid flowing into your mouth.
  • Breathing through your open mouth, insert the spout of the saline-filled container into your upper nostril so that the liquid drains through the lower nostril.
  • Clear your nostrils. Then repeat the procedure, tilting your head sideways, on the other side.

Sinus rinsing can remove dust, pollen and other debris, as well as help to loosen thick mucus. It can also help relieve nasal symptoms of sinus infections, allergies, colds and flu. Plain water can irritate your nose. The saline allows the water to pass through delicate nasal membranes with little or no burning or irritation.

And if your immune system isn’t working properly, consult your health care provider before using any nasal irrigation systems.

To use and care for your device:

  • Wash and dry your hands.
  • Check that the device is clean and completely dry.
  • Prepare the saline rinse, either with the prepared mixture supplied with the device, or one you make yourself.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
  • Wash the device, and dry the inside with a paper towel or let it air dry between uses.

Talk with a health care provider or pharmacist if the instructions on your device do not clearly state how to use it or if you have any questions.

Nasal Irrigation Devices and Children

Finally, make sure the device fits the age of the person using it. Some children are diagnosed with nasal allergies as early as age 2 and could use nasal rinsing devices at that time, if a pediatrician recommends it. But very young children might not tolerate the procedure.

Whether for a child or adult, talk to your health care provider to determine whether nasal rinsing will be safe or effective for your condition. If symptoms are not relieved or worsen after nasal rinsing, then return to your health care provider, especially if you have fever, nosebleeds or headaches while using the nasal rinse.

Health care professionals and patients can report problems about nasal rinsing devices to the FDA’s MedWatch Safety Information and Adverse Event Reporting Program.

Looking for a natural way to find relief from allergy or sinus infection symptoms? The use of saline (salt water) irrigations for the nose and sinuses has been shown to be highly effective in improving allergy symptoms and shortening the duration of a sinus infection.

Typically, for allergy sufferers, I recommend irrigating the sinuses once every day to every other day with 8 ounces of salt water. There is data that indicates over irrigating the sinuses can deplete natural immune cells that reside in the mucus of the sinuses. I would not recommend irrigating more than once a day.

How to flush sinuses

The advantages of irrigating includes:

  • Keeping the nose clean
  • Decreasing the bacteria count inside the nose and sinuses
  • Flushing out irritants out of the nose on a regular basis.

By doing this, many of my allergy suffers no longer require the use of allergy medications. Irrigation has been shown to improve nasal hygiene and decrease the swelling caused by nasal irritants. The saline irrigations can also help prevent recurring sinusitis.

Sinus infections frequently occur when swelling from irritants, allergens, or viruses causes blockage of the opening of the sinuses, thus preventing proper aeration and drainage of the sinuses.

Once a sinus infection occurs, the irrigations can also serve to flush out the pus from inside the sinuses and keep the sinuses open. Typically, during an active sinus infection, I would recommend that the saline concentration of the irrigation be increased one and a half fold if the patient can tolerate it.

Salt itself has a property of preventing bacteria from growing (that’s why salted foods spoil slowly). During an acute sinus infection, rinsing the sinuses 2 to 3 times per day is effective.

Saline Irrigation Formula

Ingredients

  • Salt-containing no iodide or preservatives (these can be irritating)
  • Baking soda
  • 8 ounces (1 cup) of distilled or boiled water

Directions

  • Mix 3 heaping teaspoons of salt with 1 rounded teaspoon of baking soda and store in a small Ziplock bag.
  • Add 1 teaspoon of the mixture to 8 ounces (1 cup) of lukewarm distilled or boiled water. Use less to make a less concentrated salt solution if burning or stinging is experienced.

Application

Using a soft rubber ear bulb syringe, infant nasal bulb or a commercial nasal saline rinse bottle from your drug store, use the rinse by following these steps:

  • Draw up 8 ounces of the saline solution. Tilt your head downward over a sink (or in the shower) and rotate to the left. Squeeze half of the solution gently into the right (top) nostril. Breathe through your mouth. In a few seconds the solution should come out through your left nostril. Repeat the process on the other side.
  • Blow your nose very gently to prevent the solution from going into your ear and causing discomfort. If water goes into your ears, it is OK. The discomfort should resolve in a short time.
  • If you are using other nasal medications, be sure you do not use it right before irrigating your sinuses – it will rinse the medication out. Use other nasal medication at least 30 minutes after irrigating.

As with any medical product, be sure to speak to your doctor about using sinus rinses and stop using if you experience pain, nosebleeds or other problems.

Are you looking for sinus relief? Schedule an appointment at the Baylor Sinus Center.

Additional Resources

-By Dr. Mas Takashima, associate professor and director of the Sinus Center at Baylor College of Medicine

In some cases, such as when rhinitis is caused by a viral infection, treatment may not be necessary. This is because the infection responsible for the rhinitis normally clears up within a week or 2.

Otherwise treatment options include:

  • avoiding triggers
  • changing your medicines
  • nasal rinses
  • nasal sprays
  • stopping overused nasal sprays

Avoiding triggers

You may be advised to avoid possible triggers. For example, it may help to avoid smoky or polluted environments.

Changing your medicines

If your rhinitis is believed to be caused by a medicine you’re taking, such as beta blockers, your GP may be able to prescribe an alternative medicine to see if it helps to reduce your symptoms. Do not stop taking any prescribed medicine unless advised to by a doctor.

Nasal rinses

Sometimes, rinsing your nasal passages with a salt water solution can be helpful. This is known as nasal irrigation or nasal douching.

Rinsing your nasal passages helps wash away any excess mucus or irritants inside your nose, which can reduce inflammation and relieve your symptoms.

Nasal irrigation can be done using either a homemade salt water solution or a solution made with sachets of ingredients bought from a pharmacy. Small syringes or pots (which often look like small horns or teapots) are also available to help flush the solution around the inside of your nose.

To make the solution at home, mix a teaspoon of salt and a teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda into a pint of boiled water that’s been left to cool to around body temperature (do not attempt to rinse your nose while the water is still hot).

You will probably only use a small amount of the solution. Throw away whatever is left.

To rinse your nose:

  • standing over a sink, cup the palm of one hand and pour a small amount of the solution into it
  • sniff the water into one nostril at a time – an alternative is to use a syringe to insert the solution into the nose
  • repeat this until your nose feels comfortable (you may not need to use all of the solution)

While you do this, some solution may pass into your throat through the back of your nose. Although the solution is harmless if swallowed, try to spit out as much of it as possible.

You can carry out nasal irrigation several times a day. Make a fresh salt water solution each time.

Nasal sprays

Various types of nasal spray relieve the symptoms of non-allergic rhinitis. They include:

  • antihistamine nasal sprays – these help to relieve congestion and a runny nose by reducing inflammation
  • steroid nasal sprays – like antihistamines, these work by reducing inflammation
  • anticholinergic nasal sprays – these reduce the amount of mucus your nose produces, which helps to relieve a runny nose
  • decongestant nasal sprays – these relieve congestion by reducing swelling of the blood vessels inside your nose

You can buy many of these sprays from pharmacies without a prescription.

It’s important to check the leaflet that comes with them before you use the nasal spray, because they’re not suitable for everyone. If you’re uncertain whether you should be using one of these medicines, check with your GP or pharmacist.

You should also make sure you check the manufacturer’s instructions to see how to correctly use these sprays.

If you use a decongestant spray, do not use it for longer than 5 to 7 days at a time. Overusing decongestants can make congestion worse.

Stopping overused nasal decongestant sprays

Some cases of non-allergic rhinitis are caused by overusing nasal decongestant sprays. In these cases, the best treatment is to stop using these sprays. However, this can be difficult, particularly if you’ve been using them for some time.

Try not using the spray in your least congested nostril first. After 7 days this nostril should open up, at which point try to stop using the spray in your other nostril.

Some specialists try to gradually switch your spray from a decongestant (which is harmful in the long term) to a steroid spray (which generally can be used for longer).

How to flush sinuses

Medically reviewed

Table of contents

Nasal irrigation, the process of cleaning out your nose by pouring a saline solution into it, is a centuries-old practice.

And the neti pot—a tool for nasal irrigation that has exploded in popularity in the past decade—has an origin that may surprise you: The world of yoga.

The term “neti pot,” a name for the teapot-like device many people use for nasal irrigation, has its origins in ancient Indian yoga.

Yogis cleaned their noses because they believed clear breathing led to clear thinking.

For the millions of people who suffer from sinus problems, including chronic rhinosinusitis, sinusitis, allergy symptoms, the common cold and other ailments, nasal irrigation is very much modern.

Doctors routinely recommend this practice—also called a “sinus flush”— to patients with a variety of sinus symptoms.

All of the ingredients and tools necessary are available without a prescription.

Will nasal irrigation help with your symptoms and improve your quality of life?

In this article, I’ll explain what nasal irrigation is, and how to properly perform nasal irrigation.

I’ll also outline potential side effects of performing this procedure on yourself, and discuss some potential risks—and how to avoid them.

I’ll answer whether nasal irrigation works, how often you should do it, and when to see a doctor about your condition.

The Raleigh-Durham area frequently makes headlines as one of the best places to live in the U.S. However, it’s not all a bed of roses — chronic sinusitis and seasonal allergy problems are some of the unfortunate byproducts of Carolina living.
The good news is there are several home remedies, such as nasal irrigation, that can relieve sinus pressure and help eliminate sinusitis symptoms.

What causes sinusitis?

Sinusitis (or a sinus infection) is typically caused by a virus. When the sinuses are irritated, they swell, trapping fluid within the sinus cavity. This creates a perfect breeding ground for germs. Symptoms typically include:

  • Poor sense of smell
  • Facial pain or pressure
  • Headaches
  • Coughing
  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Fever
  • Postnasal drip

These infections may be caused by seasonal allergies, fungus, airborne pollutants, or even problems within the structure of the nose itself.

How does nasal irrigation help your sinuses?

Nasal irrigation helps relieve sinus congestion. It reduces inflammation, which is one of the main causes of blocked sinuses. These blocked sinuses allow mucus build up that creates a perfect environment for bacteria and viruses to flourish. By clearing the sinuses of mucus, they can drain properly, providing relief. In addition, nasal irrigations can also help remove small allergens that contribute to sinusitis symptoms.

There are a few important things to consider when using a saline canister or neti pot to rinse your sinuses:

  • Be sure to follow directions that came with the product.
  • If you decide to make your own saline rinse, be sure to use sterile water. Failure to do so could introduce harmful bacteria into your nasal passages.
  • If you use a neti pot, be sure to clean it with sterile, contaminant-free water.
  • Do NOT use tap water for any nasal irrigation unless you have some way of sterilizing it.
  • Replace your equipment. Just like you should replace your toothbrush periodically, you should likewise replace your nasal irrigation equipment.

Using irrigation methods such as a neti pot can be frustrating at first. Be patient. It takes practice. Any of our internal medicine physicians will be glad to help.

Remember: No antibiotics unless absolutely necessary!

There’s one more important aspect to treating sinusitis or other nasal problems. Most of these are caused by viruses, which have to “run their course.” If you are reasonably healthy, your body does a great job of fighting these viruses on its own.

Antibiotics should only be used for an infection, and only your Raleigh sinus doctor can accurately determine whether you have a bacterial infection or a virus. Overuse of antibiotics can create bacteria that are resistant to treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control, every year, two million Americans are infected with antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Of those two million, at least 23,000 people die.

At Raleigh Medical Group, we’re dedicated to only using antibiotics when absolutely necessary. If you have sinus problems, the following can help you feel better:

  • Irrigate your nasal passages utilizing the information in this article
  • Drink lots of water
  • Get plenty of rest
  • Apply a warm compress to your face
  • Use a humidifier
  • Breathe vapor from a bowl of hot water
  • Take a hot shower
  • Help your sinuses drain by sleeping with your head elevated

Our Raleigh and Cary internal medicine physicians are always available to answer any questions you may have. Ask us about sinus relief, including which nasal irrigation system is the right choice for you.

Techniques for rinsing the nasal passages and sinuses have been used for thousands of years. They offer a way to get a balanced salt-water solution safely into the nose to flush out mucus, particles, allergens and other irritants.

According to Benjamin S. Bleier, MD, FACS, a sinus surgeon at Massachusetts Eye and Ear, such techniques are considered among the safest and most effective treatments for sinus troubles.

There are several ways people can rinse their sinuses. The most known practice is the classic neti pot, which looks like a small teapot and relies on gravity to deliver the salt-water solution through the nose. Another well-known device is the squeeze bottle, which works by applying a small amount of pressure to a bottle filled with the salt-water solution, forcing it into the nose.

Sinus rinse kits are safe for anybody to use, especially for those who have inflammation due to chronic sinus problems, sinus infections, the common cold or allergies.

These devices are universally recommended as part of the healing process for patients who are recovering from a sinus or nasal surgery.

Are Sinus Rinses Safe to Use?

Sinus rinse kits are safe to use so long as they are properly sterilized, according to Dr. Bleier

A sinus kit typically includes a salt solution and the device (neti pot or squeeze bottle). The salt solution is a mixture of salt and baking soda that matches the pH content in your body. “This allows the water solution to feel easy as it passes through the nasal cavity,” said Dr. Bleier.

The devices themselves are not designed to go deeply into the nostrils, so they do not cause much irritation. However, the bottles can be a breeding ground for bacteria and/or fungus.

Dr. Bleier recommends cleaning the bottle with hot, soapy water or putting it in the dishwasher right before use. Some of the newer bottles are also microwave safe, and for these, one minute on high with a small amount of water in the bottom will do the trick.

The water used can also grow bacteria, fungus or, in very rare cases, amoebas, which are single-celled organisms that can cause life-threatening infections in humans.

“To ensure your water is safe to use, I recommend using either distilled water, which you can buy from a pharmacy, or boiled water that has been cooled,” said Dr. Bleier. All clean water should be used as soon as possible to reduce bacterial exposure.

How Do You Use the Squeeze Bottle?

Watch the video above to see how to properly use a sinus rinse squeeze bottle and follow along with these instructions:

Step One: Prepare the Bottle

  • Wash your hands thoroughly.
  • Unscrew the top of the bottle, trying not to put your hands on the part that will go in your nose.
  • Pour in 8 ounces of prepared water (boiled or distilled).
  • Open and pour in the contents of the salt packet.
  • Screw the top back on.
  • Cover the top of the bottle.
  • Shake/mix the bottle until the solution is well combined.

Step Two: Rinse the Nose

  • Go to a sink.
  • Lean head over the sink, tilting it a bit downwards.
  • Choose a nostril to begin with.
  • Put bottle up to that nostril and squeeze gently with your mouth open. Don’t hold your breath.
  • Squeeze half of the bottle into the first nostril.
    • Please note: The water may come out of the opposite or same nostril, or out of the mouth—all of these are fine and normal!

    Step Three: Clean Up

    • Once the bottle is completely empty, sniff and gently blow your nose.
      • It’s important to gently sniff to refrain from building up pressure, because blowing too hard can push fluid into your ears.

      Sinus rinses are safe when used and cleaned appropriately. If you have allergies or persistent sinus systems, call the Mass. Eye and Ear Sinus Center at 617-573-3030 or request an appointment online.

      About our expert

      How to flush sinuses

      Dr. Benjamin Bleier specializes in complex sinus and endoscopic skull base surgery. He sees patients at the main campus of Mass. Eye and Ear.

      Physician Directory

      Search the Mass. Eye and Ear physician directory to find the right ophthalmology (eye) or otolaryngology (ear, nose and throat) specialist.

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      Reply Cancel

      Evelyne M Crevecoeur 2 years, 6 months ago

      Good morning, I had a sphénoïdal sinus surgery last year, and a deviated septa repaired. It happened that I can’t use the squeeze bottle for maintenance or cleaning , since I try it I am bleeding from the nose fresh blood.

      Ryan Jaslow 2 years, 6 months ago

      Hi Evelyne, thanks for reading. This is a question best addressed by your surgeon. If you’d like to see a specialist at Mass. Eye and Ear, you can call 617-573-3954 or request an appointment online.

      Katie Smith 2 years, 6 months ago

      Any comments or recommendations regarding lavage devices like Navage?
      Thank you….

      Ryan Jaslow 2 years, 6 months ago

      Hi Katie, thanks for reading. Dr. Bleier says: “Bottle irrigation systems are the only sinus rinse methods with significant evidence demonstrating benefit, so as clinicians, we can not comment on other methods until more data comes out about them.”

      Diane Ullman 1 year, 1 month ago

      I don’t have an ear infection, but do accumulate fluid as a part of my allergic/sinus condition. I’m trying the nasal rinse as part of my therapy to try to clear as much congestion as I can so the ears (nose, sinuses, etc.) can drain. The problem I’m having is that frequently the solution burns the tissue terribly and can cause a nasty headache. Usually, my philosophy is “if it hurts–stop!” but this is not an area where I’m very knowledgeable. What causes the burning? Is it harmful? Should I persevere or stop when it happens? Thank you for your attention.

      Brian Campbell 9 months, 2 weeks ago

      I use a neti pot and it provides relief–How is this different than squeeze bottle?

      Ryan Jaslow 9 months, 2 weeks ago

      Hi Brian, thanks for reading and your comment. The neti pot and squeeze bottle are different irrigation techniques used to rinse sinuses and both are considered to be safe and effective, provided they are cleaned as described in the blog, and that water is distilled or boiled.

      How to flush sinuses

      As sinus specialists, the team at Detroit Sinus Center offers effective, long-lasting relief for those with sinus problems here in Southfield, Allen Park, and the greater Detroit metropolitan area. Many of the patients we see visit us for treatment for their Southfield sinus problems.

      If you suffer from sinus problems, you know how miserable facial pain and clogged nasal passages can be. Rinsing out your sinuses with a saline water solution can help remove dust and pollen and loosen thick mucus. It can also help relieve the symptoms of sinus infections, allergies, and colds. But it is important to use Neti pots and other nasal-rinsing devices properly, to decrease your risk of infection.

      Here is a brief overview of how to properly and safely use Neti pots and other nasal rinse devices like bulb syringes, squeeze bottles and battery-powered pulsed water devices.

      How to flush sinusesDon’t Use Water Straight Out of the Tap

      Whether you plan on using a Neti pot or a battery operated pulsed water device to clear your sinuses, it’s important not to use anything other than distilled, sterile water or water you’ve previously boiled. This is because tap water is unsafe for use as a nasal rinse due to it not been adequately filtered or treated.

      Follow the Manufacturer’s Instructions and Seek Advice

      It’s important to follow the instructions provided with the irrigation device you’ll be using. This way, you’re more apt to get the full benefits of the nasal rinse. It is also a good idea to ask your family doctor or ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialist to walk you through the process of rinsing out your sinuses at home so you learn how to do the procedure correctly.

      How to Rinse Out Your Sinuses

      Since most nasal irrigation devices work in the same basic way, here are the steps involved with rinsing out your sinuses at home.

      • Step 1: Lean over a sink and tilt your head sideways with your forehead and chin level to avoid the liquid from flowing into your mouth.
      • Step 2: While breathing through your open mouth, insert the spout of the container you’re using into your upper nostril so the liquid drains into the lower nostril.
      • Step 3: Clear your nostrils then repeat the procedure, while tilting your head sideways on the other side.

      When you’re finished rinsing out your sinuses, wash the device and be sure to dry the inside with a paper towel, or allow it to air dry completely.

      Looking for Help With Your Sinus Infection?

      While it’s perfectly fine and safe to rinse out your sinuses at home, you should visit an ENT or sinus specialist if your sinuses are consistently clogged. At Detroit Sinus Center, we can provide you with an examination, diagnosis and the right treatment you need. You can contact us at our Southfield office at (248) 304-7772 or at our Allen Park office at (313) 381-8787. We proudly serve residents throughout Detroit and the metro area. We’re looking forward to your visit and helping you get the relief you need!

      How to flush sinuses

      One of the most annoying symptoms of nasal congestion is difficulty with sinus drainage. Sinus pressure and a stuffy nose can lead to discomfort and worse if left untreated. To relieve your nasal congestion and drain your sinuses, it’s first important to understand what is causing your symptoms.

      How to flush sinuses

      What is Nasal Congestion?

      Nasal congestion, also known as a stuffy nose, is identified by the inflammation and swelling of the tissues and blood vessels inside the nose and surrounding area, which tends to create a “plugged” feeling throughout the sinuses.

      Nasal congestion is commonly associated with the following problems:

      • Blocked nasal passages
      • Dry and inflamed sinuses
      • A runny nose
      • Sinus pressure
      • Sinus pain
      • Excessive mucus buildup
      • Post nasal drip
      • A sore and swollen nose

      How to flush sinuses

      There are several possible physical and environmental conditions and ailments that can cause a “stuffy” congested nose .[ * ][ * ]

      Some of the most common cause of nasal congestion are:

      • Allergies and hay fever (allergic rhinitis)
      • A cold or influenza
      • COVID-19
      • Spicy foods
      • Foods and beverages containing histamines (especially fermented products, such as alcohol and dairy)
      • Certain medications (WARNING: Consult your physician if you have questions about your medications)
      • Off-gases from chemicals, perfumes, cleaning products, smoke, or other airborne irritants
      • Sinusitis (sinus infections)
      • Nasal polyps
      • Deviated septum or other anatomical issues
      • Vasomotor rhinitis (a heightened sensitivity to stimuli)

      How to flush sinuses

      It’s possible to relieve nasal congestion, drain your sinuses, and get rid of your runny nose with reactive measures like:

      • Using a humidifier or vaporizer
      • Taking a hot shower or steam bath
      • Hydrating with warm fluids, such as chicken noodle soup or tea
      • Use a nasal nebulizer as part of your daily nasal hygiene routine. Rinse your sinuses with a saline spray and moisturizer to reduce excessive mucus build-up
      • Applying hot facial compresses
      • Taking over-the-counter antihistamines (WARNING: Consult a healthcare professional taking any medications)
      • Taking over-the-counter decongestants (WARNING: Consult a healthcare professional taking any medications)
      • Exercising (with indoor physical activities to help reduce environmental triggers)
      • Propping your head up with a pillow when lying down

      Nasal congestion (or a stuffy nose) is often a symptom of other conditions or ailments, such as allergies or a virus, affecting the body. Therefore, to clear it up, it’s important to remedy the underlying cause.[ * ][ * ]

      How long a stuffy nose lasts depends on what is causing the sinus congestion. If, for example, the congestion is caused by a cold or the flu, it will probably endure for about as long as the illness lasts, which could be anywhere from 5 to 10 days or longer. Whereas, if a stuffy nose is the result of seasonal allergies, symptoms may last much longer and reappear with certain environmental triggers.

      How to flush sinuses

      It’s almost impossible to prevent nasal congestion completely because we are always surrounded by allergens, bacteria, viruses, molds and other triggers that can cause us to become plugged up. However, by taking steps to protect ourselves, we can also limit how often we experience congestion and sinus pressure.[ * ][ * ]

      To help prevent nasal congestion from allergic or environmental causes, such as hay fever or vasomotor rhinitis:

      • Wash your hands often
      • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes and nose
      • Avoid triggers, such as dust, pollen, perfumes, smoke, and other irritants
      • Avoid food and beverages with high levels of histamines, such as alcohol and fermented dairy products
      • Wear a mask on days with bad air quality
      • Take a hot shower and rinse your sinuses with a saline solution before bed
      • Change your pillowcases and bedding often
      • Keep dust to a minimum
      • Close the windows and use AC when possible
      • Use air filters and purifiers when possible

      How to flush sinuses

      To help prevent nasal congestion from bacterial or viral infections, such as the cold or flu:

      • Eat a well balanced diet
      • Exercise and maintain your health and wellness
      • Avoid stress and exhaustion
      • Limit or avoid consuming alcohol and tobacco
      • Get the flu shot (WARNING: Consult a physician to see if the flu shot is right for you)
      • Limit unnecessary physical contact, such as handshakes, to help prevent the spread of viruses
      • Wear a mask to limit the spread of airborne diseases

      How to flush sinuses

      For most people, nasal congestion is nothing more than a nuisance. However, if a stuffy nose persists or is accompanied by more concerning problems, such as a high fever or bloody discharge, it might be a good idea to contact a healthcare professional.[ * ][ * ]

      As Arizona’s leading clinic for all things related to Ear, Nose and Throat, the providers at Sinus and Allergy Wellness Center recommend that their patients perform a sinus nasal rinse 1-2 times per day.

      A sinus rinse is an easy process that you can do at home, in your bathroom or in the shower. It cleans out your nasal passageways and restores them to optimal performance. By restoring your nasal passages, you can prevent sinus infections.

      During times like these with the coronavirus epidemic, it’s more important than ever to reduce your risk for sinus and upper respiratory infections. For this reason, Dr. Gergits even does a sinus rinse every morning and night!

      As the leading provider in Arizona for sinus and nasal problems, Franklyn Gergits, DO, MBA, FAOCO, proudly offers state-of-the-art solutions, including balloon sinuplasty for chronic sinusitis. He was also the first doctor in Pennsylvania to perform the procedure. He understands the importance of optimal nasal health and provides personalized treatment plans for all of his patients which includes a sinus rinse that you can do at home.

      A sinus rinse washes away mucous, dirt, pollen, and other allergens from your nose to reduce allergy and asthma symptoms. Nasal rinses also improve breathing and increases the flow of mucous, allowing sinus passages to clear.

      The Sinus Rinse can be safe and extremely effective, if you keep a few things in mind:

      • Do it consistently
      • Use distilled water
      • Clean your sinus rinse bottle after every use

      Learn how to perform a sinus rinse by watching this short video:

      Sinus and Allergy Wellness Center is here for you. If you are experiencing sinus pain, pressure, headaches, sinus infections, sleep apnea or allergy symptoms, schedule an appointment with us so that we can help reduce your symptoms and help you live your best life!

      We are following CDC guidelines and providing a safe environment for all of our patients.