Flushing the sinuses can be very therapeutic for those suffering from acute or chronic nasal congestion or allergies. Done properly, this technique helps to promote drainage and aids in healing the inflamed tissues lining the sinuses. Chronic congestion sufferers should use this method at least twice daily as part of a sinus care program. Those with acute colds will also see results, but should flush 3-4 times a day. As a bonus, flushing can remove potential allergens from the nasal passages.
There are several products that can be purchased to properly execute this technique. Following the directions below, this treatment can be done using a simple bulb syringe used for baby care. Other devices, like the neti pot or SinuCleanseR, are effective as well and may provide a slightly better result. Powered pulsating devices are more costly options that produce similar results.
Steps for Sinus Flushing
You will need: Salt (preferably sea salt), baking soda, water and a flushing device (bulb syringe, neti pot, etc.)
- Put 1/2-1 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in an empty mug or cup.
- Add around 1 inch of hot water to the mug to dissolve the salt and baking soda.
- Fill the rest of the mug with cool tap water. The overall temperature of the mixture should be warm.
- Fill flushing device with warm mixture.
- Position head over the sink looking down into it. Turn the head to the side so that one nostril is directly above the other.
- Place tip of pot or syringe into the nostril closest to the ceiling. Let the water drain into the upper nostril and out the lower nostril while breathing through the mouth. If using a syringe, gently squirt all of the contents into the upper nostril.
- Once empty, return head to upright position and gently blow out of both nostrils.
- Repeat on the other nostril.
- This may be repeated multiple times until overall congestion has improved.
For more information and tips for sinus problems, see the next page.