Allergy & Air on December 6, 2013 0 Comments If you suffer from severe allergies, here’s one natural remedy that you may not have tried yet. Nasal Irrigation, the practice of washing out the extra mucus from your nasal cavity, is touted by health experts as a great way to get relief from allergy symptoms with minimal risk of side effects. There are a couple of ways you can do this, as well as different solutions that can be used as well. But, are these methods really safe? And do they really work? In this guide, you’ll learn more about the products you can use to to irrigate your nasal passages, how to use these products without risking your health, and an explanation for why nasal irrigation is a recommended natural remedy for allergy symptoms. What to Use for Nasal Irrigation There are a number of products on the market toward designed to help you relieve a stuffy nasal passage. Two of the most popular products that you should consider is a bulb syringe and a neti pot. Many pharmacy’s will have pre-made solution kits, which are ready to use the moment you purchase them. While those work great, many people prefer to make their own homemade solution. All of the items you need should be readily available at any drug store or pharmacy. If you choose a pre-made solution, then you will not need any additional supplies. If you would like to use a neti pot or bulb syringe, then you’ll need to purchase the ingredients for the saline solution, which are: purified water, non-iodized salt, and baking soda. You can also use tap water, but if you do, it’s very important that you boil it and let it cool before creating the saline solution at home. Why It’s Effective Our nasal passages are lined with cilia, which are small, tendril-like structures which catch the dirt and bacteria that enters our nostrils by beating back and forth. This helps our bodies to fend off illness and disease. We also have naturally occurring mucus within our passages, which catch the dust, particles, and bacteria that the cilia must remove. The cilia coaxes the irritants from this mucus lining, and into the back of the throat. The bacteria and particles are then sent to the digestive system, in order to eventually be dissolved by stomach acid. However, in allergy sufferers, this mucus can be much thicker. As a result, the cilia has a more difficult time beating the particles away from the lining. When using nasal irrigation, the mucus is thinned out and flushed away, which may help alleviate clogged nasal passages. Irrigating your nasal passages also allows the cilia to work more efficiently, so that they can fan away the irritants and bacteria that may lead to illness and disease. Tips for Using Nasal Irrigation Products Safely It is very important that the water you use must be boiled beforehand. While it is extremely rare, using tainted water to irrigate your nasal cavity can cause serious injury and/or death. Making the solution for the neti pot or bulb syringe is incredibly easy. Simply combine 2 cups of warm water with a quarter teaspoon of non-iodized salt and an eighth of a teaspoon of baking soda. If you don’t want to make your own, you can also buy a simple saline solution at the store. If you use a pre-made solution, then make sure you thoroughly read and follow the directions on the package before using the product. photo credit To safely irrigate your nasal passages, lean your head to one side (at a 45° angle) over a sink and slowly pour the cleansing solution into one nostril. Keep your mouth open while you are doing this, and breathe through your mouth instead of your nose. The solution will then drain out of the nostril that is closest to the sink. If some does end up in your mouth, spit it out as soon as possible. It will not harm you, but it can carry with it bacteria and particles that have been trapped in your nasal passages. Blow your nose gently into the sink after irrigating in order to get rid of any solution that has been left behind. Repeat the process to clear out your other nostril. Once you have finished, throw away any solution that has not been used, sterilize any equipment used and let it dry completely before putting it away. The Downside of Nasal Irrigation The main drawback for using irrigating your nasal passages in this manner is that they not only wash away the excess mucous, but also the beneficial bacteria and antiviral agents. As such, you should not use this method on a continual basis without discussing it with your doctor beforehand. A small percentage of people who try relieving their allergies with this method may experience mild irritation. If you notice any adverse side effects, it’s best to discontinue use and speak with your physician as soon as you can. On top of this, If you are prone to nosebleeds or suffer from an autoimmune disorder, it would be wise to consult with your doctor before using any irrigation products mentioned here. Remember, nasal flushing or irrigation is just one tool you can use to help you fight the uncomfortable symptoms of allergies. There are many other things you can do to help yourself feel better.