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Sinus rinsing, or sinus irrigation, is becoming a recommended way of dealing with allergies. At first, the idea can sound a little daunting – you want me to what? Put water up my nose? But for many, the answer is “Yes! It will help.”
Sinus rinsing is simple. It’s safe. It has no side effects and no drowsiness. No prescription is required. It just takes a little getting used to.
Seasonal or year-round allergies begin when the offending substance -- pollens, pet dander, mold spores, whatever – finds a passage into our bodies. Most often, that is the nose. Sinus rinsing helps clear out those allergens from the nasal passages, reducing the load on our system.
Sinus rinsing can also clear out mucus that results from the allergic reaction and can have a soothing effect on irritated nasal passages.
Even if you don’t have allergies, sinus rinsing can help when you feel a cold coming on. “If you’re someone with frequent sinus infections, sinus rinsing can help keep the mucus from a cold flowing so there is less chance that bacteria can overgrow inside the sinuses,” says Allergist Steven Rubinstein, M.D., of Palo Alto Medical Foundation.
Dr. Rubinstein notes that sinus rinsing is a great way to help respond to your body’s allergic reactions, temporarily. However, if you are using a neti pot or sinus rinsing year round, or very frequently, you might consider long-term allergy treatments. “Cortisone nasal sprays work to reduce your body’s overall response to allergens,” says Dr. Rubinstein. “They are not immediate, but if used correctly, they can calm the allergic response and bring real, lasting relief to patients.”
Think you might be ready to give it a try? Read on for specifics: