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HealthInfo Canterbury

Nasal saline rinse

FDP girl sneezingUsing a nasal saline rinse can help to thin and decrease the amount of mucus you produce in your nose, and stop it draining into the back of your throat. It also helps to rinse away allergens and irritants that make your nose itchy and make you sneeze.

If you are using a nasal saline rinse, use it before you use any nasal steroids medicines, such as Alanase or Beconase (beclometasone dipropionate); Butacort or Eltair (budesonide); or Flixonase or Clearnase (fluticasone propionate).

What to use

For adults, several different products are available, such as Sinus Rinse and Neti Pot. You can use these with commercial rinses such as NeilMed sinus rinse packets, or you can make your own saline rinse.

To make your own rinse, dissolve ½ teaspoon of salt and ¼ teaspoon of baking soda in 250 ml of warm water. Use this solution in a sinus rinse bottle or pot you have bought. Manufacturers recommend you replace the bottle or pot every three months.

Children can use nasal drops or spray such as NasaDrops or NasaMist.

Put the saline rinse in your bottle or pot and follow the manufacturer's instructions for your device, or the instructions below.

Stop using the rinse if it causes pain, a nosebleed or any other problem.

After using the rinse, you can continue using prescribed nasal medicines as normal. They may even work better!

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. July 2014

Sources

Page reference: 110759

Review key: HISIN-86153