By Denise Cavassa, CMA
Whether you’re looking forward to Spring after a brutal winter or dealing with irritants (like cigarette smoke, dust, pollution, etc.), allergies can make your life miserable on a variety of levels. While many people pray for relief from pharmaceuticals, there are no cures for allergies. There are, however, a variety of things that you can do to control and alleviate symptoms naturally.
Nasal congestion and an abundance of mucus are two major causes of allergy suffering, contributing to issues with headaches, ears and balance, sore throats and vocal cords, eye pressure and irritation, and even digestion. Nasal irrigation is a simple and effective way to manage allergy symptoms and discomforts. With repeated use, you may even be able to achieve permanent improvements – I have.
While Nasaline may be one of the simplest and best items on the market for sinus care, you can find yourself a bit frustrated as you try to learn to use it without snorting water up your nose! And then, there is the fear of pushing water up into your nose in the first place! Below are tips for safe, easy, and successful nasal irrigation with Nasline without experiencing discomforts similar to cannon-balling into a pool of water without nose plugs.
What is Nasaline?
Nasaline, by Squip, Inc., is a drug-free, simple, nasal irrigation system that is an alternative to a neti pot. Using saline solution in a large syringe made of medical-grade silicone with a specially designed tip that fits most noses, it is easy to quickly flush your nasal passages with considerably little fuss or mess. Users can control the flow, pressure, comfort, and effectiveness of the saline solution as it gently swirls to enter the nose. Nasaline is useful to alleviate symptoms associated with sinus congestion, allergies and related infections, and the discomforts associated with these conditions including headaches and ear pressure. Nasaline reduces nasal irritation, cleans and hydrates the mucous membranes, and soothes your nasal passages. Nasaline can be a quick and easy relief in and after dusty, smoky, dry, etc., environments.
How To Use Nasaline
1) Into 1 cup of warm (body temperature), sterilized or distilled water, stir to dissolve ½ teaspoon of salt (or 1 package of Nasaline salt). Gently fill the Nasaline applicator with the saline solution.
a) NOTE: The manufacturer does not recommend using iodized table salt (to avoid allergic reactions to iodine) or sea salt (which may contain pollen, algae, or other irritants. Nasaline’s brand of salt contains no preservatives or additives.
2) Leaning over a basin (e.g., bathroom sink or tub), place the applicator’s silicone tip against the nose so that it completely seals the nostril.
3) As you slowly and evenly push the saline solution up into the nostril, breathe normally (or say aaahhh…) through the mouth, refraining from swallowing. This process should take from 3 to 7 seconds for each nostril. By reflex, your palate will close so that the solution will pour out of the other nostril.
a) TIP: Try tilting the silicone tip slightly forward, away from your chin, so that your nostril is slightly stretched forward. This helps to anchor the tip while you push the saline solution into your nostril.
b) TIP: Be aware NOT to squeeze the back of your throat while inserting the saline solution (and saying aaahhh…) into your nostril to avoid trapping liquid in your sinus cavity – like what happens when constricting your muscles when jumping into a pool and water is painfully forced and trapped up your nose. The more you relax, the easier the flow of solution through your nasal passages.
c) TIP: Relax your neck and shoulders so that you don’t restrict muscles that can affect your normal breathing. I recommend leaning over the basin with a straight upper back (in other words, not hunched over) or leaning on your forearms or elbows to avoid compressing your neck, shoulders, and upper back.
d) TIP: If the solution-releasing nostril is congested, try giving a quick and gentle, exhaling blow (like a little blast of air; think of how a bull snorts to express dominance) to assist the solution in streaming out.
e) NOTE: Occasionally, the saline solution may trickle down the back of your throat, which is not harmful.
4) Repeat for your other nostril. It s recommended to flush 2 full syringes twice in each nostril once or twice a day, or as instructed by your physician.
a) NOTE: I suggest that you do not fill the syringe more than ¾ full to avoid difficulties when you press the plunger – e.g., the plunger sticking and shooting a forceful stream of water up your nose.
5) When your rinsing session is completed, blow your nose gently to clear any remaining solution and mucus. If some of the saline solution remains in your nasal passages, it will trickle out within a few hours. Or you can lean forward and tilt your head from side to side immediately after rinsing to release it.
a) TIP: I find that leaning with a gentle, forward shake a few times helps trapped water to be released from my nasal passages.
b) TIP: Simple exercises like touching your toes (soft knees) with your neck relaxed and head resting towards your knees (Standing Forward Bend) will help to pressurize your sinus cavities to release any remaining solution.
c) TIP: After nasal irrigation, you may also want to gargle to remove mucus and alleviate irritation in the back of your throat.
6) Cleaning your Nasaline. When finished nasal rinsing, clean your Nasaline by completely pulling out the plunger from the syringe, removing the silicone tip and flushing all 3 parts with water. You can also clean your Nasaline with a mild dishwashing liquid and rinse well. Allow your Nasaline to air dry.
a) TIP: I use a soft toothbrush and a cotton swab (such as a Q-Tip) to clean the Nasaline’s crevices.
7) When not in use for long periods of time, it is recommended that you store your unit in its travel cylinder to avoid any swelling of the rubber around the plunger. If your plunger doesn’t slide easily in the syringe, a drop of olive oil rubbed around the black, rubber ring will do the trick.
See video demonstration below on how to use Nasaline. More information can be found on the Manufacturer’s website along with other health aids.