/ July 10, 2013/ Allergy, Nasal Irrigation, Sinus, Sinusitis & Rhinitis/ 3 comments

Benefit of saline irrigation in sinusitis and allergic rhinitis

Devin M. Cunning, MD, FACS
Diplomat American Board of Otolaryngology
Diplomat ABOto, Sleep Medicine
Fellow American Academy of Otolaryngic Allergy

Nasal saline irrigation are integral to the treatment of chronic sinusitis and are a helpful adjuvant in treating allergic rhinitis.

Most problems with the sino-nasal cavities generally begin with inflammation.  With inflammation, either from an infectious etiology or an allergen, comes obstruction.   Obstruction can be realized symptomatically as a multitude of differing but related complaints.  Firstly nasal congestion or difficulty breathing through the nose is common.   Sinus pressure may also manifest as facial pain, pressure or upper dental pain.  Additionally Eustachian tube dysfunction or plugging of the ears may ensue.

During this process of inflammation due to sinus infection, the mucus secretions become thick and tenacious, resulting in the further obstruction of the sinus cavities.   Guaifenesin is helpful in turning, as I say ‘rubber cement into water.’  It reduces the viscosity of sinus mucus secretions allowing egress from the sinus cavities.  The combination of guaifenesin and saline irrigations function additively in cleansing the sinus’s, removing infectious agents and reestablishing normal ciliary (nasal hair cell) function while directed antibiotics kill the bacteria.

Allergic rhinitis is caused by the body’s immune response to foreign proteins or allergens.  This also results in inflammation, however often the sinus secretions are thin and watery.   Aside from immunotherapy which results in long term diminished allergies, my trifecta for treating this condition includes nasal steroid spray which topically reduces inflammation, antihistamine which systemically reduces the effects of histamine, including itching and watery discharge, and saline irrigations which help flush the allergens from the sino-nasal cavities.  Remember:  “The solution to pollution is dilution.”


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About NeilMed

Neilmed Pharmaceuticals Inc. is the maker of original and patented SINUS RINSE ™ kit and #1 recommended and studied nasal irrigation system in the world with distribution mainly in the US and Canada. SINUS RINSE provides natural relief from sinusitis symptoms, allergies, common cold or flu, and other chronic sinus and nasal problems and obviates the need for surgeries and prescription medications in more than 50 % cases. Neilmed’s other products include SinuFlo Ready Rinse, NasaFlo Neti Pot, NasaMist Saline Spray, NasoGel Moisturizer for Dry Noses, NasaDrops Saline, NasaDock Plus Drying Stand. Neilmed’s products are also available in, Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, United Kingdom, Ireland and Europe.


  1. Thanks for this very informative post. Nasal irrigation is quite helpful in treating allergic rhinitis and should be recommended to anyone suffering from this problem.

  2. Dr. Cunning’s article about using saline nasal irrigation combined with Guaifenesin is right on target for the treatment of chronic sinusitis. I suffered for years and ENT visits every 6 months. Now when sinuses become active or have inflammation, I increase use of both from once per day, to twice, and in extreme cases, three times. No ENT visits nor antibiotics for over 10 years. One additional element: drink cold liquids. Hot coffee or tea causes mucus to become sticky, but cold causes it to congeal and easier to expel.

  3. First let me congratulate on this article.

    I liked the explanation.

    Is it possible to show all this in a video, so that non-medical folks can also understand …


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