8 Best Nasal Irrigators | March 2017
- silicone tip creates a nostril seal
- helps moisten mucous membranes
- must be discarded after a few months
|Rating||3.6 / 5.0|
- surprisingly powerful for its size
- more effective than a neti pot
- easy to break while cleaning it
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- included saline contains xylitol
- magnetic wand stores on the base
- instruction manual is vague
|Rating||4.2 / 5.0|
- can help alleviate nosebleeds
- user-controlled pressure
- patented anti-backflow valve
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- adjustable flow settings
- includes 20 packets of buffered salt
- storage space for multiple tips
|Rating||4.0 / 5.0|
- backed by 2-year warranty
- large capacity water reservoir
- color-coded nasal tips
|Rating||4.9 / 5.0|
- charges via a usb port
- two water jet speeds
- feels very well built
|Rating||4.5 / 5.0|
Benefits Of Nasal Irrigators
Using a nasal irrigator was once thought to be a drastic measure, only needed by people with severe allergies. The truth is, nasal irrigators can be seen as a form of preventative medicine for everyone, and are highly recommended in managing sinonasal conditions.
In a non-allergic patient, the body's normal allergic reaction is limited to large particles or especially irritant particles, such as inhaling black pepper. In an allergic patient, the body produces histamines in response to average environmental components, such as pollen, dust, or perfume. The body responds by swelling the mucous membranes to block off the sinuses. This results in the heavy, stuffed feeling most allergy sufferers describe. By introducing a saline solution into the sinuses, the contaminants which are causing the histamine reaction in the body are easily flushed out.
Nasal irrigators can be used for a variety of conditions. Treating acute and chronic rhinosinusitis, allergic and non allergic rhinitis, and nonspecific nasal symptoms like post-nasal drip is greatly influenced by the proper use of a nasal irrigator. In some cases, prescription medication can be reduced or eliminated while using a nasal irrigator.
Many studies have been brought forth showing the potential benefit of nasal irrigation in patients with issues such as allergic rhinitis and asthma. Results from these studies suggests that using a nasal irrigator on a daily basis can improve the daily symptoms of allergic rhinitis in many cases.
Using A Nasal Irrigator Properly
Part of the reason nasal irrigators remain underused is their relatively subjective method of application. In the past, preparing and applying salt water rinses required a significant amount of time, so their use was limited to people who really need it. With complete nasal irrigation systems on the market today, it is easier than ever to practice.
The act of nasal irrigation usually involves the gentle introduction of a simple saline solution into the nasal cavity through one of the nostrils. The solution then travels through the sinuses, picking up bacteria and contaminants as it goes. The solution then exits the opposite nostril, leaving the sinuses clear and disinfected.
The goal of nasal irrigation is to clean out the entire nose, mucous membranes, and sinuses. Not all irrigation techniques can achieve this comfortably however. Doctors have been studying the best method for successful irrigation of the entire sinus system. Some methods show success at entering the nose, but due to gravity, are forced back out before reaching the sinuses. Positive pressure provided by nasal irrigation systems works best, and delivers solution to the forehead and cheek sinuses.
Another aspect to consider when choosing a nasal irrigator is the volume of liquid to be delivered. Studies have shown that high volume irrigation is the most effective at distributing saline solution to the entire system. This can be achieved by purchasing a large volume nasal irrigator, or simply using a low volume system multiple times.
The head position of the patient also seems to have an impact on how much solution is delivered to the sinuses. Placing the head down during irrigation can help to rinse out the top of the nose and forehead sinus, while tilting the head to either side can promote more liquid reaching either cheekbone sinus.
It is equally important to make sure that the saline concentration in the irrigator is correct. Many irrigators provide guidelines to creating solution or even prepacked solutions, which remove a degree of error. The other important consideration is the sanitation of the unit itself. Bacteria can accumulate on the irrigation wand or in the tank itself. If these are not properly cleaned, this bacteria can travel into the nose and sinuses, potentially exacerbating the problem.
The History Of Nasal Irrigators
Thanks to the streamlined look of modern nasal irrigators, it can seem as though the practice is new. In reality, nasal irrigation has been around for thousands of years. The earliest record of nasal irrigation comes from the ancient Hindu practice of Ayurveda, whose roots are traced back to the Hindu Vedic texts. Jala-neti, as it is called in Hindu, was a part of the daily cleansing ritual of Vedic scholars. A simple form of nasal irrigation, sniffing water from a cupped hand and then blowing it back out of the nose, is a step in the cleansing process for Muslims as well.
The first mass produced nasal irrigation was introduced in 1972, by a Swami who wanted his Western students to benefit from the act of cleansing the body for meditation and pranayama. It was believed that clear breathing led to clear thinking. By purifying the nose, one could purify the thoughts and reach a higher level of meditation. The popularity of nasal irrigators was cemented in the West after being featured on popular talk shows, and nasal irrigators have now become commonplace.
Doctors have only recently recognized the benefits of nasal irrigation on the sinuses thanks to a growing number of studies. Much research has supported the notion that irrigations are beneficial, safe, and subjectively useful to patients as well. They are gentle enough to be tolerated by children, and effective enough to reduce even the most severe allergic rhinitis symptoms.