Why Nasal Irrigation Can Help With a COVID Infection

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one in recent studyTwice-daily nasal irrigation was found to reduce the severity of COVID-19 symptoms. However, there were some major flaws in the study under consideration-Including a small sample size and lack of an appropriate control group-“The researchers are probably on the right track,” said ENT specialist Mas Takashima. Houston Methodist Hospital, who were not associated with the study. “Nasal irrigation is something that we usually recommend for our patients who have any type of infection of the nose or sinuses.”

It includes cold, flu, and allergies, for which there is a certain amount of evidence that nasal irrigation may be an effective way to reduce the severity of symptoms. By that logic, it makes sense that nasal irrigation might be one strategy for reducing the severity of COVID-19 symptoms.

Nasal irrigation may be useful for upper respiratory infections.

Nasal irrigation works by using a saline solution to flush out the sinuses. This flushing has a two-fold benefit: It gets rid of all the mucus, which will help you feel better, as well as get rid of any viruses or bacteria that may be in there. Since many of the viruses that cause upper respiratory tract infections, including COVID-19, are spread in the sinuses, getting rid of them through nasal irrigation can help reduce the overall viral load, which is known as sinusitis. Known to help with symptoms. intensity.

“Since the SARS-CoV-2 virus replicates in the nose, and continues to replicate in the nose, theoretically, this should work,” said Catherine Troisi, an epidemiologist UTHealth School of Public Health who were not associated with the study.

Squeezing out mucus has the added benefit of reducing any potential secondary infections, as the mucus provides an ideal environment for bacteria to grow. “If you have an open sinus that is constantly moving, it doesn’t get infected as often as some. He is closed,” Takashima said.

Tips for effective nasal irrigation 

In the COVID-19 studyIn this study, researchers had participants perform nasal irrigation with a sodium bicarbonate solution or a saline solution with iodine, using a pressurized nasal irrigation system, where you inject the solution into the nostrils. The researchers found no difference between the two in terms of results, with the major limitation being that this was a very small sample size of 79 participants in total.

In practice, it is a reasonable assumption that most people will benefit from using a simple saline solution, which they can either buy premixed in small packets, or Make using a mixture of salt and baking soda yourself, It is the standard solution that helps with allergies, colds, and flu.

For a nasal irrigation system, the alternative is to use either a neti pot, where you pour the solution into one nostril, or a nasal irrigation bottle, where you pour the solution into one nostril. Both of these should be available at your local drugstore or can be ordered online.

It’s important to use clean water, preferably either distilled or boiled, as you don’t want any harmful bacteria in there, but you want to avoid using field Water. Takashima said, “It hurts when there’s no salt.” To prevent contamination, be sure to wash the bottle after every use, and replace it every few months or after an illness. “If you have an active sinus infection, you’ll want to get rid of that bottle,” said Takashima, once it’s healed, because there may still be bacteria or a virus.

There is also a learning curve associated with nasal irrigation. “It feels weird at first,” Trossi said. To get the hang of things, it might help to see youtube videos On proper technique, and to go slowly in the beginning. In terms of frequency, Takashima recommends adjusting for rest, which could mean twice a week for people with mild allergies, or twice a day during illness.

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