Allergies can be maddening. Sneezing, congestion and a feeling of spaciness can make each day a trial. To make matters worse, decongestant nose sprays are only supposed to be used a few days at a time, although allergy season is inevitably longer than that. How can you ease nasal congestion?
Using Saline to Ease Nasal Congestion from Allergies:
Q. Almost three years ago, I was bothered with allergies and took allergy medicines every day. Then I started using a neti pot with a saline solution for the entire allergy season.
Now I do not take any allergy medicines. I only have to use the neti pot when I get congested. I am SO glad to cut my ties to allergy medicines.
I’ve thought: why WOULD there be any studies to combat allergies using saline irrigation when drug companies make bank on sales of the medicines?
Research on Saline Irrigation:
A. You are right that few drug companies would underwrite research on saline solution. There have been a few studies on saline irrigation for allergies, though.
In one pilot study, 25 youngsters with runny nose year round (perennial allergic rhinitis) had fewer symptoms after using saline nasal spray for three weeks (Journal of Biological Regulators and Homeostatic Agents, Jan-Mar., 2016). A review of several earlier studies notes that nasal irrigation with saline can be helpful in cases of chronic sinus irritation (Current Allergy and Asthma Reports, Apr., 2013).
Neti Pot or Saline Spray?
As the studies suggest, you don’t have to use a neti pot to ease nasal congestion. But if you are curious about how to use this Aladdin’s-lamp-shaped implement, you can read more about it here. This ancient Ayurvedic practice appeals to many people and is not difficult to master.
Some folks prefer a more modern system of nasal irrigation, such as one made by NeilMed. Another reader found that using plain saline nasal spray twice a day was helpful in preventing sinus problems.