Saline nasal sprays: health benefits and when to use them

What we breathe in daily

Each day we breathe in approximately 10,000-11,000 litres of air and along with it, many irritants and allergens like viruses, bacteria, mold spores, pet dander, dust, pollution and smoke.

The nose is situated at the entrance of the airway and protects the lower airway from the harmful effects of inhaled air. It acts like an efficient air-conditioning and filtration system. Warming, filtering and humidifying the breathed in air so that clean air is saturated with water vapour at an optimal temperature before it is delivered to the lungs. Put simply, the nose is a wonderful machine!

It also acts as an early warning system that alerts us to the presence of airborne irritants or allergens. Not surprising, that the nose is considered “the gatekeeper of the lungs”. It makes good sense then to look after the nose for better health. When nasal congestion symptoms strike, like a sniffly or stuffy nose, sneezing, runny nose or blocked nose, these are good indications that the nasal tissues are inflamed or irritated.

Did you know using a preservative-free saline nasal spray is a simple and positive thing you can do each day for your nose and respiratory health?

Ways a preservative-free saline nasal spray may help:

  • Helps to wash out viruses, allergens and irritants in the nose
  • Helps cleanses and hydrate nasal tissues which is important for the maintenance of nasal immunity
  • Can improve the effectiveness of medicated nasal sprays when the nasal saline is used first
  • Thins excess mucus in the nose and sinuses which can ease nasal and sinus congestion and discomfort.
Ent Flo Saline Plus
Flo Saline Plus – Preservative-free Saline Nasal Spray

When to use a preservative-free saline nasal spray

  • For upper respiratory infections like colds or sinusitis
  • For hay fever and before using medicated allergy nasal sprays
  • For other respiratory allergies and before using inhaler medications
  • After nasal surgery when the nasal passages are dried/crusty
  • When breathing in cold, dry air i.e. airplane travel and in air conditioned environments.

For a very blocked nose due a cold or an allergy, try a preservative-free nasal decongestant spray like Flo Rapid Relief for 3 days (for ages 12 and up with advice from your health professional).

A preservative-free nasal saline spray like Flo Saline Plus can be used daily and is handy to have when out and about. It helps wash away irritants or germs in the nose when exposed to them. For children, preservative-free saline nasal sprays like Flo Baby or Flo Kids are useful and can be used at any angle for easy administration.

Correct use of a nasal spray

Watch the video below on how to use a nasal spray correctly. Using a spray the right way can make all the difference. This video explains why.

When using Flo: Always read the label. Follow instructions for use. If symptoms persist, worsen or change unexpectedly, talk to your health professional.

References: Giavina-Bianchi P, et al. United airway disease: current perspectivesJ Asthma Allergy (2016) 9:93–100.10.2147/JAA.S81541

Papsin B, McTavish A. Saline nasal irrigation: Its role as an adjunct treatment.Canadian Family Physician. 2003 Feb; 49: 168–173.