Whilst breathing in the air around us, we also inhale airborne particles e.g. pollen, viruses, bacteria, mold spores, pet dander, dust, pollution and smoke particles. Even when wearing a face mask outdoors, it’s important to remember, they only offer some protection against airborne particles.
Reducing inhaled airborne particles
Using the most appropriate face mask and wearing it correctly can improve your level of protection against airborne particles. However, health officials are still having to remind the public of this. CDC (Center for Disease Control & Prevention) recently stated that “pulling a mask down below the nose or chin renders the mask useless against airborne particles1.”
There is also evidence to suggest that even if you wear a face mask and sunglasses on very windy days, it can be difficult to avoid larger particles such as pollen 2.
When you breathe through your nose, some of the inhaled particles can get lodged there. This may set off allergic symptoms such as sniffly nose, sneezing, runny or blocked nose, itchy eyes and itchy nose, all of which are indications that your nasal tissues are inflamed or irritated.
Using a nasal or sinus rinse has been around for decades to relieve nasal and sinus symptoms from both hay fever and colds. National Guidelines also recommend using saline sprays or irrigations to help reduce the load of inhaled allergens3.
What is a nasal rinse?
A nasal or sinus rinse has many names (also known as a sinus irrigation, sinus wash or nasal douche or a nasal flush). Put simply, a large volume of saline solution in a squeezable bottle is used to help wash the nasal passages, sinus cavities and the back of the throat. It is simple to administer, yet with many resultant benefits.
How can a nasal rinse help?
Check out 5 ways a nasal rinse may improve the way your nose (and sinuses) function:
- Helps clear the nose and sinus cavities of excess mucus and inflammatory matter.
- Helps wash away allergens/irritants in the nose and sinus cavities which can reduce severity of allergic symptoms.
- Hydrates nasal and sinus tissues, resulting in improved nasal immunity.
- Helps reduce nasal and sinus congestion to make breathing easier.
- Helps improve the effectiveness of medicated nasal sprays (if performed 10-15 mins prior to medication).
Before and after tips
If your nose is very congested due to hay fever or a cold, unblock it FIRST using a preservative-free decongestant nasal spray like Flo Rapid Relief. With clearer nasal passages, the nasal rinse solution can travel through your nasal and sinus cavities much easier.
If you’re experiencing nasal and eye symptoms from hay fever, a fast-acting, preservative-free antihistamine nasal spray could benefit. Eze Allergy works by blocking the action of histamine and reducing some of the tissue reactions which lead to nasal and eye symptoms. National Guidelines also recommend using a nasal rinse BEFORE using medicated nasal sprays.
Correct use of a nasal rinse
Watch the video below on how to perform a nasal rinse. It’s easy to do and with a little practice, you can confidently administer it in less than a minute!
When using Flo: Always read the label. Follow directions for use. If symptoms persist, worsen or change unexpectedly, talk to your health professional.
- Centers for Disease Control & Prevention: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prevent-getting-sick/how-to-wear-cloth-face-coverings.html
- Minoru Gotoh et al (2005) Inhibitory effects of facemasks and eyeglasses on invasion of pollen particles in the nose and eye: a clinical study. Rhinology, Vol 43(4):266-70
- Managing allergic rhinitis (Asthma Handbook)
- ASCIA’s Treatment plan for Allergic Rhinitis