When to use a nasal spray or sinus wash?

So you’ve heard that washing or cleansing the nose can be effective for fighting off cold symptoms but should you try a saline nasal spray or sinus wash? What’s the difference anyway? Hopefully, the following tips and advice will help you decide…

Viruses responsible for the common cold can be breathed in through the nose and lodge in the nose or the back of the throat. Once there, they can linger, fester and multiply, eventually causing common cold symptoms e.g. runny or blocked nose, sore, dry throat, coughing and sneezing.

Washing the nose regularly, preferably daily, with a preservative-free, isotonic saline can help. However there are two common approaches and it is important to understand how they differ:-

When to Use a Nasal Spray

A preservative-free saline nasal spray can help clear away viruses and inflammation from the nasal tissues particularly near the entrance of the nose, however if viruses are lodged further at the back of the nose and throat, a more thorough cleanse is required.

When to Use a Sinus Wash/Rinse

A large volume sinus wash is considered more heavy duty! It’s also known as a rinse, flush or douche. It can help clear away viruses and inflammation from the nasal tissues AND the back of the nose and throat. It can be used in children as young as five or six years of age, as demonstrated here.

Which One is Right for Me?

So if you only have mild nasal congestion then a preservative saline spray like Flo Saline Plus or a moistening nasal spray with red seaweed extract, like Flo Travel might suffice. However if your symptoms are more severe and you have the beginnings of a sore throat or are coughing, a sinus wash like Flo Sinus Care may be more helpful in relieving symptoms.

Most people recover from a common cold in 7-10 days. Symptoms might last longer in people who’s immunity may already be compromised or those who smoke. If symptoms don’t improve, see your health professional. It is important to remember that colds are caused by a virus and antibiotics will not help, even though they are often prescribed.

Always read the label. Follow directions for use. If symptoms persist, talk to your health professional.

References: Better Health Channel and Mayo Clinic