nasal washing guide and benefits

How Nasal Washing Helps in the Fight Against Viruses


It’s a fact: allergens, viruses, and small particles are everywhere, suspended on air. The reality and possibility of inhaling them isn’t a far-fetched idea and the same can be said to the risk of contracting respiratory diseases. Nasal washing or nasal irrigation is used as one of the ways to help prevent this.

What is nasal washing?

Nasal washing or nasal irrigation involves washing your nasal cavity using saline solution (salt solution) through saline spray, squeeze bottle, or bulb syringe. It rinses your nasal passages to wash away possible allergens and other harmful airborne debris that can cause colds, allergies, and other respiratory ailments. While nasal washing is usually done to relieve nasal congestion and sinus irritation like colds, studies say that nasal washing or nasal irrigation can significantly protect a person from virus –- even possibly coronavirus.

How does nasal washing help fight against viruses?

Nasal washing or nasal irrigation is basically like hand washing –- you get rid of germs and viruses to protect yourself. Such practice has become a highly relevant health mandate because of the current pandemic brought about by the dreaded Covid-19 virus. Protection is all about regular and proper washing.

  • Nasal washing or saline nasal irrigation (SNI) is recommended as a preventive method to reduce virus load in a person’s nasal cavity; some of which are influenza virus and coronavirus. Viral load, (which refers to the quantity of virus inside the body) is reduced as saline solution is sprayed, squeezed, or poured inside the nostrils. This procedure is designed to thoroughly wash the nasal passages and cleanse the linings.
  • Aside from reducing virus load, studies show that through nasal washing, there’s also a significant reduction of viral shedding. Viral shedding occurs when the virus replicates itself inside the human body and leaves the infected person, potentially infecting another individual. Nasal washing reduces this level of infectiousness; minimizing as well the risk of spreading the disease to other people. Further, nasal washing through saline solution also improves the antiviral immunity of the tissues lining the nasal cavity where viruses can possibly inhabit.

As the current health crisis continues, nasal washing remains a helpful tool for protection against viruses, including the coronavirus. Given the current pandemic and the Covid-19 scare, it pays to know all possible safety measures that can help shield one from danger. Practice nasal washing, whenever possible. As they say, prevention is always better than cure. 

Sources:

https://www.healthline.com/health/sinus-flush#does-it-work

https://economictimes.indiatimes.com/magazines/panache/nasal-rinsing-gargling-with-saline-water-may-help-fight-against-coronavirus/articleshow/75600340.cms

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7436790/

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