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Flush away sinus ills

Times Staff Writer

Putting your nose through a power wash may not seem appealing, but it really helps people with chronic nasal and sinus conditions, a new study reports.

University of Michigan researchers tested saline sprays -- in which saline solution is puffed into the nostrils -- against a more rigorous nasal cleaning process called saline irrigation. The study, published in the journal Archives of Otolaryngology, included 127 adults with chronic nasal and sinus symptoms who used either saline spray or saline irrigation for eight weeks.

Patients using saline irrigation were much less stuffy and congested than those treated with saline spray, the researchers found. It probably works by thinning mucus, decreasing swelling in the nasal passages and removing debris, bacteria, allergens and inflammatory substances from the nose, says lead researcher Melissa A. Pynnonen, a clinical assistant professor of otolaryngology at the University of Michigan Health System.

Want to try it? The University of Michigan has a primer at www.med.umich.edu/1libr/guides/salinenasal.htm, or you can watch an instructional video at www.salineirrigation.com /instructions.html.

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shari.roan@latimes.com


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