Are you constantly blowing your nose or suffer from a nose that seems to run all the time? I have many patients like that. They don’t have allergies. They just have a constantly runny nose.
There is a word for that. It’s called rhinosinusitis. And though it is not all that serious, it’s something that’s very irritating.
Through the years, I’ve learned a very simple thing that patients can do that in most cases will help. Studies have confirmed how effective the treatment is.
And one study in particular shows you how to improve the treatment even more.
Researchers divided 42 men and women with chronic rhinosinusitis into two groups. One half of them irrigated their nasal cavities using a salt solution. The other half did the same thing with a solution of Dead Sea salts.
Both solutions were hypertonic. That means that the salt solutions were concentrated. At the end of one month of treatment, the researchers used history and examinations to determine the results. Here’s what they found.
Both groups had similar symptoms and examination scores before treatment. And both groups had a significant improvement in their symptoms at the end of the 30 days. But the Dead Sea salt group had a greater relief of symptoms than the regular salt group. And the Dead Sea group was the only one that had a significant improvement in the examination scores.
The authors said, “We present a short-term study providing level I evidence on the superiority of Dead Sea Salt over saline nasal irrigation for treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis.”
Like the findings in this study, I have seen many cases of chronic rhinosinusitis resolve nicely with regular nasal irrigations. But I have been using a salt solution only. Now I am going to recommend to my patients that they use Dead Sea salt for an even better result.
Here's What I Did
First, I went to Amazon.com and bought a SinuPulse Nasal Irrigator. Then I bought a package of Dead Sea salt, also from Amazon.com. I use the San Francisco Salt Company brand.
Then I prepare the solution for irrigation by adding 2 level teaspoons of salt to 16 ounces of warm water.
Then I followed the instructions on the irrigator. It’s quick, easy, simple, and safe. I do it once a day and then be patient. It might take several weeks before you notice a significant improvement.
After the symptoms have decreased enough, continue the irrigations one to two times a week for maintenance.
One Last Thing I Have to Mention
The instructions for the SinuPulse explicitly state that Dead Sea salt should not be used in their irrigator. This is because Dead Sea salt not only contains regular salt (sodium chloride), it also contains an abundance of many other minerals like zinc, potassium, calcium, iodine, etc. And these minerals may clog up the working mechanism on the SinuPulse.
So far I have not had this problem. But in order to avoid it, after I use the irrigator I add a cup of plain warm water and let that run through the irrigator to wash out any remaining mineral deposits. If you are concerned about the problem you have a couple of choices.
One, don't use Dead Sea salts and instead use regular sea salt. This works almost as well as the Dead Sea version.
Two, don't use a SinuPulse and instead use a Netti pot. It's a little more of a hassle than the appliance and the irrigation effect is not as good, but at least it can't clog up.
But as long as you can irrigate your sinuses well, you’ll be good to go. Again, give it some time to work.
Friedman, M., R. Vidyasagar, and N. Joseph. “A randomized, prospective, double-blind study on the efficacy of dead sea salt nasal irrigations.” Laryngoscope. 2006 June;116(6):878-82