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Efficacy of nasal irrigations and nebulizations for nasal symptom relief

Dunn, Joel D.a; Dion, Gregory R.a; McMains, Kevin C.b

Current Opinion in Otolaryngology & Head and Neck Surgery: June 2013 - Volume 21 - Issue 3 - p 248–251
doi: 10.1097/MOO.0b013e32835f80bb
ALLERGY: Edited by Sandra Lin

Purpose of review To review current literature regarding the use and utility of nasal saline irrigation in nasal and sinus diseases.

Recent findings Nasal irrigations, in various forms, are a widely used and accepted means of treatment of the symptoms of chronic rhinosinusitis and other sinonasal disease processes. Over the past two decades, significant research has been done to evaluate the role of nasal irrigations in the treatment of sinonasal disease. The use of a high-volume, low-pressure system like a squeeze bottle remains the optimal delivery device. Although additional research is required for many of the additives discussed, the use of xylitol in chronic rhinosinusitis and topical fluconazole in allergic fungal sinusitis appear promising.

Summary Use of nasal saline irrigations can improve symptoms of sinonasal disease and may improve outcomes in certain settings. Ongoing research will continue to shape and optimize understanding of maximally effective nasal irrigations.

aOtolaryngology Service, San Antonio Military Medical Center

bUniversity of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, Texas, USA

Correspondence to Kevin C. McMains, MD, 7400 Merton Minter Blvd. San Antonio, TX 78229, USA. Tel: +1 210 617 5300, 14913; fax: +1 210 617 5200; e-mail:

© 2013 Wolters Kluwer Health | Lippincott Williams & Wilkins