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The Claim: Nasal Irrigation Can Ease Allergy Symptoms
April 14, 2009


Pollen forecasters are predicting a heavy season this year, so allergy sufferers may be struggling to find relief.

For some, the neti pot, a nasal irrigator that resembles a small teapot, has become an alternative remedy. While it is not nearly as convenient as popping a pill or using a spray, several recent studies have found that nasal irrigation can reduce symptoms of allergies and other nasal problems.

One benefit is that irrigation can clear nasal passages without dryness or “rebound” congestion, which occurs when overuse of decongestants leads to dependence and irritated tissue.

In one independent study in 2008, researchers examined a group of children with severe allergies. They found that regular nasal irrigation with a mild saline solution significantly eased symptoms and helped reduce the need for steroid nasal sprays. A 2007 study at the University of Michigan looked at 121 adults with chronic nasal and sinus problems. Over two months, the scientists found that those treated with nasal irrigation reported greater improvements than
those treated with a spray.

Other research, including an analysis of studies in the Cochrane database in 2007, found that it can be an inexpensive adjunct to medication: most neti pots are about $10.


Studies suggest that nasal irrigation can reduce sinus and allergy symptoms.ANAHAD O’CONNOR






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