Asthma/AllergyCommon ColdNasal Irrigation

Review of nasal irrigation with recommendations

sinusitisA review article in American Family Physician provides guidance for nasal saline irrigation.

Current recommendations

  • Symptom of chronic rhinosinusitis (inflamed nasal cavity and sinuses)
    • Nasal irrigation is effective when combined with other treatments, having the highest levels of scientific support
  • Symptoms of irritant or allergic rhinitis, viral upper respiratory tract infection, and postoperative care after endoscopic sinus surgery
    • Limited evidence suggests nasal irrigation may be effective when combined with other treatments.
  • Mild to moderate rhinitis of pregnancy, acute rhinosinusitis, sinonasal sarcoidosis, and Wegener’s granulomatosis
    • Nasal irrigation has been recommended, but the supporting science is less than for the other conditions.

The bottom line?

Most of the research on nasal irrigation covers short-term treatment. A recently published study cautions against long-term use — 12-month — use.

12/13/09 19:10 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.