The C.A.M. Report
Complementary and Alternative Medicine: Fair, Balanced, and to the Point
  • About this web log

    This blog is intended as an objective and dispassionate source of information on the latest CAM research. Since my background is in pharmacy and allopathic medicine, I view all CAM as advancing through the development pipeline to eventually become integrated into mainstream medical practice. Some will succeed while others fail. But all are treated fairly here.

  • About the author

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

  • Common sense considerations

    The material on this weblog is for informational purposes. It is not medical advice or counsel. Be smart, consult your health professional before using CAM.

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    Saline irrigation vs saline nasal spray to control nasal symptoms

    Nasal irrigation (photo) is a personal hygiene practice where the nasal cavity is flooded with warm saline solution. The goal is to clear out excess mucus and moisturize the nasal cavity.

    This study compared this technique to a saline spray in people with chronic nasal and sinus symptoms.

    First the details.

    • 127 adults with chronic nasal and sinus symptoms were randomly assigned to one of the following treatments for 8 weeks.
    • Nasal irrigation using with large volume and delivered with low positive pressure
    • Nasal spray
    • Symptom severity was measured using the Sino-Nasal Outcome Test (which goes by the unfortunate acronym: SNOT-20).
    • Also measured was any change in medication use.

    And, the results.

    • The irrigation group achieved significantly lower (better) SNOT-20 scores at all time points.
    • 40% of the irrigation group reported symptoms “often or always” at 8 weeks vs 61% in the spray group — a significant difference.
    • There was no difference in sinus medication use between groups.

    The bottom line?
    Using large volumes of saline solution as an irrigation (not a spray) appears to be better.

    Too bad there was no reduction in drug use.

    The University of Michigan describes both treatments and how to make and use a nasal solution for irrigation.

    12/1/07 20:20 JR

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