Are you sick?
No, just congested.
Do you smell that?
What do you want to get for dinner?
If any of that sounded familiar, you are probably one of the 36 million Americans suffering from chronic sinus problems or one of the millions more with a simple stuffy nose. Your days, regardless of season, are filled with incessant sniffling, the search for one more Kleenex, dulled senses and every ache available. You are constantly miserable and undeniably reliant on medications, whether they are antibiotics, anti-inflammatory drugs or antihistamines. But perhaps your dependence should lie elsewhere . . . in salt water.
Saline irrigation is one of the easiest and best ways to relieve nasal symptoms. A regular flush of salt water can lessen the severity and frequency of your condition better even than a saline spray. In a study of 121 adults, those who rinsed rather than sprayed reported more overall improvement after eight weeks. Their quality of life was significantly better and their quality of nose was significantly clearer. So how can you achieve this flood of relief?
Try the neti pot, an age-old method of washing out the nose, or mix together your own saline-irrigation solution. With eight ounces of water, combine a quarter teaspoon of kosher salt and a quarter teaspoon of baking soda. Mix it up, stick it in a squeeze bottle and squirt it into each nostril. Within a matter of time, your symptoms will have eased, and the next time someone asks if you smell that, you’ll reply with a resounding yes, which may or may not be a good thing.
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