Saline Nasal Douches

What is nasal douching?

Nasal douching is the process of washing out the nose with salty water.

Reasons for douching

The nose acts as a filter and humidifier for the 14,000 litres of air we breathe each day. Inflammation of the nasal membranes caused by sinus disease, allergies or irritants (such as cigarette smoke, perfumes) leads to excessive mucus production. Washing this excess mucus away along with any irritants or allergens helps to reduce the amount of inflammation in the nasal passages and relieve symptoms

If you suffer from persistent or seasonal rhinitis (inflammation of the nasal lining) you may be asked to perform nasal douching to clean the nostrils, clear away irritating allergens and debris, and reduce inflmmation of the lining.

Douching after surgery

Following nasal surgery, your doctor may ask you to rinse your nose regularly to keep your sinuses clean. Douching will help wash away clots and crusting, promote good nasal hygiene and reduce the risk of infection.

Generally it will take 3 months for the lining of your nose to settle following surgery and feelings of congestion may persist for some time. Carrying out regular nasal douching once you return home will aid recovery and provide symptomatic relief during the healing process.

Recipe for douching

If you have been given a Neilmed Sinus Rinse bottle you may use this douching solution recipe when the sample sachets run out.


1 pint of water - boiled and allowed to cool to body temperature Then add (until dissolved):

  • 1 level teaspoon of sugar
  • 1 level teaspoon of salt
  • 1 level teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda Common questions and further advice:

Can I just use plain tap water?

It is advised you douche only using solution made from the recipe provided or approved ready made sachets. Douching with water alone can result in painful stinging sensations.

How often should I douche?

Ideally at least twice a day - but you may douche as many times as required to obtain comfortable relief.

I am getting discomfort in my ears - should I continue douching?

You are advised to refrain from douching if suffering from acute ear pain or infection as doing so may cause greater discomfort. Wait until symptoms subside or consult your doctor for further advice.

How can I improve nasal drainage after douching?

If you find residual solution is not draining effectively after douching, try tilting your head from side to side whilst bending forwards to encourage sinus emptying.

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