Sinus washes help relieve the symptoms of hay fever and allergy. In this method, the nasal passages are cleansed by washing away the particles accumulated inside the nose, providing rapid relief from symptoms caused by allergens such as pollen and dust particles. This process of cleansing the sinus is also known as sinus irrigation, sinus rinse or nasal irrigation. It helps stimulate the natural movement of cilia and healthy mucus secretions by keeping the mucosa moist and rinsing out other unwanted particles like allergens, bacteria and dirt.

To do a sinus wash, you will need a saline sinus rinse solution, which is available commercially. Another option would be to use a nasal bulb syringe with homemade saltwater mixture.

Here are some guidelines that can help when using sinus rinse products:

• Bend forward over a sink and lower the head, tilting it slowly to the left in a manner that the left nostril is pointed down towards the sink.
• Place the tip of the irrigation bottle firmly against the right nostril.
• Do not insert anything into your nose. Breathe through your mouth and begin the irrigation process.
• The sinus wash solution should drain out of your left nostril and should not be allowed to go down your throat.
• Let all of the solution drain from your nose.
• Blow your nose very gently to clear out any remaining solution. Be aware that blowing too hard could force the solution towards your ears.
• See to it that instructions provided by the manufacturers are all read and followed carefully.

Mixing the following in a clean container makes a homemade saline solution which is an alternative to commercial nasal irrigation products:

- ¼ teaspoon non-iodized salt
- ¼ teaspoon of baking soda
- 8 ounces of distilled lukewarm water

The saline solution should be transferred to a bulb syringe or a sinus irrigation bottle that can be purchased in most drug stores inexpensively.

Same as with the above mentioned guidelines for using purchased sinus wash solutions, the homemade saline solution is best performed while standing in front of the sink. Again, just tilt your head down with the rinse bottle or bulb syringe placed into one nostril, letting the solution flow from the upper nostril to the lower nostril.

Always remember that you need to breathe through your mouth while doing any version of the sinus washes. And the bottle or syringe you are using needs to be squeezed with moderate force or even gentler if you feel pain in your ears.

The steps in preparing saline solution at home are simple yet require extra care. For example, when it comes to the right temperature for the solution, you need to consider the sensitivity of the mucus membrane inside the nasal cavity. Adding optional ingredients like a pinch of baking soda and a teaspoon of glycerine can also be done to soothe and moisturize irritated membranes.

Sinus washes are recommended to be performed daily to see huge improvements. To those persons suffering from nasal congestions or sinus problems, it is best that this process be carried out 4 to 5 times in a day.

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