Your nose definitely has functions that cannot be disrupted. It filters the air and keeps it moist, and plays an important role in your overall well-being and health. It is, thus, very important that the health of the nose, especially its inner structures, are well-preserved.

When your nose is blocked with a cocktail of mucus and microbes, its functions may be reduced to breathing limited air. In some cases, you may be forced to breathe through your mouth. Many people consider this as nothing more than a disconcerting inconvenience. To some people, however, this is a daily affair that may be resolved only with treatment.

Among the most effective ways of keeping your nose clear is through nasal irrigation. Otherwise called as nasal lavage, nasal irrigation is an ancient technique practiced in India that flushes out mucus and irritants from the nose to promote better breathing.

Here's how it works:
Step 1. Get everything that you need. You will need saline solution (salt and water) and a container that will serve as your irrigator. You may choose from a neti pot, a traditional kettle-looking pot that is perfect for nasal irrigation, or from modern variants like bulb syringe, plastic pots, and machine-operated irrigators. All these may be available at your local drugstore. If you don’t mind the slight discomfort of irrigating your nose by sniffing water into your nostrils, you may also do this by cupping your hands.

Step 2. Create the saline solution. You can skip this step if you are using a prefilled bottle. Otherwise, you can pick from an assortment of saline solution powders at your drugstore and follow the direction for preparation printed on the package. Or you can also follow this method: Prepare 1 to 2 cups of warm, not hot or cold, tap water (about 250 to 500 ml) and mix into it a quarter to one-half of a teaspoon salt. Use non-iodized salt. As a buffering agent, use a pinch of baking soda. This allows the tissues of your nasal and sinus lining adjust to the solution.

Step 3. Get into the right position. At about 45-degree angle, lean forward over your sink. Tilt your head such that one nostril is directly pointed down the bottom of your sin. TIP: Do not tilt your head back as this will cause the solution to pour down your throat. What you want is for the solution to exit through your other nostril.

Step 4. Pour the solution. No matter what device you are using, place the opening of the irrigator inside the nostril which is further from the sink. Start pouring the saline solution or start squeezing the syringe bulb, all the while keeping your mouth open. Breathe through your mouth and not through your nose.

Step 5. Allow the solution to drain. Gravity will help you with this. The solution that enters through one of your nostrils will surely go out via your other nostril.

Step 6. Once most of the solution has drained, stand and spit out or snort out all the remaining solution. Repeat these steps with your other nostril.

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