Waterford, MI Dentist
Lloyd H. Alpert, D.D.S.
4025 Highland Road
Waterford, MI 48328
(248) 682-6010
By contactus
January 12, 2012
Category: Dental News
Tags: Sinusitis  

During the winter months and at other times when the air is very dry, it is important to keep our nasal passages moist. An easy way to do this is to sniff salt solution into both sides of the nose 2-4 times a day. To prepare a solution of proper strength, add 1/4 teaspoon of table salt to a cup of warm water, and stir it until all the salt has dissolved. Sniff some from a spoon or other small container into each nostril. Alternatively, you can buy ready-prepared nasal saline products, such as Ocean, Simply Saline or generic equivalents from drug stores. Such solutions can be used to wash away mucus from the membranous lining of the nasal passages. They also help by shrinking any parts of it that are swollen. If this is not done, mucus and the swollen membranes around these openings may block openings of the sinuses into the nasal passages. Sinusitis will then occur if nasal bacteria infect the mucus, which can no longer drain from the blocked sinus. Treatment of sinusitis (rather than its prevention) often requires the use of antibiotics.

Some doctors are not enthusiastic about nasal saline irrigation since researchers found that it does not significantly reduce the incidence of colds. However, do not confuse colds with sinusitis. Viruses cause colds, while sinusitis is a bacterial-induced complication for some colds. Irrigation of the nasal passages with saline cannot kill viruses or bacteria, but it does help to reduce the incidence of sinusitis in people with a tendency to develop this common complication of colds.

Sources: American Family Physician (70:1685 & 1697, "04) & Wall Street Journal (Dec.7"04, page D6).

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