Document 203853

How To Do Saline
Lavage Of The Sinuses
Jim Christensen, M.D.
Gail Rattigan, MSN, APRN-BC, FNP
7200 Cathedral Rock Dr., Ste. 220
Las Vegas, NV 89128 (702) 307-7707
What is the
purpose of
saline lavage?
Patti ~oberts,MSN, CPNP, FNP
4 Sunset Way, Bldg A-Ste 3
Henderson NV 89014 (702) 434-9690
Saline lavage of the sinuses is intended to help adults who have chronic or persistent
problems with sinusitis. Sinusitis (an inflammation of one or more of the sinuses) can
cause nasal discharge, a stuffy nose, cough, sore throat, fever, and a feeling of pressure
or pain in the face. It can often be promptly cured with antibiotics. However, if you are
one of those persons in whom sinusitis persists or returns, your doctor may suggest
that you do saline lavage.
Saline lavage is a method that involves washing out your sinuses with salt water (Figure).
By helping your sinuses drain, saline lavage can relieve your symptoms. Performing
this procedure may also help prevent further sinus infection.
Note: Check with your doctor before attempting saline lavage to make sure that it is
appropriate for you. This procedure is not intended to take the place of antibiotic therapy.
What materials
do I need?
The solution you use for saline lavage can be "homemade" by mixing 114 teaspoon of
salt and 112 teaspoon of baking soda into a glass of 8 ounces of sterile water. If your tap
water doesn't contain too many hard minerals, you can boil that to make sterile water.
(Be sure, though, to let the water cool to room temperature before using it.) Otherwise,
you can buy sterile water at a pharmacy. You'll also need a bulb aspirator, which can
be bought at a pharmacy, too.
Saline lavage is a relatively
simple procedure that with
your doctor's approval - you
can do at home to help relieve
the unpleasant symptoms of
sinusitis. This guide explains
lhow to perform the procedure.
B.F.C. Form #I31 (06-2003)
Figure -To perform saline lavage, tilt your head back over the edge of a bed or table and
squirt the saltwater solution up one nostril; filling the nasal passage, while holding your other
nostril shut. Say the letter "K"several times, then suction the solution back into the aspirator.
to do it
Fill the bulb aspirator with the saltwater solution described above, lie on your back on a
bed or table, and tilt your head back over the edge. Then, hold one nostril closed and
squirt the solution up the other nostril until that nasal passage is filled. Two to 3 squirts
should be enough. As your nasal passage is filled with saline, say the letter "K"several
Then, while your other nostril remains closed, suction the saltwater solution back into
the bulb aspirator, along with the secretions it has washed out. Be sure to dispose of
the used solution in a separate container, rather than emptying it back into the sterile
solution. Wash out each nostril separately.
Repeat saline lavage several times in each nostril to make sure that your sinuses have
been fully drained. Do the entire procedure once or twice a week, depending on your
doctor's recommendations.
Using a
Materials needed
for saline lavage
In some cases, your doctor may recommend that you use an over-the-counter
decongestant spray before using the saltwater solution. If your doctor does make this
recommendation, rotate your head slowly from side to side after squirting the
decongestant into your nasal passages. This will ensure that it reaches the deepest
areas of your sinuses. Do not use this type of decongestant for more than 3 days in a
row, since overuse can make your symptoms worse.
clean glass
1" tea~p00nof salt
112 tablespoon of baking soda
8 ounces of sterile water
Bulb aspirator
for you:
If you have
call me: