Tag Archives: saline nasal spray

Enjoy Winter With Home Care for Stuffy Nose/Sore Throat

photo by quirkyrocket at flickr creative commons

Usually with winter respiratory and throat infection cases increases, but this year physicians and ENT clinics are witnessing increased number of Patients as Mumbai is experiencing unusual low levels of temperature for prolonged period.

With High level of pollutants and particulate matter trapped in the morning fog allergic cold (rhinitis)  and sore throat cases are on rise.

You can read more about air pollution in Mumbai at agreeneryoutoo.blogspot.com by Sunita purushottam

Usually you can wait for 7-10 days for symptoms to go away with some home measures if it is improving or not worsening.

Here are few home care tips to fight with stuffy nose/sore throat:–


cc Flickr Photo by assbach



  • Dress in layers wear woolen cloths
  • Protect hands and feet (30% of heat escapes through hands and feet
  • Cover head with hat or scarf (40% of heat lost through head)
  • In excessive old cover your face with scarf


  • Decongestants shrink the blood vessels in the lining of the nose and relieve stuffiness. Decongestant nasal sprays and drops should not be used for more than 3 days, because they have rebound effect and can make the congestion worse.


  • Antihistamines may reduce the amount of mucus but most antihistamines make people drowsy.

  • Gentle saline nasal sprays are quite helpful.


  • For a baby an infant nasal aspirator can help remove the mucus. Putting two or three saline nose drops into each nostril helps in loosening of thick mucus. Discharge can be cached outside the nostril on a tissue rather than inserting cotton swab inside the nose.


  • Warm saline gargles (lukewarm water with common salt) soothes throat.
  • Use of vaporizer (Steam inhalation) or humidifier can be done to increase the humidity in the air.
  • Maintain hydration as cold air has drying effect.
  • Keep the head elevated while sleeping.


  • Adhesive strips can be placed on the nose. These strips help widen the nostrils, making breathing easier.


  • Hot tea, broth, or chicken soup may be especially helpful.
  • Keep balanced diet with vitamins and minerals to boost immunity.
  • Avoid outside food
  • Take adequate rest
  • Wash hands regularly
  • Avoid smoking and alcohol as it increases nasal irritation


The FLU Ends with U. Learn more: www.flu.gov

    • Get flu vaccine


It is important to understand the symptoms of common cold, flu and sinusitis for appropriate treatment.


Last but not the least  to share with all health care professionals

The FLU Ends with U. Healthcare providers make a difference. Learn more: www.flu.gov

Nasal douching or “jala-neti” for sinusitis

Originally a yogic tradition nasal wash, nasal douching, nasal irrigation or “jala-neti” is very effective in  sinusitis-allergic or infective, post nasal drip and even post-sinus surgery to clean nasal passages and easy breathing.


As an E.N.T. specialist I have witnessed improved quality of life and reduced visits of patients to my clinic. 

Randomized controlled trials (General of family practice by Dr Rabago) shows that it improves smptoms of sinusitis and quality of life, with decreased use of medications.

Alternatively saline nasal sprays can also be used to clean the nose and sinuses.



  • How it works? 

**Hyper tonic saline used in nasal irrigation improves drainage of secretion by:-

  • Improving mucocilliary clearance ( Sinuses are lined by respiratory epithelium with Goblet cells to secretes mucus (forming mucus blanket) and cilia (fine hair like structure) to help trap and propel pollutant and bacteria outward to nose through osteum (opening) of sinuses.
  • Helps in thinning of mucus.
  • Possibly reduce inflammation.




  •  **Procedure for nasal douching- 

You will find so many articles written on procedure and some are very cumbersome but believe me it is very simple, there is no need of sophisticated equipments-  “It is saline that works not equipment”.

1: Take slightly warm water in a bowl or “jala-neti pot” .



2: Add 1/2 teaspoonful of salt and a pinch of sodium bicarbonate and mix well.



3: Pour some into the palm of your hand and sniff into your nose, alternatively you can use “chip syringe or bulb syringe” or “simple 10 cc syringe” to gently push solution into your nose.



4: Let your nose drain by its own first, you can very gently blow one nostril at a time keeping other nostril closed. Do not blow forcefully.

5: Repeat procedure at least 3 times on each side.