Nasal washes: what they are used for and how they are done

Nasal washes: what they are used for and how they are done

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We often talk about nasal washes but it is one of those interventions that it is not clear whether they are useful or not. To say this, it is also important to learn how to do them correctly. They are mainly for the very young children because adults, unless they are allergic or have a very severe cold, don't need it.

Nasal washes: what they are for

These washes are carried out with the physiological solution and, in case of breathing difficulties in children, they are used to remove secretions, dust, allergens and pollution products that obstruct the upper airways. In this way the mucous membranes are able to function at their best. This practice is very important for most children who should always have a good level of nasal hygiene. Nasal washes should be done every day, especially if you suffer from rhinopathy (inflammation of the nasal mucous membranes), sinusitis, pharyngitis, otitis media, cough.

The health of our mucous membranes is particularly important because the very basis of our defense mechanism is mucociliary clearance, hence the movement of the cilia of the epithelium that move the mucus from the front of the nose towards the nasopharynx. Mucus is very useful because it captures polluting particles, viruses, bacteria, allergens and diverts them towards the throat so that they are eliminated and do not cause inflammation and infections.

If the eyelashes don't work, we lower the defenses and we can get sick more easily. Above all, smoking, pollution and cold are disturbing their activities, but also viral infections. THE nasal washes they help us make everything work better and are therefore essential, especially if we live in a polluted area or if you suffer from allergies because washing also acts on allergens.

Nasal washes: who they are for

For a small child who lives in Milan or elsewhere polluted areas they are certainly a useful practice, one a day, without exaggerating, but they should be a habit for all children under six who can breathe polluted air continuously. For newborns they are even more necessary because when they have the clogged nose they cannot feed, so releasing it is even more urgent.

THE nasal washes they are therefore useful and obligatory for all children attending kindergarten and also for allergic children over 6 years of age. Many problems can come through the nose and it is good that this path remains healthy. The risk is that otitis, sinusitis, adenoiditis and in the long run even bronchitis.

Nasal washes: how they are done

It is very simple to do nasal washes so they are a practice that does not weigh heavily even in everyday life. It is also not invasive so the child does not suffer and if he has always done them, he is not bothered by them. It is very important to get all the necessary equipment and proceed step by step. There are some precautions to take into account to ensure that everything runs smoothly.

  • physiological solution temperature: this 0.9% sodium chloride solution in purified water must be lukewarm because in the nasopharynx, between nose and throat, there are 34 ° C
  • head position: when washing it should be tilted forward and slightly turned to the side
  • irrigation pressure: we avoid high pressure that could damage the mucous membrane of the nose or instead of removing even pushing secretions into the middle ear through the Eustachian tube. We should be able to exert a continuous and slow pressure on the piston of the syringe that we use.

Let's proceed with the washing first of all by washing our hands so as not to contaminate the devices we use. For a newborn, for babies less than one month old it is better to use the vials with sterile saline, disposable, to avoid risks. We put the baby lying down with his head tilted and the physiological solution must flow into the upper nostril with the jet towards the ear.

When the child is older we can use the syringe but there are also spray bottles, to be used very carefully because they can contain the physiological but too cold. Returning to ours syringe, here's how to proceed

  1. aspirate the required amount of saline and leave the needle in the saline bottle
  2. heat the syringe under hot water for about 10 seconds;
  3. let the child flex his head forward and turn it to one side already near the sink.
  4. gently insert the syringe into one nostril at 90 ° to the baby's face
  5. slowly introduce the solution;
  6. let the solution flow through the other nostril. If the second nostril is blocked, the solution can come out of the mouth;
  7. wipe the nose with a handkerchief;
  8. repeat the operation in the other nostril, placing the child on the opposite side.

To cleanse the nasal passages we could also find the nasal aspirators, sometimes even "by mouth", to remove the mucus that did not come out of the nostril even after washing. Unlike washing, this procedure must absolutely not become daily and must not replace washing because it can irritate the nasal mucosa.

Video: How Does Nasal u0026 Sinus Irrigation Work - shortened version (May 2022).


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