Nasal irrigation is likely safe for the general population when used daily with proper technique. There are some reports of nasal irritation, nasal discomfort, itchiness, earache, cough, sneezing, nosebleeds, increased allergy symptoms, dizziness, and pooling of saline in the paranasal sinuses.
Some preparations include drugs that may cause side effects. Studies using saline plus ephedrine added have noted brief episodes of irregular heartbeat, lightheadedness, and nasal burning in a few people. Cystic fibrosis patients have experienced increased cough (that sometimes included blood), throat irritation, and chest tightness.
Nasal irrigation should be used cautiously in people with frequent nosebleeds. After nasal surgery, nasal irrigation should be discussed with the surgeon. People with impaired gag reflexes, such as patients with chronic illnesses or recovering from surgery, may be at risk of fluid entering the windpipe or lungs (aspiration). A healthcare provider should be consulted before starting therapy.
Irritation or burning of the nasal passage may occur if the irrigation solution is too hot.
In children, nasal irrigation is sometimes performed by healthcare providers. Limited research suggests that nasal irrigation is safe in children older than seven years. However, the safety in children is unclear when nasal irrigation is performed outside of a doctor's office.
Bacterial infections from dirty equipment are possible. To prevent bacterial infections, disinfection treatment is effective if associated with carefully selected materials, good circuit design, and good maintenance practices.
Nasal irrigation may affect the action of other drugs, herbs, and supplements, such as antibiotics, antihistamines, anti-inflammatories, antivirals, cough suppressants, and nasal sprays.
You should read product labels, and discuss all therapies with a qualified healthcare provider. Natural Standard information does not constitute medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.
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