Sinus rinses and sinus flushes are frequently used to treat nasal and sinus conditions. Many types of sinus rinses or sinus flushes are available at pharmacies and are an easy remedy to use. Do you know the difference between the two— are you are wondering if you should use sinus rinses or sinus flushes?
The structure of the nose and sinuses
The nose is the visible part of the nasal passages and connected sinuses. It is where air is warmed, filtered and moistened by the turbinates before it moves down towards the lungs. The septum divides the left and right side of the nose. The sinuses sit bilaterally (on both the left and right sides) above and below the eyes. Think of sinuses like pockets and mucous can easily become trapped here.
Some minor irritations can occur around the nasal passages and these can be treated topically. There can also be inflammatory and infectious conditions such as sinusitis found deeper in the sinuses, and these should be treated with medication and sinus hygiene practices.
About sinus sprays
Sinus sprays can be a simple salt water (saline) solution or they may also include an active medicine. The spray does not travel far into the nose therefore, these types of sprays are best to treat runny noses, dry noses, and inflamed turbinates. Sprays are easy to use and can easily be transported in a pocket or handbag. Keep the tip clean with an alcohol swab to prevent bacterial growth.
About sinus flushes
Like sinus sprays, sinus flushes— also known as sinus rinses or washes— also use a salt water solution. This can be purchased at a pharmacy or homemade. Research shows there is little difference in outcome between the two, as long as clean water is used and the bottle is washed after each use.
Sinus flushes are best for after surgery or for ongoing management of chronic sinus conditions. The sinus flush washes deeper than a sinus spray; it reduces the risk of post-operative infection and improves the comfort of patients after sinus surgery.