What is sinus drainage?
Sinus drainage refers to a home remedy that is sometimes used in an attempt to clear out sinuses that feel clogged up or swollen. Sinus drainage systems, or sinus irrigation systems, might be recommended by your ear, nose, and throat doctor if your condition warrants this kind of at-home remedy. A neti pot is one kind of sinus saline rinse that can be used to flush out the nasal passageway and remove allergens or bacteria from the nose. This may help prevent sinus problems like chronic sinusitis or allergic reactions.
What can draining sinuses do?
Sinus rinses can help you to clear out built up mucus in the sinus cavity. Saltwater sprays and irrigation systems can clear out chemicals and other substances as well to prevent inflammation and blockages in the nose. Saline solutions are effective because they stimulate the small hair-like structures in the nose called cilia, which help move mucus along. Things like smoking, allergies, and chemical exposure can prevent the cilia from doing their job properly. Intervening with a saline nasal drainage device can help restore some of the movement. When mucus is able to move and drain properly, it avoids infections and swelling in the sinuses.
When should I use sinus drainage devices?
Ask your doctor if you are unsure whether your condition or symptoms warrant using a saline irrigation device. Some of the sinus conditions that might warrant using a nasal irrigation system include:
How often do I need to use a neti pot to drain my sinuses?
Sinus rinses can be used up to several times each week in most cases to help clear congestion. For some, your doctor may recommend using a sinus rinse less or more often, depending on your exact condition and how your body responds to the irrigation system.
How is sinus drainage done?
To flush your sinuses using a saline rinse system, follow the simple steps below. Depending on the exact rinse system you are using, there will be more specific instructions to follow. Check the instructions on your saline rinse kit or with your ear, nose, and throat doctor before beginning a saline rinse.
How to Drain Your Sinuses
- Create the saline solution by following instructions provided in your sinus drainage kit or from your doctor
- Stand over a sink with your head facing sideways (this allows the draining to occur)
- Gently squirt the saline solution into one nostril and allow the solution to drain entirely through the other nostril
- When finished, clear the sinuses by blowing your nose carefully with a tissue
- Check with your doctor to determine when to repeat the rinsing process next
If you are suffering from congestion and sinus problems, the first step towards feeling better is to schedule an evaluation with an experienced ear, nose and throat doctor. Board certified physicians with New York ENT have extensive experience diagnosing and treating a wide variety of nasal conditions. Fill out the form on this page or call our office at (212) 873-6168 to schedule an appointment today.