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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14(5), 516; doi:10.3390/ijerph14050516

Nasal Irrigation: An Imprecisely Defined Medical Procedure

1
Pediatric Highly Intensive Care Unit, Fondazione IRCCS Ca’ Granda Ospedale Maggiore Policlinico, Università degli Studi di Milano, 20122 Milan, Italy
2
Pediatric Clinic, Università degli Studi di Perugia, 06123 Perugia, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Paul B. Tchounwou
Received: 14 April 2017 / Revised: 7 May 2017 / Accepted: 9 May 2017 / Published: 11 May 2017
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [317 KB, uploaded 11 May 2017]

Abstract

Nasal irrigation (NI) is an old practice of upper respiratory tract care that likely originated in the Ayurvedic medical tradition. It is used alone or in association with other therapies in several conditions—including chronic rhinosinusitis and allergic rhinitis—and to treat and prevent upper respiratory tract infections, especially in children. However, despite it being largely prescribed in everyday clinical practice, NI is not included or is only briefly mentioned by experts in the guidelines for treatment of upper respiratory tract diseases. In this review, present knowledge about NI and its relevance in clinical practice is discussed to assist physicians in understanding the available evidence and the potential use of this medical intervention. Analysis of the literature showed that NI seems to be effective in the treatment of several acute and chronic sinonasal conditions. However, although in recent years several new studies have been performed, most of the studies that have evaluated NI have relevant methodologic problems. Only multicenter studies enrolling a great number of subjects can solve the problem of the real relevance of NI, and these studies are urgently needed. Methods for performing NI have to be standardized to determine which solutions, devices and durations of treatment are adequate to obtain favorable results. This seems particularly important for children that suffer a great number of sinonasal problems and might benefit significantly from an inexpensive and simple preventive and therapeutic measure such as NI. View Full-Text
Keywords: allergic rhinitis; chronic rhinosinusitis; nasal irrigation; upper respiratory tract infection allergic rhinitis; chronic rhinosinusitis; nasal irrigation; upper respiratory tract infection
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Principi, N.; Esposito, S. Nasal Irrigation: An Imprecisely Defined Medical Procedure. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2017, 14, 516.

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