You’re at the pharmacy, staring down countless brightly colored boxes of medicines that all promise to het rid of your sinus infection
But could the real answer be a few aisles over in the baby section?
Surprisingly, baby shampoo is creating a buzz as a possible way to wash away sinus symptoms. Experts at Baylor College of Medicine are advising many patients to add just a bit to saline nasal irrigations. Saline nasal irrigations are the technique some people use to flush out irritants and mucus from the sinuses.
Research has shown that adding baby shampoo might be more effective than the standard irrigation rinse, featuring just water and salt. A 2013 study from the University of Pennsylvania showed that 60 percent of patients significantly improved after using the concoction for twice-daily irrigations over four weeks.
How Does It Work?
Some experts compare it to washing hands: It’s clearly more effective when done with soap vs. water alone
“There are reports that some chronic sinus infections are caused by biofilms — sort of a bacterial coating along the sinuses,” says Dr. Robert L. Pincus, an expert at The New York Otolaryngology Group. “Nasal irrigations can help break up these films, and a drop or two of baby shampoo in 16 ounces of irrigation may be even more effective.”
Nasal Irrigation Steps
The basic steps for a nasal irrigation are:
- Draw the irrigation liquid into the irrigation device of your choice. Many pharmacies carry a variety of types.
- Tilt your head down over the sink or bathtub, and rotate left.
- Squeeze a few ounces (your doctor can tell you how much) of liquid into your right (top) nostril. As you breathe normally through your mouth, the liquid should flow out your left nostril in a few seconds. Throughout the process, adjust your head if needed so the liquid doesn’t go into your throat or ears.
- Repeat the process with the opposite side.
- Blow your nose gently to help keep liquid out of your ears.
Check with your doctor before trying nasal irrigation. Each patient’s sinus symptoms are unique, so they require a unique treatment program.
Have questions about what treatments are right for you? Just give us a call for a personalized consultation.