Nasal irrigation for the alleviation of sinonasal symptoms

Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2001 Jul;125(1):44-8. doi: 10.1067/mhn.2001.115909.


Objective: To determine the effect of nasal irrigation on sinonasal symptoms.

Study design and setting: A total of 150 adult subjects with chronic sinusitis symptoms were recruited from the community and assigned to 1 of 3 treatment groups: nasal irrigation with bulb syringe, nasal irrigation with nasal irrigation pot, or control treatment with reflexology massage. Groups 1 and 2 performed daily hypertonic saline irrigation with 1 device for 2 weeks and then with the other device for 2 weeks. Group 3 performed reflexology massage daily for 2 weeks. Prospective data collected included pretreatment Medical Outcomes Study Short Form, pretreatment and posttreatment Rhinosinusitis Outcomes Measure, daily medication use, subjective treatment efficacy, and preference of irrigation method.

Results: There was a significant and equivalent improvement in Rhinosinusitis Outcomes Measure 31 score after 2 weeks of intervention in each treatment group; 35% of subjects reported decreased use of sinus medication.

Conclusion: Daily nasal irrigation using either a bulb syringe, nasal irrigation pot, and daily reflexology massage were equally efficacious and resulted in improvement in the symptoms of chronic sinusitis in over 70% of subjects. Medication usage was decreased in approximately one third of participants regardless of intervention.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Comparative Study
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Chronic Disease
  • Female
  • Follow-Up Studies
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Massage*
  • Patient Satisfaction
  • Probability
  • Prospective Studies
  • Rhinitis / diagnosis
  • Rhinitis / therapy*
  • Statistics, Nonparametric
  • Therapeutic Irrigation / instrumentation
  • Therapeutic Irrigation / methods*
  • Treatment Outcome