Efficacy of nasal irrigations and nebulizations for nasal symptom relief

Curr Opin Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2013 Jun;21(3):248-51. doi: 10.1097/MOO.0b013e32835f80bb.


Purpose of review: To review current literature regarding the use and utility of nasal saline irrigation in nasal and sinus diseases.

Recent findings: Nasal irrigations, in various forms, are a widely used and accepted means of treatment of the symptoms of chronic rhinosinusitis and other sinonasal disease processes. Over the past two decades, significant research has been done to evaluate the role of nasal irrigations in the treatment of sinonasal disease. The use of a high-volume, low-pressure system like a squeeze bottle remains the optimal delivery device. Although additional research is required for many of the additives discussed, the use of xylitol in chronic rhinosinusitis and topical fluconazole in allergic fungal sinusitis appear promising.

Summary: Use of nasal saline irrigations can improve symptoms of sinonasal disease and may improve outcomes in certain settings. Ongoing research will continue to shape and optimize understanding of maximally effective nasal irrigations.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Humans
  • Nasal Lavage* / instrumentation
  • Nasal Lavage* / methods
  • Nebulizers and Vaporizers*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Perennial / therapy*
  • Rhinitis, Allergic, Seasonal / therapy*
  • Sinusitis / therapy*
  • Sodium Chloride


  • Sodium Chloride