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How To Find The Right Saline Solution

Finding The Saline Solution For Your Nose

Dr. Nelli Gluzman Profile Photo

Written by Dr. Nelli Gluzman on August 24, 2021

Medically reviewed by Camille Freking, MS Pharmacology

When you are experiencing allergies or symptoms of a cold or another upper respiratory infection, saline solution is one of the best options that can bring you relief.

Saline solution contains no drugs, meaning that you do not have to worry about introducing excess medicine into your system. Instead, saline solution is made by dissolving salt in water, making it a highly safe, yet effective, natural method of treatment.

Saline solution is made by many different brands, and is available in the form of drops, irrigation solutions, and sprays, and the sheer number of different products available to you can be overwhelming. It can sometimes be difficult to know which products are really as natural as they seem, and if you struggle to determine which products are truly worth your time, you are certainly not alone.

Learning strategies of finding saline solutions that only contain pure saline with no added active ingredients can make your next trip to the pharmacy just a bit easier.

It remains important for you to consult your doctor anytime that you are experiencing symptoms with an unknown cause, or any time that you do not know how you should be treating or managing your symptoms. Your doctor will be able to help you determine what is causing your symptoms in the first place, as well as what you can do to safely find relief.

How Can I Use Saline Solution for Nasal Symptoms?

Saline solution is available in the form of drops and sprays, but the liquid can also be used in larger amounts to irrigate your nasal passages.

When you are experiencing symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, such as congestion, sneezing, a runny nose, or postnasal drip, saline solution can help flush irritants out of your nose while also working to thin and loosen the mucus in your airways.

Saline solution can also be used to bring relief from allergy symptoms, because using it to flush out your nasal passages may get rid of any allergens that are inside of your nose.

Using saline solution to find relief from your symptoms is a highly safe treatment method, because no drugs or medications are involved. Saline solution generally causes no side effects other than a mild burning sensation in the nose of some people after use.

Because this method of treatment is so safe, saline solution is a great way to find relief from recurrent allergy symptoms or the common cold without needing to turn to potentially harmful decongestants.

Proper Usage of Nasal Saline Solutions

When you use a saline product to relieve your symptoms, it is important to make sure you are using the product correctly in order to achieve the best results.

Following these tips may help you use a nasal saline spray more effectively:

  • Make sure to blow your nose gently prior to using the spray. Blowing your nose will help clear out your nasal passages so that the spray can do its job.
  • Carefully read the directions on your product’s drug label to make sure that you have a good understanding of what you are using and how you should be using it. If the directions tell you to shake the bottle before use or squirt out a small amount prior to use, make sure you do so.
  • When you are about to use your spray, use a finger to close one of your nostrils, and spray the solution into the other nostril. Gentle squeeze or pump the bottle according to the directions, and inhale slightly with your mouth closed as you spray the solution.

You should aim the solution toward the back of your head rather than toward the top of your head, and you should use your saline spray several times each day for the best results. It can be helpful to avoid blowing your nose immediately after using your saline product, unless your doctor has instructed you to do so. Blowing your nose immediately could result in the saline being removed from your nasal passages before it has had the chance to loosen the mucus.

You should also make sure to clean the syringe or spraying mechanism after each use in order to ensure that you are not allowing germs and bacteria to enter your nose when you use your spray.

Reading the Drug Facts Label: How It Can Help You Find the Right Product

The drug facts label on the bottle of an over-the-counter medicine contains plenty of important information that can help you understand the proper usage, ingredients, and intended purposes of the product. Not only can this label help you make sure you are using your medicine correctly, it can also help you choose the right medicine product in the first place.

Because so many different medicine brands manufacture saline solution products, it may be difficult for you to know which products are the best of the best. However, many commercially available products contain unnecessary, artificial or synthetic ingredients that are not needed in order for the product to do its job.

In fact, some inactive, artificial ingredients may even pose a risk to your health. Take the time to read the drug facts label on a saline solution product before making a purchase so you can avoid inactive, artificial ingredients that might be harmful to your health.

It can be helpful to focus on products that only contain the active ingredients you need, without any inactive, artificial ingredients. Clean medicine brands are on the rise, and clean products generally only contain a minimal amount of inactive ingredients, none of which are artificial. Being on the lookout for saline products that only contain inactive ingredients which are non-GMO, certified vegan, and gluten-free may help you hone in on the safest, natural options.

The drug facts label also contains a section with warnings or side effects associated with the product. Reading this section carefully can give you a heads up to any unwanted potential health risks so that you can take steps to avoid any problems with the product. Looking for products that only contain pure saline solution as an active ingredient can help you avoid putting excess medicine into your body that you may not need.

Most importantly, the drug facts label includes instructions for dosing and proper usage, and you should always read this part of the label very carefully before using the product. Using any type of over-the-counter product incorrectly can increase the risk of side effects or reduced effectiveness, and if you want your saline spray to be effective it is important to make sure you are following the directions.

Anytime you have questions or concerns, or anytime you just do not know what product to start using, you should consult your doctor for further guidance.

The Bottom Line

If you suffer from seasonal allergies, or if you find yourself dealing with the common cold, saline solution may be one of the easiest yet effective ways to find relief from congestion or a runny nose.

Saline solution is available in several forms, including drops and sprays, and when it comes to choosing a saline product, there are a few things you should keep in mind. Some commercially available saline products contain inactive ingredients or preservatives, which may be unnecessarily added.

Thus, it may be helpful to look for products that only contain pure saline as the active ingredient, and that are free from unnecessary added ingredients. Products with clean and minimal inactive ingredients may be a safer and more natural choice than other similar products.



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