Saline Sinus Rinses: What Good Are They? 3/4

saline nasal rinses for treatment of sinusitis

Dr. Hana’s Nasopure System is the one I use (no financial relationship – just good products that I endorse)

Saline Nasal Rinses: How To

This is part 3 of 4, listed here:

How to do sinus rinses:

Choices include

  • suction bulb or “bulb syringe” like you use to suction a baby’s nose
  • neti pot (netti pot) – funky little thing that looks like a distorted little teapot
  • plastic squeeze bottle – like athletes use for oral hydration on the sidelines


how to do saline nasal rinses

Neti Pot for Sinus Rinsing

  1. Fill your implement of choice (mine is the squeeze-bottle)
  2. Lean over (look at the floor if possible), and
  3. Secure the “nozzle” at one nostril – the opening of one side of the nose.

Using the squeeze bottle, I give one good squeeze (about 100-200 ml) for each side.  I have found, both for myself and for children, that the bathtub or shower-time is best.  Less muss, less fuss.

Strange Sensation:

If you are “helping” your child do these (forcing them?), then you should give it a try on yourself first.  Place the nozzle of the opening against one nostril and (for those using the squeeze bottle) give it a really good strong squeeze.

It is not a pleasant sensation.  The novelty of it will surprise you, since you never get that sensation from any other activity (at least I assume that you don’t).   It is a bizarre, alien sensation.  Not painful, but wierd, NOT pleasant.

Look down at the floor when you rinse so that the saline flows back out of your nose, not down your throat:

how to do saline nasal rinses

Position for Sinus Rinse

Hold Your Breath

It may make you cough and sputter.  You can minimize that by holding your breath while you squeeze.  That maneuver – holding your breath – helps to seal the palate against the back of the throat, and closes your voice box so that you don’t get anything “down the wrong pipe.”  Despite feeling very strange, it will be OK.  It won’t hurt you.  It will make your nose and sinuses healthier, remember.

[As an aside, I should mention that although my preference is for the plastic squeeze-bottle as the method for rinsing my sinuses, I am generally strongly anti-plastic (they contain toxins like BPA, contribute to asthma, immune changes, cancers, many problems).  That is, my family and I have made a strong effort to eliminate the use of plastic for storing our food and water.  The less time that food or water spend in plastic the better.  More ranting about the evils of plastics in future posts.]

The good news: the squeeze bottle from is BPA-free! Check out their site for the best commercially-available saline nasal rinse system. It is the one that I use personally, for my own kids, and recommend to my patients.

Every Day Keeps the Doctor Away

With practice, you and your little one will be able to do sinus rinses without drama or choking.  Do it once per day, every day, and your child’s sinus health will improve!  I promise.  If your child has asthma, and rhinitis or sinusitis, saline sinus rinses will improve their life.  Give it a try.

Thanks for visiting. See you here for more details on sinus rinses soon.

Best health and success to you and your families.

Please post a comment so that we can all learn to achieve sinus health, and healthy airways.  And please, “be excellent to one another.”

Until next time, remember … you can pick your friends, and you can pick your nose, but you can’t pick your friend’s nose (unless you’re a boogor doctor ;~D)

Saline Sinus Rinses:  part 3 of 4

Next time … Making Your Own Saline Solution … Part 4 of 4


  1. Dr. Faust, I am just leaving a note to say thank you. You are right, it is a lot of work, screaming, crying, doing this with my 3 year old and my almost-6 year old. But it is really worth it. There allergies are much better, and there asthma is better too. Thanks, OA

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Dear O.A.,
      Thank you so much for visiting, and for taking time to share your experience with us! I am sure that other parents out there will find your comments at least a little bit reassuring. The point is: hang in there, keep at it, it WILL make a difference. Please continue to visit, and continue to add to our community of “boogor heads” by commenting! RF

  2. Dr. Faust, The only way I am able to administer the rinse to my son is with him laying down. Is this detrimental to the healing process. Thanks so much for providing us with this wealth of information. MB

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi, Ms. Brown:
      I am surprised that he allows you to rinse his nose while lying down – I would think that the rinse would make him cough and gag while lying down. If it works for you, fine. Take a look at the videos on for some great tips on how parents can help their kids succeed with nasal rinsing.
      Thanks for visiting, and let us know how it goes!
      RF (boogs)

      • Dr. Faust, Thanks sincerely for the quick response. You are so kind! I have already viewed the videos on the Nasopure site & they were not helpful in this situation (though I am ordering the product today. BPA free seals the deal). The only way I am able to administer the rinse is by holding him down & forcing it (like other parents this is very unpleasant. I am also a member of AP). Using this method I only use a little rinse & the liquid does not come back out; can this make things worse instead of better? I have not had to do this since last winter. We did it yesterday & he seems much better this morning.

        • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

          Hello again,
          Honestly, I have no idea whether you might make things worse doing that, but it wouldn’t seem so. What you are doing, using “only a little rinse” should be similar to simply using a nasal saline spray. You might just try that, for optimal nasal hygiene. The one that I use (carry it in my pocket, use it every hour or so during the day), is by – it has the optimal concentration of Xylitol in saline. The benefits include helping kill some bad bacteria (“Pathogens”), and also preventing bacteria from adhering to the nasal lining – both huge benefits!
          Thanks again for visiting, and please do keep us updated on your progress.
          RF (boogs)

  3. Hey doctor, love your advice! I just tried my first nasal rinse last night for my post back drip and chronic swollen right nostril…

    You mention that we should squeeze the bottle hard.

    Won’t a gentle squeeze work? It is much more pleasant and also comes out the other nostril.

    Also, due to my swollen & clogged nostril, squeezing hard makes most of the increased flow go down my throat…

    • Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

      Hi David:

      Best advice … do what works for you. Even a trickle is better than nothing. For folks with long-standing, chronic biofilm-based sinus infections, a more dynamic flush can be helpful. For most, a gentle rinse is adequate.

      Thanks so much for visiting and taking time to connect.

  4. Russell A. Faust, PhD, MD says:

    Hi Casey:

    Difficulty nursing due to poor nasal airway, nasal congestion, is a clear reason to visit with an ENT doc. Specifically, a Pediatric ENT doc. I can’t offer specific medical advice over the internet, but you have access to excellent ENT docs in Charlotte. Please email me at boogordoctor@gmail if you need specific recommendations for Ped ENT docs nearby.

    Thank you for visiting. Best success!

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