Self-mix nasal irrigation versus ready-made, what are the differences?
(NC)—Although medicine is constantly evolving, there are still a few practices that have stood the test of time. Nasal irrigation, for example, is a practice whose earliest record dates back centuries in the ancient Hindu practice of Ayurveda. Interestingly, modern clinical studies have demonstrated that nasal irrigation is a simple and effective preventive and therapeutic modality for many common acute or chronic nasal sinus illnesses.
There is an increase in the use of nasal irrigation products in North America. When broken down to its most basic level, there are two types of nasal irrigation devices: self-mix and ready-made. Ready-made nasal irrigators are pre-made mixes which are comprised of sea-salt or similar formulas. The self-mix category caters to a demographic who enjoys a controlled nasal irrigation experience; it allows its users to mix their own solution with the provided pouches of formula. In general, however, both options contain mixes with salt. The hydraSense brand, as an example, is based on a formula, which is comprised of natural source seawater from the bay of Saint-Malo in France.
A self-mix nasal irrigation system, such as NetiRinse (by the maker of hydraSense), consists of two parts: the irrigator and the rinse mix. The system relies heavily on gravity to allow for proper formula flow. On the other hand, hydraSense's ready-made Gentle Mist nasal irrigator, as an example, uses a dispensing system that preserves the solution's sterility by preventing the counter flow back into the bottle. The solution remains sterile, even after repeated use. In fact, another important commonality between both types of irrigators is the water that is used. When using the self-mix option, it is pivotal that distilled or sterile water is used. You can boil and cool tap water— as long as the water is boiled for 3-5 minutes, then cooled until it is lukewarm then stored in a clean, closed container for use within 24 hours.
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