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Hay fever

Doctor pointing

Rinsing your nose helps against hay fever because it flushes out pollen and pollen. If you flush your nose regularly, this dirt does not have time to attach itself to your nasal mucosa. As a result, you will have much less hay fever symptoms.

If you have hay fever, the cells in your nasal mucosa react to pollen, which is another word for pollen. In addition to pollen from flowering grass, flowering trees such as willows and alders also cause a pollen allergy. The cells in your nasal mucosa recognize the pollen as a harmful substance and attack to render it harmless. They release substances that thicken your mucous membrane and cause an allergic reaction in you, such as itching, nasal congestion, watery eyes, runny nose, fatigue and shortness of breath. 

The substances that cause this are:

  • Histamine: This causes itching, moist and watery eyes and a runny nose;
  • Pro-inflammatory substances: These attract other cells, thickening your mucous membrane and causing chronic inflammation.

There are several medications for hay fever, including chromones, antihistamines and corticosteroids (anti-inflammatories). These medications work better if you regularly flush your nose. Because your nose is clean, your mucous membranes are easily accessible to these medications, allowing them to do their job better. Dr. R.J.A.M. van der Hulst, ENT physician at Amstelland Hospital in Amstelveen, calls nasal cleansing a very useful complement to medication. "Most studies show that a nasal rinse removes a lot of misery such as virus particles, bacteria, dust and pollen." Dr. J. van der Borden, formerly an ENT physician at the BovenIJ Hospital, agrees. "It's about reducing the number of allergens in the nose so your mucous membrane is not exposed to them. Rinsing with a real nasal douche that you can squeeze properly works great and reduces symptoms."

In the acute phase, it is important to rinse your nose at least 2 to 4 times a day. You flush away excess mucus and dirt and give the mucous membrane a chance to recover. The acute phase is when you experience symptoms. For severe symptoms, you may rinse your nose an additional 2 times.

Preventively, it is good for everyone to rinse your nose once or twice a day. That prevents problems. "Make it a daily hygienic act, just like brushing your teeth," says ENT doctor Fokkens.

In the acute phase, it is important to rinse your nose at least 2 to 4 times a day. You flush away excess mucus and dirt and give the mucous membrane a chance to recover. The acute phase is when you experience symptoms. For severe symptoms, you may rinse your nose an additional 2 times.

Preventively, it is good for everyone to rinse your nose once or twice a day. That prevents problems. "Make it a daily hygienic act, just like brushing your teeth," says ENT doctor Fokkens of Amsterdam UMC.

ENT DOCTORS:

Fewer medications for hay fever is possible

Scientific research shows that 62 percent of people with "allergic rhinitis," as hay fever is also called, need to use less medication if they rinse their nose. Rinsing the nose helps relieve allergy symptoms and reduces the use of medications. Flushing with a isotonic physiological saline solution is a good addition to medical treatment for hay fever because you can do it several times a day, keeping your nose free of all kinds of debris. It also inhibits inflammation and repairs your nasal mucosa. Your mucous membrane becomes less thick, allowing you to breathe better. Research shows that a large nasal douche (at least 240 ml) that sprays water through your nose with light force is most effective. Rinsing with a nasal shower improves the quality of life of hay fever sufferers, according to research.

Reference

Nasal irrigation as adjunctive treatment in allergic rhinitis: A systematic review and meta-analysis
Kristina E. Hermelingmeier, M.D. et al - American Journal Rhinol Allergy. 2012 Sep-Oct; 26(5): e119-e125

Isotonic saline nasal irrigation is an effective adjunctive therapy to intranasal corticosteroid spray in allergic rhinitis. Nguyen SA1, Psaltis AJ, Schlosser RJ. - Am J Rhinol Allergy. 2014 Jul-Aug;28(4):308-11

Lin Chung et al 2014 Mar;28(5):287-9.
The effect of nasal rinsing in the treatment of allergic rhinitis

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