How to perform nasal douching
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How to perform nasal douching

Janette Bartle Allergy nurse specialist (ENT), Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, Suffolk, England
Alexander Millington Specialist registrar (ENT), Ipswich Hospital NHS Trust, Suffolk, England
Rationale and key points

This article provides information on nasal douching, which nurses can use to advise patients on how to perform this procedure. It explains how to prepare and use a home-made solution for nasal douching, and discusses the various products available that can assist patients in undertaking this procedure.

Nasal douching, also known as nasal washout, irrigation or lavage, is recommended to clear mucus and allergens from the nose for people with rhinitis or rhinosinusitis. It is also recommended following nasal surgery to cleanse and aid healing inside the nose.

Nasal douching can be used as a baseline preparation treatment or alone to reduce the symptoms of sinonasal disease and/or allergy. It can also be performed 10-20 minutes before using a corticosteroid nasal spray, which increases the efficacy of this treatment.

Saline solutions used for nasal douching can be home-made or ready-mixed products. While it may be easier to use ready-mixed products to perform the procedure, they can be expensive. A balanced isotonic saline solution made at home using common household ingredients is considered equally safe and effective.

Reflective activity

‘How to’ articles can help update your practice and ensure it remains evidence-based. Apply this article to your practice. Reflect on and write a short account of:

How you could use this article to enable patients to understand the benefits of nasal douching.

How you can support patients to perform nasal douching on a daily basis, to maximise the effectiveness of their treatment.

Nursing Standard. 31, 49, 41-45. doi: 10.7748/ns.2017.e10683


Peer review

This article has been subject to external double-blind peer review and checked for plagiarism using automated software

Conflict of interest

None declared

Received: 09 September 2016

Accepted: 06 April 2017

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