Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Surviving Cold Season: a Review of Ocean Sinus Rinse & Spray

Now that it's November, cold & flu season is in full swing. There are lots of drugs on the market, but if you're pregnant, breastfeeding, taking other medication or you just don't want to load up on unpronounceable better-living-through-chemistry stuff, I have a suggestion for you. Nasal irrigation. Sometimes it's called sinus rinsing & you might have heard people talking about using a neti pot, but it's all the same principle: sluicing saline through your nasal passages to clear out mucous & germs.

When you're really stuffed up with a cold (or allergies for that matter) it's a great way to clear out your nose & breathe easier temporarily. However, it's also a great way to avoid getting sick in the first place. Often we get sick because we've inhaled somebody else's germs--they go into your nose & a lot of them get stuck in the mucous membranes in there. If you do a nasal rinse, the idea is that it clears a lot of these bugs out, keeping their numbers low enough for your immune system to fight them off.

I've been rinsing for a few years, on & off. I've tried a neti pot a well as a squirt bottle. I've used pre-made packets to mix up the solution & I've made my own. So I feel fairly well qualified to review Ocean Saline Nasal Spray & Ocean Complete Sinus Rinse. The Sinus rinse is a 177mL canister of saline that you spray into your nose. It comes with two different nozzles, one that creates a mist & the other that squirts a stream, with an additional cap on the end to seal it to your nostril.

When I tried out the Sinus Rinse canister, I found the pressure was more than I was used to with my squeeze bottle. This would be great if you had a stuffed up nose & really wanted to clear it out. It's very convenient to just open a container & use it, no mixing or water required. However, the major downside is that the water in the canister is cold. When I rinse normally, I use water at about body temperature, which is much more comfortable. When I tried the other nozzle to get a mist, I found it more of a squirt than a mist.

I had a lot more luck with the small plastic squeeze bottles of Saline Nasal Spray. There's less pressure & the mist is actually quite fine. I even tried it out on Sprout & he thought it was hilarious, asking immediately to do it twice in each nostril. I'll definitely use this on him next time he has a cold, to help clear out his nose.

Ocean Saline Nasal Spray retails for about $5 & the Complete Sinus Rinse goes for about $27 $15 (Edit: sorry--it's actually cheaper)

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