The importance of nasal washes
Nose washings: understanding the importance
In Italy the culture of nose washings has spread more slowly than other nations where it is already a daily habit like brushing one’s teeth is for us.
Let’s see why the practice of nasal washing is so important and which aspects of health it can help us improve!
In Europe, approximately 50 million people suffer from non-allergic rhinitis, while in the whole world, allergic rhinitis represents a problem for at least 10-25% of the population.
Every day, we are exposed to allergens, pollution, bacteria and viruses. Respiratory diseases are on the increase: acute (from infection), seasonal (on allergic basis), chronic recurrent/(due to multiple overlapping causal factors). The increasing consumption of cortisone medication, mucolytics, antihistamines and antibiotics confirms this trend and it is clear thatnose, in its anatomical and functional complexity, constitutes the filter but also the vehicle for the transmission of infectious, inflammatory or allergenic elements.
Infectious forms of rhinitismay easily evolve into sinusitis, otitis, tracheitis, bronchitis, pneumonia. On the other hand, allergic forms of rhinitis evolve into asthmatiform events.
In any case, everything starts from the nose..
But how much and which hygiene is appropriate for the nose? Little, indeed, very little! Nose washings are currently not a habit…, but neither was brushing one’s teeth! In Italy, brushing one’s teeth has become a widespread habit in the general population for no more than 50 years and if we find more and more people with healthy teeth at whatever age we must thank advertising and health campaigns that have transformed a hygiene operation into a collective habit.
Why wash the nose internally?
Because nasal washings with saline solutions have:
1) a direct mechanical effect of cleaning the nasal mucosa from which they remove impurities from inhaled air, allergens, bacteria and viruses. In the course of inflammation, the mechanical effect of removing mucus favours and accelerates healing of inflammatory processes;
2) a chemical effect which is effective in fluidising the mucus and in disaggregating the bacterial biofilm. Through a particular chemical activity, hypertonic saline solutions remove water from the biofilm, cause the structure to weaken and break, facilitating mechanical removal;
3) an indirect mechanical effect because they stimulate mucociliary transport, so that the large amount of mucus produced daily by the nasal mucosa and sinuses (from 0.6 to 1.5 litres per day) is conveyed more effectively toward the throat.