By Daniel Larson, MD
The sinus flush or rinse kit that you can pick up at our office or local pharmacy can be a very powerful tool when it comes to treating chronic sinusitis. The Neil Med Rinse kit or Netti Pot are the most common devices used to irrigate the sinuses. These are a great option because they are cheap, readily available and simple to use.
In its most basic form a sinus flush uses warm water (very clean or distilled water) mixed with pure salt and baking soda to flush about a cup of water through the nose at a gentle, low pressure. This alone can significantly control sinus and allergy symptoms, especially in combination with a nasal steroid spray.
In patients with more severe forms of sinusitis, or who have had prior surgery, we may prescribe certain medications to add to your sinus flushes.
Sinus Rinse Recipes
Note: For all rinses we recommend the use of warm distilled or bottled water.
Clean bottle between rinses and store upside down in a dry place.
Baby Shampoo Irrigations (we recommend Johnson and Johnson’s) Add a half teaspoon (2.5ml) to each 8 oz bottle of Neil Med Sinus rinse with 1 salt packet
Mupiricin Sinus Irrigations (this is a prescription antibiotic ointment) – Add 1-2 inches of the ointment to each 8oz bottle of Neil Med Sinus rinse with 1 salt packet. Shake vigorously and use warm water to get ointment to dissolve.
Alternatively, you can prepare a large batch of this by adding starting with a gallon of distilled water and adding 2 tubes of mupiricin and 16 packets of salt/baking soda from neil med rinse. This will provided enough irrigation for 8 days when using 2 times per day.
Betadyne Sinus Irrigations (with will be provided by doctor) – Add a half teaspoon of betadyne to each 8oz bottle of Neil Med Sinus rinse with 1 salt packet. Note: Betadyne contains iodine and will stain clothes.
Pulmicort Sinus Irrigations (prescription) – Add 1 respule (0.5mg/2ml) to each 8oz bottle of Neil Med Sinus rinse with 1 salt packet.
Hypertonic saline irrigations – Simply add 2 salt packets to each 8oz bottle of Neil Med sinus rinse.
Homemade saline rinse – Add 3 teaspoons of pickling salt (iodine free) and 1 teaspoon of baking soda to each 8oz bottle of Neil Med sinus rinse.