Inspired by a little-known picture book from the pen of Bethany Tudor, this is a diary, of sorts, where I document some of my thoughts, activities, and ideas as I explore the challenges met by the characters in the story: hard work, the care and nurture of others, housekeeping skills, life changes, charity, community, and cooperation, among others. Like Samuel and Samantha, the ducks in the tale, I struggle and succeed, cope and celebrate, work and play, handling the tasks that come my way. I invite you to join me on my journey.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

DYK? Nasal Irrigation

I have used this treatment for years (on myself and on my daughter) and, I must say, it definitely works. In fact, the years that I slacked off or outright abandoned the practice, I fell ill with serious, long-lasting upper respiratory infections. You know the kind: they hang on for months and usually require the assistance of inhalers and antibiotics.

Well, now a study out of the Czech Republic confirms what I have known all along: nasal irrigation with a saline solution may clear up cold symptoms faster than medication alone, at least in children, and may prevent such symptoms from returning. Quoting from an article on Medpage Today:
[The] prospective, parallel-group, open-label study included 401 children ages six to [ten] seen for uncomplicated cold or flu in eight pediatric outpatient clinics.

Participants were randomized to treatment with standard medication, which could include antipyretics, nasal decongestants, mucolytics, and antibiotics, alone or in combination with nasal wash, and then observed over 12 weeks.
And here are some of the results:
- At the 12-week follow-up in the subsequent prevention phase, symptoms of dry cough, nasal secretion, and nasal breathing were less common or less severe among children in the nasal irrigation group than in the control group.

- Long-term saline irrigation also was associated with better parent-reported health status, fewer reported days of illness, fewer absences from school, and fewer complications.

- At the first visit, the saline nasal wash group reported less use of nasal decongestants (15.9% versus 35.6%), and mucolytics (17.3% versus 31.7%).

- At the follow-up visit at about week eight, medication use was lower in the nasal irrigation group for antipyretics (9.4% versus 32.7%), mucolytics (9.7% versus 36.6%), nasal decongestants (9.7% versus 46.5%), and systemic antibiotics (5.6% versus 20.8%).
So, the next time your kids fall ill with a cold, give nasal irrigation a try. Who knows, you may end up with a shorter course of illness and healthier children.

For the complete article from Medpage Today, click here.

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