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Nasal cleansing is as important as hand washing
eMediNexus,  08 April 2021
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#Nasal hygiene

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Respiratory tract infections can enter the body through various routes, of which hands and nose are the most common ones.1,2 Thus, cleaning nose as a part of daily routine is as important as washing hands.3,4 The nasal lining plays a key role in the innate immune system, providing a primary defence against inhaled bacteria, viruses, and other particulates. It has been seen that topical nasal cleaning physically disrupts the viscous surface layer, thereby eliminating mucus and its associated particulate matter. Use of saline for this purpose helps to increase hydration of the deeper aqueous layer, simultaneously improving the underlying ciliary beat frequency and decreasing local inflammatory mediators. This can particularly be beneficial during a viral respiratory infection, which is related to mucociliary dysfunction and mucostasis that occurs secondary to the inflammatory response.5 The investigators thus suggest that keeping the nose clean with a saline solution can increase airflow and reduce the risk of infections.6
 
References
  1. Fokkens WJ, Scheeren RA. Upper airway defence mechanisms. Paediatr Respir Rev. 2000 Dec;1(4):336-41.
  2. When and How to Wash Your Hands. Available at: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html. Accessed on: 18 Nov 2020
  3. Ear Nose and Throat Care (Speedy Study Guide). Speedy Publishing. Speedy Publishing LLC, 2015 - Science - 5 pages.
  4. Papsin B, McTavish A. Saline nasal irrigation. Can Fam Physician 2003;49:168-173. 
  5. Farrell NF, Klatt-Cromwell C, Schneider JS, et al. Benefits and Safety of Nasal Saline Irrigations in a Pandemic—Washing COVID-19 Away. JAMA Otolaryngol Head Neck Surg. 2020;146(9):787-788.
  6. Nasal Wash Treatment. Available at: https://www.nationaljewish.org/conditions/medications/asthma-medications/alternative/nasal-wash-treatment Accessed on: 18 Nov 2020
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