In years past, doctors recommended vaginal douching to clean the area and reduce the risk of infection. However, today we know this practice actually does the opposite. According to WebMD, vaginal douching increases infections by disrupting the natural balance of the bacteria that actually protect the body. It also increases the chances of pregnancy complications and pelvic inflammatory disease[1]. Doctors now tell their patients they should not practice vaginal douching.

So why do doctors recommend rinsing sinuses and nasal passages, which is similar to douching?

Studies do show that occasional sinus rinsing is beneficial, especially when a person is experiencing a severe bout of allergies or the flu. Regarding the use of a neti pot with saline solution, Dr. Paul Little, the lead author of a study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, states, “In addition to improving sinus symptoms, headaches were reduced, there was less use of over-the-counter remedies, and people also said they were less likely to contact the doctor again for a future attack of sinusitis.”[2]
But just like vaginal douching, consistent rinsing of the sinuses can eventually do more harm than good. A clinical study conducted over one year observed patients who frequently used nasal saline irrigation during that time.
Researcher Dr. Talal M. Nsouli and his colleagues found that, “62 percent of people had a significant drop-off in the frequency of their rhinosinusitis infections after discontinuing saline irrigation. Those patients also had 50 percent fewer sinus infections than those who remained on the nasal saline irrigation therapy.” Nsouli explains that continuous nasal rinsing depletes the nasal mucus to a dangerous degree, which rids the body of key antibodies immunoglobulin A, immunoglobulin G, lactoferrin, and lysozyme.[3]
Cleaning the sinuses has strong benefits but overdoing it can have harmful consequences. The best way to make sure your nose is clean without unwanted side effects is to use a saline nasal spray with xylitol. Xylitol is a natural ingredient that breaks up bacterial biofilm so bacteria can’t stick to nasal tissues, to more effectively wash the nose of irritants like dust, dander, and pollen.

[1] https://www.webmd.com/women/guide/vaginal-douching-helpful-or-harmful

[2] http://www.cnn.com/2016/07/21/health/neti-pot-sinusitis-saline/index.html

[3] http://abcnews.go.com/Health/WellnessNews/frequent-neti-pot-sinus-infections/story?id=9054035

Excessive Use of Sinus Rinses Could Cause Problems
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