How effective is nasal saline irrigation in treating the symptoms of acute upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs)?
The existing evidence is too limited to recommend nasal saline irrigation as a standard intervention. Included trials were too small and had too high a risk of bias to be confident about the possible benefits of nasal saline irrigation in acute URTIs.
URTIs, including the common cold and rhinosinusitis, are common afflictions that cause discomfort and debilitation, and contribute significantly to workplace absenteeism. Treatment is generally by antipyretic and mucolytic drugs, and often antibiotics, even though most infections are viral. Nasal saline irrigation is often employed as an adjunct treatment for chronic or allergic sinusitis, but little is known about its effect on acute URTIs.