Nasal saline irrigations effective for chronic rhinosinusitis symptoms

Clinical question: 
Are nasal saline irrigations effective for chronic rhinosinusitis symptoms?
Bottom line: 
Nasal saline irrigations relieve symptoms, help as an adjunct to treatment and are well tolerated by the majority of patients.¹ While there is no evidence that saline is replacement for standard therapies, addition of topical nasal saline is likely to improve symptom control in patients with persistent sino-nasal disease. 1. Melen I. Chronic sinusitis: clinical and pathophysiological aspects. Acta Otolaryngologica 1994; 515:45–48.
Caveat: 
Review involved only 8 studies with numbers of participants ranging from 14 to 150. Wide range of delivery techniques and solutions used in studies, and duration of treatment ranged from 7 days to 6 months. No recommendations can be made regarding specific solutions, dosage or delivery.
Context: 
Chronic sinusitis is thought to affect between 5% and 15% of population.¹ It is the principal diagnosis in 2% of all patient visits to primary care.² 1. Melen I. Chronic sinusitis: clinical and pathophysiological aspects. Acta Otolaryngologica 1994; 515:45–48. 2. Schappert SM. National ambulatory medical care survey. 1991 Summary.National Centre for Health Statistics, 1992.
Review CD#: 
CD006394
PEARLS No: 
33
Date: 
September, 2007
Authored by: 
Brian R McAvoy