Sinus Irrigation Vs Sinus Nebulization: What’s the Difference?

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Sinus Irrigation Vs Sinus Nebulization: What’s the Difference?

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Sinus irrigation and sinus nebulization are each treatment methods your doctor may prescribe for sinusitis, or a sinus infection. Although they differ, the benefit of both methods is that medication is delivered directly to the sinuses, which means there’s less potential for side effects from taking an oral antibiotic or steroid. This article will help you to understand the differences between these topical sinus treatments.

What are sinus irrigation and sinus nebulization?

Sinus irrigation, also called nasal irrigation, has been performed for centuries, but it is just now becoming common in western nations. Many allergists and otolaryngologists now recommend various forms of sinus irrigation for sinus complaints. At its most basic, nasal irrigation involves using a saline or salt water rinse to clear the sinuses of mucus, debris, and airborne pollutants. This is often done using a device called a neti pot to pour the solution into one nostril, then the other. You can also use a sinus irrigation bottle to administer the solution. Your doctor may prescribe a compounded medication that is added to the saline for sinus irrigation. In this way, you are both flushing out the sinuses and administering the medication directly where it is needed.

Sinus nebulization is similar to the treatments given by nebulizer for asthma or respiratory infections. The compounded medication is placed in the nebulizer cup with saline and the nebulizer converts the solution into a vapor that is inhaled nasally. The NasoNeb is the only FDA approved nasal nebulizer in the US. The NasoNeb breaks up the medication particles so they can travel up into the sinus cavities where bacteria and fungi are often deeply buried. Sinus nebulization is an appealing treatment option to avoid the use of long-term oral antibiotics and steroids.

When you might need them

Anyone can use nasal irrigation to relieve congestion and sinus pressure. You don’t need a prescription for a simple saline rinse. However, compounded solutions, such as antibiotics, steroids, decongestants, or anti-inflammatories, may be prescribed by your doctor. Sinus irrigation is often prescribed for:

  • Acute sinusitis
  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Postnasal drip
  • Post-operative sinus therapy
  • Prevention of future sinus problems

Sinus nebulization is less commonly prescribed than irrigation and is often given for:

  • Chronic sinusitis
  • Post-operative sinus therapy

Nebulization can cost a bit more than nasal irrigation because you’ll need to purchase the nebulizer to administer the medicine at home.

How compounded sinus therapy can help

Compounded solutions offer great benefit to patients. Unlike mass-formulated medications, your compounded prescriptions are tailored exactly to your needs. They can target your precise symptoms whether you need an antibiotic, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antihistamine, or all of these ingredients.

At The Compounding Center, we offer all of the most commonly prescribed medications for sinus infections, including tobramycin, budesonide and itraconazole. And, we can formulate the medication you require for the best administration method for you – sinus irrigation or sinus nebulization. For your convenience, you can also purchase nebulizers directly from our pharmacy with your compounded medications. Saline is also provided with all compounded therapies. If you require customized sinus therapy, reach out to our sinus experts at The Compounding Center to get the relief you need.