Quick study: Nasal wash seems to speed relief of cold symptoms

THE QUESTION: When school-age children catch a cold, might a nasal wash help relieve the accompanying stuffiness?

THIS STUDY: It randomly assigned 401 children, 6 to 10 years old, who were being treated for cold or flu symptoms to also use a saline nasal wash or to take their prescribed medications without the nasal wash. Children used the nasal wash six times a day for about three weeks and then twice daily for up to nine weeks more. Nasal symptoms (secretion, obstruction, sore throat) cleared more quickly among children using the nasal wash.

These children on average also took fewer medications than the others.

WHO MAY BE AFFECTED? Young children, who get an average of six to eight colds a year. Upper respiratory infections are the No. 1 reason children see a doctor and miss school.

CAVEATS: The nasal wash used in the study was a seawater-based solution (sold in Europe as Physiomer, in Canada as Hydrasense). Its maker, Goemar Laboratoire de la Mer, funded and helped design the study.

Whether similar solutions available in the United States would yield the same results is unclear.

FIND THIS STUDY: In the January issue of Archives of Otolaryngology — Head & Neck Surgery.

LEARN MORE ABOUT colds at www.kidshealth.org and www.lungusa.org.

The research described in Quick Study comes from credible, peer-reviewed journals. Nonetheless, conclusive evidence about a treatment's effectiveness is rarely found in a single study. Anyone considering changing or beginning treatment of any kind should consult with a physician.

Share This Story