Infectious disease experts not involved in the study said the findings were interesting, but said more research was needed. They stressed that gargling and nasal irrigation should never be used as a substitute for vaccination or treatment with drugs such as paxrobid.
- The study followed 55 adults with COVID-19 who were assigned to use low-dose or high-dose saline for gargling and nasal irrigation. One serving was equivalent to one-third of a teaspoon of salt, and a higher dosage was equivalent to one teaspoon of salt, both dissolved in 8 ounces of warm water.
- Participants were instructed to gargle and clean their nasal passages four times a day for 14 days. Participants were compared to a reference group of 9,398 people who also had the coronavirus but were not instructed to gargle or clean their noses.
- The study showed that people who were instructed to gargle and rinse their nose had significantly lower hospitalization rates than the reference group, suggesting their symptoms were less severe. There was no difference in hospitalization rates between hyposaline and hypersaline regimens.
The findings support the following evidence: Previous small study These findings suggest that washing the mouth and nose with saline may reduce the amount of the new virus and remove the virus from the throat and nasal passages.
The results of the study were presented during the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology’s annual scientific meeting in Anaheim, California, but have not yet been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.
Infectious disease experts said further studies with larger patient populations are needed.
“This is an interesting concept and idea that could be used as an adjunctive prophylactic agent in conjunction with other non-drug treatments,” said Dr. said one Peter Hotez. Vaccine development. He was not involved in the study.
“However, gargling with salt water should still be considered secondary compared to the importance of having high or sufficient levels of virus-neutralizing antibodies through COVID-19 vaccination.” he said.
The study excluded subjects with chronic hypertension, and patients with high blood pressure should not use salt water gargles because they may accidentally swallow salt, says the director of pediatric infectious diseases at the University of California, Davis. said Dean Blumberg. Not involved in the research. Excess salt, especially the sodium it contains, can narrow and stiffen blood vessels and increase blood pressure.
The best way to gargle and rinse your nose
Espinoza said he came up with the idea for the study after reading the book. report I learned that salt water gargling helped prevent respiratory tract infections among pilgrims to Mecca, and wondered if it could have an impact on coronavirus infections.
If you want to try it, you can buy sterile saline. If you use home water, we recommend boiling the water first and then cooling it until it is warm. “It is important to boil the water first because the nasal passages are prone to infections from contaminants that may be present in the water,” he said.
He suggested alternating between gargling and nasal irrigation. Take 8 ounces of water and separate the gargle and nasal rinse water. Gargle for a minute and use a neti pot to flush the remaining water out of your nose. Then gargle again. If you can tolerate it, flush the remaining water out of your nose again.
“The amount of nasal rinsing depends on how much you can tolerate it, as it may cause some discomfort,” he said.
If you don’t have a neti pot, fill a clean hand with water, close one nostril with your finger, pour the water into the other nostril, and switch. The entire process should take him less than five minutes each time, he said.
He also suggests people use reduced amounts of salt. “I actually tried it myself when I got infected,” he said of his two bouts, neither of which resulted in hospitalization. “We compared both and found that the higher doses were a bit uncomfortable.” But he said: “It really helped with the traffic. I could breathe better and rest better.”
Hospitalization rates were unusually high in both groups studied, likely due to demographics, more COVID-19 risk factors, and relatively lower overall vaccination rates across all groups. .
It is unclear whether gargling and nasal irrigation have similar effects in most vaccinated patients. In this study, researchers found that about 20 percent of those who gargled were hospitalized, compared to about 60 percent in the control group.
Additionally, the study did not have a blinded placebo “control” group, a study arm in which some participants received an alternative treatment or no treatment at all.
“This is a very important finding,” said Matthew Rank, a professor of allergy, asthma, and clinical immunology at the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, who was not involved in the study. The professors said the conclusions drawn from the study were limited because there was no placebo control group. He said he would not yet recommend the practice, either to treat COVID-19 in infected patients or to prevent COVID-19 in healthy people.
“I don’t think the current evidence is strong enough to recommend it for infectious diseases,” he said. “Patients can choose to do this, but we think there is little harm in trying it.”
Espinoza acknowledged the study’s limitations, but noted that it would be difficult to create a true placebo control group because participants would know whether they were gargling with salt water or not.
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