Frequently Asked Questions

Let's clarify what happens during a nasal irrigation cycle to the four pairs of sinuses - frontal, sphenoid, ethmoid, and maxillary, and to the three pairs of nasal turbinates. As you probably know, the turbinates (or "nasal conchae") are the structures that expand and contract throughout the day creating periods of increased and decreased nasal congestion.

sinus schematic

The primary way that nasal irrigation works is by mechanically flushing, cleansing, and moisturizing the nasal cavity with saline. This removes irritants such as allergens, micro-organisms, environmental pollutants, and dried mucus, and it helps prevent the turbinates from drying out, swelling/expanding, and causing congestion as a result.

With respect to the sinus cavities, nasal irrigation’s key benefit is to keep the tiny channels (ostia) that connect the sinuses to the nasal cavity open and unblocked, thus allowing the sinuses to freely drain into the nasal cavity. The nasal turbinates are in close proximity to these channels, and if the turbinates become swollen from allergens, pollutants, or dryness, they can also block and clog the channels, thus contributing to sinus disease. Nasal rinsing removes irritants on and around the turbinates and keeps them moisturized, and as a result, they become less swollen, which both relieves congestion and helps keep the channels unblocked and open. This is essential to good nasal health because it:

1. Helps the sinuses maintain their natural drainage process. The sinuses are lined with mucosa (also called the mucous membrane) which secrete mucus. The mucus is transported through the sinuses and nose by cilia, microscopic hairs that grow on the mucosal surface and move and push the mucus along. A healthy nasal-sinus system is one in which the mucus created in the sinuses can drain into the nasal cavity from which it ultimately travels into the stomach. This regular cycle of continuous mucus creation and drainage is essential to maintaining healthy cilia. Furthermore, mucus traps the various noxious materials that can cause sinus infections. Therefore, healthy cilia, proper drainage, and healthy nose and sinus membranes are essential to good nasal health.

2. Helps prevent the sinuses from becoming blocked and thus vulnerable to infection. When the sinus cavities are blocked and cannot drain properly, they can become sealed and isolated – efficient incubators in which viruses and bacteria can colonize and thrive. The blockage creates perfect conditions for the growth of micro-organisms that cause infections.

Please note: There is no clinical evidence that saline from nasal irrigation devices of any type consistently enters into and rinses inside the frontal, sphenoid, and ethmoid sinus cavities. Nasal irrigation can and often does penetrate the maxillary sinuses with saline.

But the important point is that it doesn’t matter.

What matters for maintaining good sinus health is that the tiny drain channels connecting the sinuses to the nasal cavity remain open and unblocked – so the mucus manufactured by the sinuses can drain into the nasal cavity and ultimately into the stomach, and not get trapped inside the sinus cavities. A closed, blocked sinus cavity that can't drain causes pressure to build up inside it, and it is a perfect incubator for infection and can also lead to sinus headaches. The good news is that there is significant clinical evidence that the tiny channels connecting the sinuses to the nasal cavity are rinsed clean by nasal irrigation – and this is one of nasal irrigation’s greatest benefits.

Dr. Howard Levine

Dr. Howard Levine, a distinguished nasal sinus physician and RhinoSystem's Medical Director, is an internationally distinguished otolaryngologist with special expertise in nasal and sinus disorders. Dr. Levine is the former Head of the Section of Nasal and Sinus Disorders at the Cleveland Clinic and past president of the American Rhinologic Society. He has been recognized as one of Best Doctors In America for the past 30 years, and his resume can be found here.

He believes that Naväge's unique use of suction, which results in saline being pulled rather than pushed, the areas in the nose and adjacent to the drainage channels are more effectively rinsed, and mucus is more effectively drawn out of the sinuses as the saline rushes past their openings into the nasal cavity. This is an improvement over devices that use positive pressure to push the rinse through the past the entrances, as do, for example, the neti pot and nasal squeeze bottle. In fact, Dr. Levine believes it is possible that positive pressure devices could actually force material into the sinuses.

As you can see from the above explanation, the key benefit of nasal irrigation as a preventive practice is to significantly improve and enhance the body's ability to maintain its own sinus cleansing and drainage system – 100% naturally, without drugs. This becomes especially important for individuals with smaller than average channel openings because it is easier for those smaller openings to become blocked which prevents the sinuses from draining. As a result, improved nasal health is directly related to maintaining a clean, clear nose by removing stagnant irritants in and around the sinus drainage channels. The regular use of nasal irrigation mechanically removes those irritants in the same way that improved oral health is directly related to the regular brushing and flossing that removes particles from the teeth and gums.

Ultimately, the only sure way to know if Naväge will work for you is to try it, which is why we also suggest that you accept the Naväge® Challenge and find out for yourself. Purchase Naväge and use it twice a day for two weeks. Experience how clear nose-breathing and improved nasal hygiene can change your life. Your satisfaction is unconditionally guaranteed by our 30-Day, Zero Risk Trial, so you have nothing to lose and a lifetime of better breathing to gain!