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Posted on Thu, Feb 17, 2011 : 5:25 p.m.

U-M video outlines home sinus treatment that offers help for seasonal allergies

By Juliana Keeping

With spring approaching, the University of Michigan Health System has offered up a few tips to help those suffering with sinus problems breathe a little easier.

"For most patients, the benefit of nasal irrigation is because it does a great job in treating symptoms that otherwise aren't well treated with medicine," said Melissa Pynnonen, the co-director of the Michigan Sinus Center, in a UMHS YouTube video.

The treatment is good for conditions brought on by spring allergies, such as post-nasal drip, or a stuffy or runny nose, she said.

"It's often more effective than medications, and can be used by patients to improve nasal and sinus symptom control," she said.

To irrigate, Pynnonen advised mixing a quarter teaspoon of baking soda and a quarter teaspoon of kosher salt in 8 ounces of warm tap water. An 8-ounce squeeze bottle should do the trick. Squirt the bottle into the nose over the sink or while in the shower and irrigate both nostrils. Keep the mouth open and make the "K" sound during the process to keep the saltwater mixture from coming out of the mouth.

The U-M Health System has posted hundreds of videos on hard-hitting health-related topics like cancer and obesity, but the nasal irrigation video has beat them all in popularity, with 45,798 hits as of Thursday.

Juliana Keeping is a health and environment reporter for Reach her at or 734-623-2528. Follow Juliana Keeping on Twitter