Saline nasal drops are a great option for anyone who is suffering from nasal congestion. It is a blessing to little kids who do not know how to blow their noses and for infants who are too young to be given cold medications. Although there are other nasal sprays like decongestant spray and steroid spray, they are not recommended for little children. Saline nasal drops are the best and the safest for kids.
What are the different types of saline nasal drops? Which is the best one? Where to buy saline nasal drops? Can you make them at home? If yes, how to make it? I am sure all these questions are popping up in your mind. Do you want the answers? Go ahead.
What are the different types of saline nasal drops?
Saline nasal drops are nothing but a mixture of common salt and water. There are three basic types of saline rinse based on the amount of salt in the solution. They are isotonic, hypertonic and hypotonic.
- Isotonic – ‘Iso’ means equal. It matches the saline content in your body. That is why it is called isotonic. What is the proportion of water and salt in isotonic? Eight ounces of water and quarter teaspoon of salt is the proportion.
- Hypertonic – ‘Hyper’ means high. When the salt concentration is more in the solution and it has a salt concentration higher than that of your body, it is called hypertonic. Eight ounces of water and half teaspoon of salt is the proportion for hypertonic.
- Hypotonic – ‘Hypo’ means low. When the salt concentration is less it is called hypotonic.
Which is the best?
- Hypotonic saline solution is generally not used in practice because they do not yield any results. What about hypertonic and isotonic – which is the best?
- Hypertonic solution is recommended by doctors when the congestion is severe. When the salt content is high it draws fluid and clears mucus more effectively. Salt has the property of diffusing water from the bacteria that result in shriveling of bacteria. Eventually, it causes the death of bacteria. However, it may cause burning or stinging sensation. Here is a warning: Don’t use hypertonic nasal sprays for kids below 5 years.
- It is clear that isotonic is the best option for children.
Where to buy saline nasal spray?
It can be bought at pharmacies . It can be made at home if you feel preservatives in the spray are not good for your child.
How to make saline nasal spray at home?
Take eight ounces of hot water and add ¼ teaspoon of natural sea salt. Avoid adding iodized salt because it may cause burning sensation. Mix well. Fill the solution in a spray bottle once it reaches cool temperature.
Will the preservatives in nasal spray harm your baby ?
The short answer is no. They serve a important function of preventing bacterial growth in the solution. Their concentration levels are low enough and do not cause any deleterious side effects.
If your child has fever, cough and trouble in breathing etc. along with nasal congestion, you should consult a doctor.