A few years ago I was having difficulty breathing through my right nostril. I used a small flashlight to see what was blocking the nostril. I saw a polyp about the size of a good sized pea. It was positioned less than an inch from the nostril opening. I touched it and it was hard. I was a little frightened by it. At age 55 I had never experienced one of these.
I started researching and found that Sodium can shrink swollen membranes. I then found out about Nasal Irrigation. Nasal Irrigation is where you add a small amount of salt to warm water and let the saltwater pass into one nostril and out the other. All I had available to use was a 16 ounce measuring cup.
I boiled about 4 ounces of water, put it in the 16 ounce measuring cup. Then, I added enough room temperature water so that the water was barely warm. In the summer I need to add about 12 ounces of water to the 4 ounces of boiling water and in the winter I only need to add about 8 ounces of water. I then added a little over 1/4 of a teaspoon of regular table salt. I did the following over the kitchen sink.
I turned my head so that my left ear was facing the floor. Then, I slowly poured the salt water into my right nostril and let it flow out of the left nostril into the kitchen sink. When the measuring cup was empty I stopped.
I would then place my finger on the left side of my nose and close the left nostril and rather forcefully blow excess water out of my right nostril into the sink. Then, I did the same with the other nostril. I then went to the bathroom and used toilet tissue to clean the excess moisture from the nostrils.
I did this every evening. After a few days I looked into the nostril again with the small flashlight and the polyp was gone. I was surprised and delighted.
I have continued to do this nasal cleansing almost every day since. I haven't had a nasal polyp since that first one. I'm now 64 years old. I also noticed it helped keep my sinuses clear most of the time = better breathing.
I later got what is called a Neti Pot, which a a little pot designed for the purpose of doing a nasal irrigation. The cheap plastic ones work for me. Most health food stores have them. I noticed over time that the first couple of hours after doing a nasal irrigation, my nostrils tend to be a little dry. After a couple hours they moisten back up. That's why I do the nasal cleanse at least 2 hours before going to bed. This allows the nostrils time to moisten before bed = better breathing.
A couple details:
1. I found it better to stop the cleanse just before the cup was empty. I pinch my nose so as to retain some of the saltwater in the sinuses. Then, I keep the nose pinched and bend down with the top of my head pointing towards the floor to the count of 20. Then, I keep the nostrils pinched and stand up straight and tilt my head back (when the head is tiled back you can stop pinching the nose and the water will not drain out). I would keep that position to the count of 20. Then I would blow out the excess water. This seems to allow the saltwater to get deeper into the sinus cavity.
2. If, after the first cleanse, my sinus cavity still feels a little stuffy, I'll do a second nasal irrigation (I don't have to do this very often). With practice I became more aware of when my sinus cavities were clear or not.
3. One day I forgot to put the salt into the warm water. When I started the cleanse my nostrils felt really irritated and sore. I stopped and added the salt. When I continued with the nasal cleanse the saltwater was soothing. This is how I discovered how salt is soothing to irritated skin and how water alone can be irritating to sensitive tissue.