“Nasal irrigation is possibly the most important proactive, therapeutic measure currently available for promoting sinonasal wellness.”
– Dr. Stephen Chandler, MD ENT
Dr. Stephen Chandler ENT is the co-inventor of the ResQRinse® nasal irrigation system and serves as clinical advisor for SinOptim. In this interview, Dr. Chandler explains the importance of nasal rinsing in promoting sinus health, as well as the unique benefits of the ResQRinse® system.
Q: So, why should we rinse?
A: Sinonasal allergies and sinus infections are two of the most common medical
problems worldwide. Sustained contact with reactive environmental allergens and
accumulation of nasal debris often result in symptoms of nasal congestion, sneezing,
rhinitis and post-nasal drip. In cases of sinus infection, virus, fungi or bacteria destabilize
the natural self-cleaning sinonasal mechanism, resulting in sinonasal lining trauma and
stagnation of infectious material.
By eliminating the buildup of nasal debris, decreasing contact time of allergens and
infectious agents and cleansing damaged mucus membranes, sinonasal lavage helps to
stabilize the lining of nasal passages and promote healing of sinus cavities.
Q: If it’s so good for us, why don’t we rinse?
A: Despite the obvious health benefits, doctor-recommended saline irrigation is often
met with poor compliance. There are many commercially available methods for
performing sinonasal irrigation, but patients report negative side effects—including
choking, gagging, burning and ear fullness—as barriers to performing routine sinonasal
saline irrigation. These uncomfortable side effects occur because neither gravity
drainage methods nor squeeze bottle devices restrict the irrigation to its intended
target, the nose. These methods fail to offer inherent airway protection from
inadvertent saline contamination (thus, saline solution can easily run down the patient’s
throat, causing choking, gagging or burning). Also, the Eustachian tube sits in the back of
each side of the nose and connects to the middle ear. Under normal conditions, it
performs a pressure-equalizing service for managing changes in barometric pressure.
Because ResQRinse® permits exquisite flow control, the threat of irrigation entering
the Eustachian tube into the middle ear, causing irritating aural fullness, is greatly
Q: So, why is ResQRinse® different?
A: The ResQRinse® method of nasal irrigation was designed to inherently circumvent
the problems of throat irritation, airway contamination and hearing fullness often
present with other nasal rinse systems. The patient’s own breath pressure controls the
ResQRinse® device, gently delivering the saline solution into one nostril and allowing it
to safely flow out the other. Using the same anatomy that allows a person to safely
inflate a balloon—a physiological process known as choanal occlusion—ResQRinse®
isolates the nose from the throat, airway and lungs. This method ensures that the
maximum amount of irrigation solution reaches the sinus cavities and nasal passages,
where it can do the most good. The soft palate (back of throat) elevation that naturally
occurs during the process of blowing, as well as the ability to vary breath pressure, have
the additional benefit of protecting the Eustachian tubes from saline contamination and
subsequent hearing fullness.