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Dry Nasal Passages
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Dry Nasal Passages

Because I use oxygen and nebulized albuterol my nasal passages can become uncomfortably dry. For moistening the tissues which is more effective, nebulized sterile water or nebulized saline? Many thanks for your replies.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

There are three types of saline solutions, hypotonic, isotonic and hypertonic. The tonicity is in comparison to the body fluids. Fluids which have the same osmolality as our body fluids are termed as isotonic. When the body fluids are in contact with a isotonic solution, there is no movement of fluids across the membranes. If a solution is hypertonic, it draws fluids and hypotonic gives away fluids. For some lung conditions like cystic fibrosis, hypertonic saline is nebulized as this helps to draw fluids from the lungs and clear the secretions. If the nebulization is simply to moisturize the nasal passages, an isotonic saline is preferable, as there is no ‘give’ and ‘take’ of fluid. And an isotonic solution is preferable to sterile water because the osmolality is more controlled. Hope I did not confuse you. Take Care.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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Avatar_f_tn
I only use oxygen while sleeping and I don't use albuterol but my nasal passages became so dry that I started to get nose-bleeds. That sent me to the ENT and I now use a humidifying attachment to my O2 concentrator plus a  gel on a Q tip to lubricate the nasal passages. I use KY jelly but there are other products also.It's water soluble, not like Vasoline.

I don't know if that will help you but it certainly does me--- no more nose bleeds.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

Besides using a humidifier to prevent drying of the nasal passages, using a nasal saline spray, which is simply unmedicated salt water, will help to prevent your nasal passages from drying out. Both sterile water and saline can be used of humidifying the nasal passages, but isotonic saline solution (salt water) is preferred as it is at the same concentration as that found in the body.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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757137_tn?1347200053
Many thanks. This is what I needed to know, but I still do not understand why the saline hydrates better than the water.
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Avatar_dr_f_tn
Hello and hope you are doing well.

There are three types of saline solutions, hypotonic, isotonic and hypertonic. The tonicity is in comparison to the body fluids. Fluids which have the same osmolality as our body fluids are termed as isotonic. When the body fluids are in contact with a isotonic solution, there is no movement of fluids across the membranes. If a solution is hypertonic, it draws fluids and hypotonic gives away fluids. For some lung conditions like cystic fibrosis, hypertonic saline is nebulized as this helps to draw fluids from the lungs and clear the secretions. If the nebulization is simply to moisturize the nasal passages, an isotonic saline is preferable, as there is no ‘give’ and ‘take’ of fluid. And an isotonic solution is preferable to sterile water because the osmolality is more controlled. Hope I did not confuse you. Take Care.

Hope this helped and do keep us posted.
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757137_tn?1347200053
No, you did not confuse me. I simply needed to understand the reasoning behind particular choices. You have provided me with that and I thank you for it.
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