A nasal syringe, also called a nasal aspirator, is a device that is used to break up mucus and gently suck it out of the nose. Many versions are bulb syringes, which feature a tube attached to a bulb that can be squeezed to rid the nose of mucus. Bulb syringes function in the same way a turkey baster or an eye dropper does. Nasal syringes can be used on infants and adults to help clean out the nose and relieve congestion.
If a person develops a stuffy nose, a nasal syringe can be used to clear it out. He may want to use a saline solution, which is a mix of salt and water, to aid with this process. Also known as isotonic solutions, saline solutions can be either made or purchased. To make a saline solution, combine salt, water and a little bit of baking soda. The solution should not be too salty. Rather it should mimic the body’s natural fluids so that irritation is avoided.
After the solution is mixed up, it is ready to be sucked into the nasal syringe. The syringe should then be placed up the nose, and the solution sprayed into the nostril. Ideally, this process should be done over a sink because the next step is to allow the nose to drain. The solution can sometimes drain out of either nostril or down the back of the throat. Not only can this process help get rid of mucus, but it can also help to reduce any swelling that is causing congestion.
Parents can also use a nasal syringe on children who are too young to blow their nose. Cleaning out a baby’s nose is important because babies tend to breathe only through their nose and do not normally breathe through their mouth until they are older. The process can prove tricky, however, as babies tend to wriggle. For this reason, it may be a good idea to ask another person to help hold the baby while the mucus is removed.
The same basic procedure is followed for cleaning out a baby’s nose as an adult’s, except that after the solution has had a chance to break up the mucus, the caretaker will have to use the syringe to suck out the mucus from the baby’s nose. It is important that a nasal syringe not be used on a baby too often as the process can irritate his nostrils.