It is no surprise that with the assault of chemicals, fragrances, pollution, dust and pollen, that our nostrils are under enormous stress. Allergic Rhinitis is the fifth most common chronic illness in the United States. Millions of people miss work or school each year, due to allergy symptoms. Most who purchase non-prescription medications buy them in an attempt to relieve these symptoms. If the nose is clean, it can function. Regular nasal washing removes 80% of irritants and pollen, prevents symptoms and reduces the use of medication.Washing your nose, or personal filter, is as sensible as cleaning any machine filter — the machine works more effectively. I have seen in my own practice that those who nasal wash regularly are healthier overall. The simple technique of nasal lavage is easy enough for a 2 year old and effective at all ages. This year a pediatric ear specialty journal published a study supporting the use of nasal irrigation with hypertonic saline as a preventative approach to ear infections. Additional studies show that children using nasal irrigation prevent their allergy symptoms, reduce their use of medication, and ultimately, the number of secondary bacterial infections they experience.