The One Thing That Could Help You "Wash COVID Away," New Study Says

This simple, at-home practice could help keep coronavirus at bay.

As it stands, we're several months into the pandemic, and a vaccine or cure could still be a long way off. This daunting fact has led researchers to explore other strategies for combating coronavirus, and mitigating its symptoms. Among those strategies is nasal irrigation, the practice of clearing the nasal passages, using a spray bottle or neti pot to introduce a therapeutic solution.

One team of researchers recently studied the effects of nasal irrigation on COVID-19 and determined that this simple, at-home practice could very well help lessen a person's viral load. "Nasal irrigations should be encouraged for patients and health care workers especially," the study concludes.

While hardly a silver bullet solution for the disease, the study argues that nasal irrigation can help to "reduce viral severity and further transmission" of coronavirus early on after a patient becomes infected. The researchers explain that this is because, "similar to other viral upper respiratory infections, [coronavirus] infection occurs primarily in the nasal and nasopharyngeal mucosa with high viral loads early in disease." This presents an opportunity to "wash COVID-19 away," the study suggests.

The researchers noted that the general "benefit of topical nasal saline has been well established," explaining that the nasal lining serves an important role in the immune system, acting as the primary defense against inhaled viruses and bacteria. Nasal rinses help remove this particulate matter, while also increasing hydration and reducing inflammation—all of which can lessen the effects of a respiratory infection.

So what exactly do you need in order to try it out? The study suggested choosing an over-the-counter hypertonic saline spray, which can be found in most pharmacies. Betadine and other iodine-derivative sprays also appear to support "substantial coronavirus reduction," the researchers noted.

While there is no cure for coronavirus, this at-home treatment may help to limit the severity of your illness, and reduce your time spent sick—and that's certainly a step in the right direction. And for more on this simple practice, check out Nasal Irrigation Is the Key to Reducing COVID-19 Progression, Doctor Says.

Lauren Gray
Lauren Gray is a New York-based writer, editor, and consultant. Read more