A Primary Care Randomised Controlled Trial of Nasal Irrigation and Steam Inhalation for Recurrent Sinusitis (SNIFS)

Sinusitis is a common condition with a significant impact on the population of the UK and is usually assessed and treated in primary care. Sinusitis has a very negative effect on patient’s quality of life but there are no established treatments to prevent sinusitis. The study investigated the effectiveness of nasal irrigation and steam inhalation in reducing symptoms.

By 6 months, significantly more patients who were advised to use nasal irrigation maintained a clinically important improvement in the severity of their symptoms (44.1%, 36.6% respectively). Fewer people used over-the-counter (OTC) medications (59.4%, 68%) or intended to consult the doctor. Steam inhalation reduced headache but no other outcomes. There was no evidence of harms with either intervention.  

The study results are published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, which can be viewed here.
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