Background: Recent but limited evidence suggests that nasal lavage with hypertonic saline may be useful as an adjunctive treatment modality in the management of pediatric allergic rhinitis. The aim of this study was to clarify whether nasal irrigation with hypertonic solution should be routinely recommended to children with seasonal grass pollen rhinoconjunctivitis. Methods: Fourty-four children with seasonal grass pollen rhinoconjunctivitis were recruited. Twenty-two patients were random ized to receive three-times daily nasal rinsing with hypertonic saline during the pollen season, which lasted 7 weeks. Twenty-two patients were allocated to receive no nasal irrigation and were used as controls. Twenty patients per group completed the study. A mean daily rhinoconjunctivitis score based on the presence of nasal discharge and obstruction as well as ocular symptoms as reddening and itching were calculated for each week of the pollen season. Patients were allowed to use oral antihistamines when required and the mean number of drugs taken per week was also calculated. Results: The mean weekly rhinoconjunctivitis score in the active group was reduced during the whole pollen period. This difference was statistically significant in week 6 and 7 of therapy. A markedly reduced intake of oral antihistamines was also observed in patients allocated to nasal rinsing, being statistically significant in 5 of the 7 weeks. No adverse effect was reported in the active group. Conclusions: This study supports the use of nasal rinsing with hypertonic saline in the pediatric patient with seasonal allergic rhinoconjunctivitis. This treatment proved to be tolerable, inexpensive and effective.
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