Log in
Asthma UK community forum
12,427 members18,237 posts

Nasal Atomiser, Asthma Thought

As many will know, it’s believed around 80% of Asthma Exacerbations could be triggered by Rhinovirus (Nasal) Infections.

Some folk will already be regularly using Nasal Flushing in the hope of reducing infections but, personally, I consider doing so a bit ‘too severe’, as our Noses already produce there own defences (including Nasal Mucus Film) to help protect against such infections.

However, a possible compromise between Full Nasal Flushing and ‘not’ Flushing at all, is a Nasal Atomiser loaded with Pharmaceutical Grade Saline Solution (available without prescription from most pharmacists, at a ‘not too expensive price’).

The Atomiser Device I use is a repurposed Asda Hayfever Nasal Spray Atomiser, that I unscrewed and cleaned out before filling with Saline Solution. You can also buy empty Atomisers from Sites like Amazon.

I use my Atomiser just two or three times a week, as a more gentle alternate to Full Nasal Flushing. Personally, I don’t think it’s a great idea to use it everyday but, certainly, when there are a lot of colds and bugs knocking around, it might be worth using it more often than I do. It’s great because - once you’ve filled the Atomiser with Saline Solution - you get at least several days use out of it. Just need to ensure you clean out the Atomiser and change the Saline Solution every week or two, plus check that the expiry date on your Saline Solution is still in date before topping-up again. (I keep the Saline Solution Pods in the Fridge, but I’m not sure if that is actually necessary).

My personal technique immediately after use, is to lay on the bed with my head tilted back to keep the Solution up my nose for about a minute.

It’s also coming up to that time of year when I like to have handy one of those First Defence Nasal Sprays, for situations when I suspect I’ve definitely been near folk with infections e.g. Doctor’s Surgery / Hospital Visits, London Tube Travel (when I’m down that way) etc.

Hope someone finds this useful. I’m off to arrange my Flu Jab.

7 Replies

Sounds like a good system. I use Sterimar, ready made, but don’t lie down etc. My nose’s natural defence system seems to go on overload from time to time!

I can’t use First Defence...it’s ingredients include triggers for my asthma. Can’t use menthol or mint, in particular, but also other ingredients are off limits for me.


Hi, I've not previously heard of asthma attacks being triggered by nasal infections. How does a nasal infection affect the lungs? Thanks in advance. I've been suffering with a flare up since the end of May (I have symptoms every day and night) and am desperately trying to sort it out.


As I understand it....

The majority of cold-like viruses (which include Rhinoviruses) start in the Nose (as, I believe, does flu). From there they spread.

As a response, additional mucus is secreted throughout the upper airways / respiratory tract.

Anyone already burdened with a Permanent Respiratory Disease (such as Asthma) finds it more difficult than others to cope with the additional mucus burden. As Asthmatics often have a compromised immune system, they also struggle more than others to fight-off the virus infection.

The virus infection / increased mucus burden makes breathing more difficult, exacerbates any existing Asthma Symptoms or becomes the trigger for an Asthma Attack.


That's interesting; thanks for the info. I wasn't aware that most viruses like that start in the nose. I'm fortunate that I don't tend to catch many colds. My nose is always stuffy but I think that's down to allergies.


These are all good!!

Another one to add, if you see someone near you with a horrible cold get some Zinc & Vit C Lozenges, The Zinc will kill any nasty virus's in your throat before they get deeper. I always use these preventatively on aeroplanes. They are also great for preventing mouth ulcers. I always have them in my handbag, when I see anyone who looks sick I pop one in my mouth!!

Also I am obsessive about hand washing.

Does asthma make you OCD about other people with colds? it does me! My poor husband shakes with fear if he gets sick, as he is so terrified that I will get really unwell.

R x

1 like

I'm lucky that I don't get too many colds but my asthma goes nuts if I do (several admissions after colds and it's always after the cold has almost gone. The asthma nurse specialist in clinic told me her daughter gets it the other way - asthma flare can be first sign of a cold, which for me is how it works with chest infections). Swine flu turned my asthma from mild to severe so it makes sense to me that it now objects to viruses. Thankfully I haven't had flu since - very vigilant with the jab as any protection better than nothing!

I find it very odd how I have been 'reassured' by medical people more than once that my attack was 'just because of a cold. Oh right so everyone ends up in resus when they get colds, I should just relax! I'm not scared as such but it's a bit more disruptive than most people get with colds...

Will look up the lozenges, thanks for the tip!


Many thanks for the tip. Certainly will be trying it.


You may also like...