Nasal pH of saline spray and nasal gel results in less stinging and steroid compatibility
Rhinase products are formulated to have a pH that matches the nose physiologic pH. Saline rinses, gels and sprays are not.
Rhinase pH 6.2
Flonase pH 6.2
Nasacort pH 6.2
THE IMPORTANCE OF pH IN NASAL PREPARATIONS
The nasal pH of a healthy nose is slightly acidic which is why formulated products like Rhinase, Flonase and Rhinocort pH have the same pH (around 6.4), whereas unformulated products like Neilmed have a higher pH of 74 or more.
Why is pH important? Well first of all a difference in pH can cause nasal stinging. Maybe even more importantly, the higher pH can lead to fungal infections and also affect the effectiveness of any steroid you may be taking as the delivery mechanism relies on the pH gradient.
Neilmed pH 7.4 ++
Physical Conditions of the Nasal Passageway
The average pH in the anterior of the nose is 6.40. The pH in the posterior of the nasal cavity was 6.27. The overall range in pH was 5.17- 8.13 for the anterior cavity and 5.20 - 8.00 for the posterior cavity. The average baseline human nasal cavity pH is 6.3.(1)
The nasal passageway walls, and particularly the flap-like middle and inferior nasal conchae, are layered with respiratory mucous membranes secreted by goblet cells. These membranes have many small hair-like cells, known as cilia, that move mucus in waves toward the throat area. Bacteria, along with dust and other particles inhaled from the outside environment are snared by the nasal mucus, carried back out, and dripped into the gastric juices to destroy any possible pathogens. The mucus contains many defensive substances including lysozymes that dissolve and kill the bacteria, lactroferrin, immunoglobulins, and defensins, although some bacteria are not killed by this defensive substance.
In the infected person, it is known that the pH of the person changes accordingly, due to the presence of the bacterial community. During an infection, inflammation makes the pH of the mucus similar to that of plasma, 7.4. (2)
The physical conditions of nasal passages vary according to the conditions in the nose. Under the infectious conditions like sinusitis the nose might be running or congested and produces a thick fluid. In polyps the airflow is blocked and mucus is not formed anymore. It is one of the causes of sinusitis and leads to the expansion of nasal membrane. This environment results in the secretion of other bacteria. The bacteria also grow due to the change in the atmosphere like dry climate or cold climate, swimming, and air pollution. Cold and flu are suitable atmosphere for the bacteria to grow as they cause congestion, called rhinitis and make it difficult to breathe. The immune system becomes weak and so the bacteria can move faster.
Although the nose is a very small part of our body, it is still very important for us to function and stay healthy. It plays some major roles in protecting our body from microbes that might be infectious to us. On the other hand, it can also be the starting point of some allergies or major diseases like asthma which are very difficult to treat especially if it reaches its chronic state. We don't always remember to protect our airways when we work in the garden, use aerosols in the kitchen or even when pollen levels are high, but we must understand that a little effort to protect our nasal passages can go a long way. We must remember to take care of our nasal passageways in order to live a long healthy life, full of love and happiness.
1. Washington N, Steeler, Jackson. “Determination of baseline human nasal PH and effect of intranasal administrative buffer.” Journal of Pharmaceutical 198 (2000): 139-146.
2. Proctor, Donald F. The Nose: Upper Airway Physiology and the Atmospheric Environment. Elsevier Biomedical Press. 1982.