No matter what type of irrigation device you use, if you have very thick mucus, it may be helpful to add a mucus-thinning agent to your saltwater solution. One example of such an agent is a liquid called Alkalol. It contains several ingredients designed to thin mucus and soothe nasal passages, including alcohol, baking soda, eucalyptus, menthol, and camphor. Alkalol is available over the counter at drugstores and via the Internet. Although the directions recommend using it at full strength or mixing it fifty-fifty with the usual saltwater solution, many of my patients find it works well when mixed at one-quarter strength, and it lasts longer that way.

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