Nasal irrigation has an immediate effect on nasal ventilation and therefore on breathing because it diminishes nasal obstruction due to the elimination of retained secretions.
This is obvious because an excess of mucosa is present as in rhinitis and sinusitis patients. However, patients with asthma and other respiratory diseases frequently exhibit sinus pathology and nasal obstruction.
Congestion due to the accumulation of mucosa inhibits breathing capacity and worsens lung symptoms. Nasal irrigation helps to keep the high airways clear and improving breathing. In addition, the elimination of mucosa improves the chronic coughing associated to these processes, particularly cough caused by retronasal dripping, one of its most common causes.