After the RT treatment, all survivors would need to do daily nose flushing in order to rid the mucus and phlegm from the body. This is because the nose is now dry from the RT damage and the body system in no longer able to clear the mucus and phlegm on its own. The nose flush can be done through the mixture use of sodium bicarbonate and sea salt.

Here's what you need to get and where to buy them:-

  • 1 canister of Sodium Bicarbonate (fine salt) – Hospital or other pharmacies
  • 1 packet Sea Salt - Pagoda brand at NTUC Fairprice (45 cents) or others
  • 1 nos 10ml syringe – Hospital or other pharmacies

Use a plastic drinking cup, put in a quarter teaspoon of sea salt and a little more sodium bicarbonate together. (After some experience, you will be able to gauge the combination of sea salt to sodium bicarbonate mixture to use.

Fill the cup with water.

Use syringe to stir until salt has melted.

Use syringe to pull in the water.

Tilt head slight back and place syringe into the right side of your nose.

Push syringe and water into your nose. Hold water from entering your mouth and gargle. Then throw water out of your mouth.

Repeat the same for left side of your nose.

Hold right side of nose with your middle finger and then blow your nose gently. This will discharge any remaining mucus and phlegm from the left side of your nose. Repeat the same now for the other side. Do not blow the nose too hard as it will cause tissues within to tear and bleeding.

For newly recovered RT survivors who will experience thicken phlegm in the mouth/throat region, you can use the salt water to gargle. After gargling and discharge of the mucus/phlegm from your mouth/throat, please rinse your mouth with tap water to prevent the salt stain from remaining in your mouth/throat. However, should there still be any ulcers in the mouth/throat, please refrain from using the salt flushing as it will bite and cause pain. In such an instance, please ask the doctor to prescribe medication to dissolve the phlegm.

Daily nose flushing is for life and it is best to do it as part of your morning and evening toilet when you are brushing your teeth.

Contributed by Teo Thiam Chye (TC)
Date: 26 January 2014
​Survivor since 2003

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