LOS ANGELES - Health officials report the cold and flu season may be peaking earlier than usual.
Many people were suffering nasal congestion, cough and even flare-ups of chronic conditions such as asthma.
After months of misery, Yuki Doiran of Hawthorne said she can finally breathe. She suffers from asthma and allergies.
"I was feeling a lot of pressure on my teeth and in my eyes," Doiran said.
New research showed a natural, age-old remedy may offer the relief Doiran was looking for. Researchers said doing a sinus rinse can help with another common condition.
"What many people don't know is that it can also help asthma symptoms," Dr. Katie Marks-Cogan, an allergist with South Bay Asthma and Allergy Associates, said.
In a recent study out of England, people with severe asthma were asked to do a sinus rinse consistently. After regular use, asthma patients saw their lung function improve.
"If your nose is inflamed and not well controlled, then your asthma might not be well controlled," said Marks-Cogan.
She said flushing out allergens and irritants requires a simple technique.
If you have a cold, experts said doing a nasal rinse will move the mucous out of your nose which can help prevent it from turning into a secondary infection.
"You want to really tilt your head and squirt it in so that gravity takes effect and lets it go through one nostril and into the other and sort of pour out," Marks-Cogan said.
"You just kind of squeeze slowly and you can feel it kind of filling and then it comes out the other side," Doiran explained.
Marks-Cogan said people should avoid tap water and use distilled instead. Adding the correct amount of iodized salt and baking soda simulates your body's natural fluids.
"You can buy it at any drug store. You can also order it online," she said.