The science behind STÉRIMAR®

There's a wide range of clinical evidence supporting the efficacy of sea water in treating a variety of nasal conditions in both adults and children. Here's a summary of some of the studies.

Summary of clinical studies pdf


This inflammatory disease of the paranasal sinuses is usually caused by viruses, bacteria, irritants or allergens. Symptoms of both acute and chronic sinusitis include congestion, nasal drip, nasal discharge, impaired sense of smell and taste and nausea.

STÉRIMAR helps to improve drainage by restoring ciliary function and reducing oedema. It can be used as a complementary therapy to medical treatment such as antibiotics, decongestants and corticosteroids1. Using STÉRIMAR also flushes out bacteria which, if left, may cause secondary infections.

Children can't, or won't, blow their noses which impairs drainage and increases the likelihood of infection, so rhinosinusitis is a common problem. A randomised, controlled, double-blind study2 of 30 children aged 3-16 years with chronic sinusitis compared hypertonic with isotonic saline irrigation. Significant reductions in cough, nasal secretions and nasal drip were reported for those using hypertonic; those using isotonic had significant reductions in nasal secretions.


Some types of sinus surgery aims to open nasal passages to improve airflow and drainage. The nasal cavity often becomes encrusted following surgery, so regular cleaning and nasal irrigation are recommended3 for four to eight weeks until the healing process is complete. Several studies have shown that patients prefer to use sea water over normal salt water solutions for their post-operative care.

One study4 in patients undergoing rhinoplasty, septoplasty and ethmoidectomy showed a statistically significant preference for seawater cleansing compared to an isotonic antiseptic preparation. And because seawater was easier to use, patient compliance was better with less need for rescue medication.

A randomised, double-blind study5 comparing STÉRIMAR with a home-made saline solution demonstrated improvements in clinical and functional symptoms in patients treated with STÉRIMAR. It also offered excellent safety, tolerance and acceptability.

Allergic Rhinitis

Seasonal and perennial allergic rhinitis are typically treated with antihistamines and corticosteroids. Studies6 have shown that STÉRIMAR is an effective complementary treatment to flush out allergens and reduce mucous to improve the flow of air through the nose. It can also be used as a gap treatment when medication is being revised. STÉRIMAR is ideal for young children where the choice of medication is restricted too.


Bacteria or viruses can cause acute or chronic inflammation of the nasal mucosa and pharynx, more commonly known as a 'cold'. A sea water nasal spray can help to limit the risk of superinfection from the nasal cavity which could otherwise lead to the risk of pharyngitis, sinusitis or otitis7.

Freche C et al 8conducted a trial in 80 adults suffering from rhino-sinusal disorders with nasal congestion, either permanent or intermittent, whether or not accompanied by rhinorrhea, oedema of the sinus mucosa, congestion and/or hyperaemia of the nasal mucosa. Patients were treated with hypertonic sea water for 15 days and assessed for reduction in nasal obstruction on a visual analogue scale. Results showed that nasal obstruction significantly decreased or disappeared in 78% of patients; tolerance was excellent or good in 95% of patients.


1 - Azoulay

"Use of STERIMAR in ENT hygiene"

B Azoulay, ENT Outpatients, Saint-Cloud Hospital, France

Gazette Médicale 1987: 94: 31

2 - Shoseyov

D Shoseyov, Pediatric Department, Bikur Cholim Hospital, Hadassa Medical School, Jerusalem

Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology 1998; 101: 302-5

3 - Bruker

J Bruker, E.N.T. Department , Centre medico-chirurgical Foch, Suresnes, France

"STERIMAR as a factor in nasal hygiene", Gazette Médicale 1989: 96: 42

4 - Seppey

Seppey M, Schweri T, Hausler R.

"Comparative randomized clinical study of tolerability and efficacy of (a seawater nasal spray) versus a reference product in post-operative care of the nasal fossae after endonasal surgery"

ORL J Otorhinolaryngol Relat Spec 1996;58(2):87-92

5 - Scadding

G Scadding, Rhinology department, Royal National Throat Nose & Ear Hospital, London

"Nasal cleansing as part of the treatment of chronic rhinosinusitis", Rhinology 1999; 37: 29-32

6 - Fougerol

J Fougerol, ENT Department

"STERIMAR - respiratory relief and allergic rhinitis in adults", Gazette Médicale 1992: 99: 41-2

7 - Marsac

A Marsac, ENT Department, Cochin Hospital, Paris, France

Les Cahiers d'oto-rhino-laryngologie, de chirurgie cervico-faciale et d'audiophonologie 1989; 24: 799-800

8 - Freche

Frèche C, Castillo S, de Corbière S et al. "Usefulness of hypertonic seawater in rhinology", Revue Officielle de la Société Française d'O.R.L., 1998;50 (4)