Each tool we use to avoid getting sick is one more potential layer of protection. I see FEND Airway Cleansing Mist as just one more level of protection; since I want to do everything possible to avoid getting sick, I’ll be using it whenever I’m going to be in a large group.
- A nice industrial design for the atomizer
- Claims are backed up by science
- Easy to carry and use
- My nasal passages felt more hydrated after the first use
- Atomizer on the first bottle stopped working shortly after I began testing
The messaging about Covid has been a mess; people don’t understand the role vaccines play (i.e., they don’t cure Covid or even prevent catching it), and many have stopped appreciating the importance of masks and social distancing. But why wouldn’t we use every possible tool to fight this? FEND Airway Cleansing Mist wants to be part of that arsenal. But should it be?
According to the company, FEND is a $29 bottle of hydrating spray that can help keep you healthy. As they explain,
Introducing “everyday airway hygiene”: Pollutants. Germs. Allergens. Every day, you breathe in billions and billions of particles – many of them undesirable. To keep us healthy, our airways need to stay hydrated. That’s why airway hydration is the missing link to better health.
They go on,
The magic is in the mist: Using a gentle, ultrafine mist made from a precise blend of hydrating salts, FEND strengthens your upper airways’ natural ability to clean the air you breathe – preventing dirty air from traveling deep into your lungs or back out into the environment.
They go on to say that FEND Airway Cleansing Mist starts “cleaning” your airways as soon as you spray, offers benefits that last up to six hours, and is a safe, drug-free, natural way to keep nasal passages healthy.
You get a small spray bottle filled with FEND’s combination of water, calcium, and sodium inside the box. According to the company, the bottle should last up to a month if, as they recommend, you use it three times a day.
To use FEND Airway Cleansing Mist, you simply hold it in front of your nose, press down on the bottle, and inhale the spray that emerges from it. According to the company. That inhalation process is enough to help keep nasal passages hydrated and healthy.
Thanks to its small size, FEND can be carried and used anywhere. The company is quick to note that one use won’t make a difference but that, “just like other hygiene practices, FEND works best when used regularly.” That makes sense from a health perspective, but it also makes sense from a business perspective since it locks “FEND believers” into making monthly purchases.
The company claims that it developed FEND Airway Cleansing Mist in conjunction with “some of the world’s top academic institutions.” Together they took a fresh look at what helps keep airways “clean and healthy” and concluded that, as they explain,
Water and salt are fundamental to our health and wellbeing. Turns out, they’re vital for keeping our airways clean, too. We’ve discovered that the same salts that you can find out in the ocean, or by the sea, are incredibly effective at cleaning the air you breathe. All you’ve got to do is breathe them in.
They go on to explain that by inhaling specific salts, we help “strengthen our natural defenses against dirty air by pulling more water in: essentially enhancing your body’s ability to clean away airborne particles.”
They do this by maintaining the health of the mucus lining the upper respiratory system and allowing the mucus to capture and expel contaminants rather than allowing them to be carried into the lungs, where they can cause issues.
FEND’s design creates an ultra-fine mist that quickly and easily coats the upper airways and preventing respiratory droplets to damage the mucus ling. That allows the longing of the upper airways to do their work of capturing and cleansing airborne particles rather than carrying them deeper into the respiratory tract. But that’s not where their claims end, additionally noting, Not only does our blend of salts hydrate your airways, it actually helps your mucus retain its natural structure longer in the face of the many stresses that contemporary living brings.
That’s the claim the creators of FEND make. But does it work?
The simple answer is, I don’t know.
But here’s the thing. I’ve long been a believer in using inhaled saline solution or swabbing my nasal passages with Ayr Saline Gel. I find doing so keeps me breathing a bit more easily, especially in winter, and it keeps my nasal passages from drying and cracking.
FEND Airway Cleansing Mist smells and feels similar. That makes sense since FEND is, it seems, a high-tech version of saline solution. But while a bottle of Ayr Saline Nasal Mist is under $3, each 30 day supply of Fend is $28.99, and that seems kind of pricey.
I asked Zek, one of our resident skeptics, their thoughts on FEND, and they were equally skeptical. Neither of us could see a reason to spend so much on a single bottle of FEND when, for the same price, we could purchase numerous bottles of saline spray.
Here’s part of what Zek shared with me:
I’m not clear on how this is better than buying a saline spray — that’s exactly the same thing, except you’re actually getting the salt and water in your nose instead of just in the general vicinity.
I have a ton of sinus and allergy issues, and I was at the ENT’s office twice in the last month and both times the big emphasis was on using saline spray constantly. Like, my ENT told me to just spray my nose every hour if I could remember. And when I’m super congested and can barely breathe, I don’t see how spraying in front of my nose is better than getting saline INTO my nose. Just my take.
Those questions and concerns were foremost in my mind when I initially sat down to write this review. It didn’t help that the atomizer on the first sample of FEND I was sent stopped working after the second day.
In fact, I actually did write a fairly critical review and was ready to publish it. Thankfully, before I did, I asked Judie to look it over and see what she thought. After doing a bit of research and reading through the scientific data, she said that it appeared to be accurate; using FEND Airway Cleansing Mist is evidently much more effective than saline alone at helping to prevent Covid.
Respiratory droplets are the enemy to breathing well. They break off your mucus and carry contaminants deeper into your lungs or back out into the environment. This is exactly what your mucus is not supposed to do, and what airway hygiene is all about. In clinical trials, FEND was shown to clean away up to 99% of respiratory droplets from the airways for up to 6 hours.
I won’t delve into the actual science because, if I’m being candid, it is mostly above my head. But the articles that are listed there are in serious journals. (You can read them for yourself here.)
Each shows a clear impact on the amount of viral load that enters one’s respiratory system when using FEND Airway Cleansing Mist regularly.
So I’m left with a conundrum. FEND Airway Cleansing Mist is expensive, and it defies logic that something that is primarily saline would have that much of an impact on the virus that has thrown us all for a loop. At the same time, the published studies suggest that FEND does lower your risk of getting Covid by limiting the amount of virus that can enter your respiratory system even more effectively than simple saline sprays would do.
I’m vaccinated and boosted; according to bloodwork, my spike antibodies are fairly high, and I’m still wearing an N95 mask when I am around other people. So while I might not need to use FEND daily, I will likely use it for a few days before and during my trip when we travel next month. After all, each tool we use to avoid getting sick is one more potential layer of protection. I see FEND Airway Cleansing Mist as just one more level of protection; since I want to do everything possible to avoid getting sick, I’ll be using it whenever I’m going to be in a large group.
Fend Airway Cleansing Mist sells for $28.99 with discounts when you buy multiples or subscribe; it is available directly from the manufacturer.
Source: Manufacturer supplied review sample
What I Like: A nice industrial design for the atomizer; Claims are backed up by science; Easy to carry and use; My nasal passages felt more hydrated after the first use
What Needs Improvement: Pricey; Atomizer on the first bottle stopped working shortly after I began testing