If you are one of those people who are dealing with sinus infections, you may find using neti pot helpful.
Sinus infections, nasal congestions, etc are some of the conditions that can cause miserable facial pain and clogged nasal passages.
Moreover, you may choose to use net pots and nasal saline irrigations.
This therapy uses a salt and water solution to flush out the nasal passages.
Though there are a number of methods to perform nasal irrigation, however, the most popular one is using a Neti Pot.
Using this container for nasal irrigations has been around for centuries, uses, however, are gaining popularity today.
With the help of this procedure, you can help clear out mucus and temporarily restore ease of breathing.
It is a safe procedure to use as long as you follow the safety guidelines and use as the instructions indicate.
Let’s learn more about Neti Pots in detail.
A neti pot is a home remedy for congested nose and sinuses that is available as an over-the-counter, OTC treatment.
This uses a type of saline nasal irrigation, SNI treatment.
In order to use this remedy, you will have to fill a net pot with a saltwater solution.
Tilt your head back and pour the solution into one nostril.
The liquid goes into one nostril and out of the other one.
With its roots in Indian Ayurvedic medicine, nasal irrigation and possible devives for using the treatment, were first introduced to Western medicine by the Lancet journal in 1902.
Moreover, according to a survey of 330 primary care physicians, about 87% recommend using SNI to people that visit for one or more conditions.
FDA, however, warns that the incorrect use of a neti pot and other such devices for rinsing out sinuses, like squeeze bottles, battery-operated pulsed water devices, and bulb syringes, may lead to a higher risk of infection.
FDA recommends that it is informing doctors, other healthcare professionals, device makers, and users about the safe practice when using these devices.
Furthermore, as users, you must make sure that the liquid uses saline rinse.
Make sure to avoid using tap water or any form of unsterilized liquid.
Tap water often contains small amounts of bacteria, protozoa, and other microorganisms like amebae.
These are fine to wallow, as the stomach acids kill them.
However, they should not go into your nasal passages.
If they do, they can remain alive and eventually cause serious infections.
In 2011, two neti pot users in Louisiana lost their lives after using a neti pot.
This is because the water is tainted with naegleria fowleri, N. fowleri, a type of ameba.
This type of ameba is naturally found in warm, freshwater lakes, and rivers.
If the bacteria enter the nose, which happens while swimming, they may migrate to the brain through the olfactory nerve.
Moreover, this can cause primary amebic meningoencephalitis, PAM, which is fatal for almost every person with the condition.
Benefits of Using a Neti Pot
According to a study, saline solution can help:
- cleanse your nasal cavity
- remove inflammation-causing elements
- help improve the ability of your respiratory system to self-clean
However, try using a neti pot once a day if you have sinus congestion.
In case you find it to be effective, you may want to start using it twice a day while you still have symptoms.
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Using a Neti Pot
In order to use the neti pot, follow the steps below:
Make sure to use a neti pot in a room with a sink, while you can also try using it in the shower to wash the mess away after.
Add a saline solution to a clean, dry neti pot.
Bend over the sink and look straight down at the sin basin, turn your head at a 45-degree angle.
Then gently press the spout of the nest pot into the nostril closest to the ceiling.
Moreover, make sure you have a seal between the neti pot and the nostril, however, make sure it does not touch your septum.
Breathe through your mouth using the step below:
Tip the neti pot so that the saline solution or salt water reaches your nostril.
Make sure to tip the neti pot while the solution runs through your nostril and leaves through the other one.
The solution will drain out of the nostril closest to the sink basin.
Continue to pour the solution into the nostril until the neti pot is empty.
After using all of the solutions, remove the neti pot from your nostril and bring your head up.
Breathe in through both nostrils, as this will help clear out your nose.
Then, use a tissue to absorb the remaining saline and mucus that drips from your nose.
Make sure to repeat the steps above to allow the saline solution to flow through the other nostril.
How does it Work?
A neti pot looks just like a teapot and flushes out mucus from the nose.
The help of a saline solution instead of just water helps to decrease irritation.
This irritation may occur due to sinus infections, colds, etc.
It is important to note that people have used neti pot for hundreds of years to clear out their nasal passages.
In case you have congestion from the following:
You can consider using a neti pot.
Moreover, your doctor may even prescribe a specific solution to use in a neti pot in case you are recovering from nasal or sinus surgery.
In order to use the device, pour the saline solution into one nostril at a time.
The solution will flow through the nasal cavity and come out of the other nostril.
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Though a neti pot can be a great solution for congestion, however, it is important to make sure you exercise caution when trying nasal irrigation.
The following are some tips to help use a neti pot safely:
Use only distilled water or tap water after boiling it for several minutes and leave it to cool to a lukewarm temperature or completely filtered water.
This is because there are recorded death due to an amebic infection after the nasal irrigation.
Thus, it is important to make sure that the water is infection-free.
Moreover, replace the neti pot as often as you replace your toothbrush.
According to CDC, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, replace them about every 3 to 4 months, in case of plastic pots.
This helps to avoid bacteria and microbe buildup.
However, if you have a ceramic neti pot, it can last for years.
Another important thing to note is that you should not use water that is too hot or too cold.
Water that is lukewarm or at room temperature is best for the neti pot.
Always clean and dry the neti pot after using it every time.
Wash it with hot water and antibacterial soil.
Then dry it thoroughly with a fresh paper towel, or let it air dry.
Furthermore, discontinue the use of neti pot if it stings your nostrils, causes ear pain, or does not help improve symptoms.
Talk to a pediatrician before using a neti pot for your young child.
Do not use a neti pot on an infant.
However, if you have younger kids, and looking for alternatives, the following the other options for nasal irrigation:
- NeilMed Sinus Rinse Pediatric Starter Kit
- Fridababy’s NoseFrida
- The Nozebot
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Making your own Solution
In order to prepare a solution for neti pot, you can also do this at home.
While doing so, it is important to use the right water type and temperature.
Some water can carry organisms that might be harmful to you.
There are different types of water that are safe to use in a neti pot.
Distilled or Sterile water: This type is available to purchase from a store or online.
Boiled Tap Water: This one, however, is safe if you boil the water for several minutes, and cool it to a lukewarm temperature.
Moreover, you can also store tap water after preparing it in the above way up to 1 day in advance.
Water that is Filtered using a specifically designed Filter: This filter must have an absolute pore size of 1 micron or less to capture infectious organisms.
It is important to avoid using surface water or water straight from the tap in a neti pot.
However, if you are concerned about the safety of water, it is best to use distilled water.
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Making a Neti Pot Solution
Follow the steps below to create your saline solution:
Add 1 teaspoon of kosher, pickling, Epsom, or canning salt to a 16-ounce glass of boiled water cooled to a lukewarm temperature.
Then add 1/2 teaspoon f baking soda to the glass. However, this step is optional.
Stir the solution, until it mixes.
You can store the remaining solution at room temperature for up to 2 days.
However, if your nostrils sting for any reason after using this solution with a neti pot, use half the salt when making another batch.
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Wrapping it Up
Neti pots are a safe, effective way to reduce upper respiratory congestion at home. However, make sure to prepare the saline solution safely and clean the pot after every use.
Make sure to use the neti pot only if it helps relieve your symptoms. In case you find a neti pot to be ineffective, or if it irritates your nasal passages, talk to your doctor or seek medical advice about alternatives.
It is important to note that the neti pots are not for everyone. You may want to use a squeeze bottle for irrigation. They work on the same principle as a neti pot, however, do not require side head tilting, just tiling forward. Whatever your preference, you will always have an affordable, available remedy for a blocked nose.