Nasal irrigation? Well, the reality of the matter is that this sounds strange. What could it be? How does it happen? However, it is simpler than you could ever imagine.
It involves the use of a neti pot. Basically, nasal irrigation refers to the flushing out of the nasal cavity. Once you have prepared a purified solution of water and salt, you then use the neti pot device to do the nasal irrigation much quicker and more efficiently than any other traditional method.
Yes, just two ingredients and the use of the neti pot is all you require. No need to suffer the irritations caused by mucus or allergens; the neti pot is definitely what the doctor will recommend to clear out all the clogging. In fact, apart from helping individuals with general nasal congestion, the neti pot is recommended by many doctors to those suffering from sinus infection, colds and allergies.
In one study that involved 330 actively practicing family physicians, it was realized that 87% of the physicians recommended the use of saline nasal irrigation (which uses the neti pot) in dealing with the following health conditions:
- Acute bacterial sinus infections (67%)
- Rhinitis (stuffy nose) caused by seasonal allergies (66%)
- Chronic sinus infections (91%)
- Viral upper respiratory infections (59%)
- Irritant-based congestion (48%)
- Rhinitis resulting from pregnancy (17%)
- Other allergic rhinitis (48%)
Many neti pot users have reported experiencing a better sense of taste and smell, not unusual considering that they can now breathe easier after using neti pot in a single session. Food and Drug Administration doctors have certified neti pots as safe products, provided they are thoroughly cleaned and used properly.
The good news is that you can find a neti pot in your nearest local drug store for as little as $10. No need for breaking the bank. Actually, I will also share with you how you can easily make your own neti pot in the comfort of your home.
What Is A Neti Pot?
What exactly does this mysterious “neti pot” refer to? Well, the neti pot has its root lying in the Ayurvedic Medicines. In fact the word “Neti” is Sanskrit which stands for “Nasal Cleaning.” In a nutshell, a neti pot is a small teapot-like device that cleanses and refreshes your entire nasal cavity. It is made of plastic or ceramic.
How Exactly Does it Work?
It is designed in a way that enables users to make a nasal rinse flushing out all irritants and thinning out mucus as well. Typically, the neti pot helps users relieve themselves from a congested nose making their breathing easier. The neti pot simply acts as a natural booster to your natural nasal cavity operations.
How is that possible? Your nasal cavity and the surrounding sinuses are lined with microscopic hair-like structures known as cilia. It is these hair-like structures (Cilia) that help usher out mucus from your nasal cavity.
What the nasal irrigation does is simply help the cilia perform their function (ushering out unwanted particles like pollen, dust, etc.) Through this pattern, the neti pot is able to prevent most sinus issues.
The neti pot needs to be filled with salt plus purified water or a salt-based mixture. The mixture should be specifically designed to be used with the neti pot. Worry not! It is very simple to make your own neti pot solution at home (to be covered later in this post).
Why not just use water alone in the neti pot? Because water is incapable of cleansing your nasal cavity alone; in fact, it is more likely to cause irritations in your nostrils. Adding salt makes the whole difference.
It permits water to travel in the nasal membranes found in the nasal cavity without causing the slightest burning sensations. Even though these membranes are very sensitive, using salt-based mixture leaves the user more relieved and not disturbed as a result of burning sensations.
Health Benefits of Using the Neti Pot
1. Congested Sinuses
For centuries, Indians have used warm salty water to flush their nasal cavities in order to get rid of nasal congestion and ease allergies as well.
Environmental irritants such as chemicals, pollen, dust, or synthetic fragrances are the reason we sometimes suffer from sinus congestion. This is why the neti pot acts as the ultimate nasal irrigation tool that helps deal with general sinus congestion.
Whatever the cause, the neti pot is the best known solution when your nasal cavity has been invaded by excess mucus and other substances. It will flush everything out with less irritation.
Who doesn’t hate common colds? One of the most well-known symptoms of the common cold is a congested nasal cavity. To make it worse, it can be accompanied by facial pain and sinus headache. When the common cold comes biting and your nose is so stuffy and congested, simply use the neti pot to thin out the mucus.
The mucus will then drain out more easily, leaving you relieved. Also note that this will help eliminate other common cold symptoms. Apart from using the neti pot, drink several glasses of water to enable the mucus to break up and drain away.
3. Sinus Infections
You can use the neti pot for both acute sinus infection and chronic sinusitis. According to one study, published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal, chronic sinus victims were not only able to improve their symptoms but also maintain positive outcomes within a time frame of 6 months.
Those involved in the study not only found relief from sinus congestion infection but also experienced fewer headaches and thus used less of the over-the-counter medicines. According to Dr. Richard Harvey from Macquarie University, who is a professor of rhinology – Higher volume of neti pots outranks nasal sprays by far.
The reason for this is that this nasal irrigation tool achieves thorough removal of irritants and excess mucus as well from the nasal cavity.
Every year, about one million people suffer from allergies. If you happen to be among them, you best grab your neti pot. Do not let go! Some of the common seasonal allergy symptoms include post-nasal drip and nasal congestion.
Melissa Pynnonen, M.D. co-director at the Michigan Sinus Center describes nasal irrigation as the “Best method for relieving nasal infections symptoms.” According to her, the method is simply a power washer that cleanses and refreshes your nose.
The neti pot is considered to be much more effective than medical prescriptions in dealing with common sinus-related issues. For instance, Dr. Pynnonen considers it as a first line treatment for nasal and sinus issues.
According to the 2010 scientific review that was published in the American Journal of Rhinology and Allergy, saline nasal irrigation is an inexpensive and safe way of improving a stuffy noise. Apart from eliminating the need for allergy medications among allergy sufferers, nasal irrigation helps improve their quality of life.
5. Pregnancy-Related Sinus Issues
During pregnancy, some women go beyond food cravings and fatigue, in response to hormonal changes.
It may sound strange, but some women experience nasal congestion during this time frame. Nasal irrigation is recommended as the safest and most effective remedy for nasal congestion as well as a relief for sinus infections and allergies. This is recommended by the American Pregnancy Association and Mayo Clinic's renowned pregnancy experts of moms-to-be.
Snoring is downright boring? Right? Well, perhaps you are not aware that the solution to your all night snoring problem is a doorstep away.
Surprisingly, the neti pot is what you need to say goodbye to all the disgusting noises at night. It is a brilliant tool that is designed to unclog your nose. Once your nasal passage is clear, you will forget you ever had the habit of snoring. It is the ticket to your sleeping freedom.
Tips On Correct Usage Of Homemade Neti Pot Solution
There are a number of things you need to have in mind when using the homemade neti pot solution. Here are a few tips:
- Only use the recommended safe water as instructed by the FDA. You can use tap water that has been boiled for at least 3-5 minutes. Remember, the water must be allowed to cool. It should be lukewarm before being used.
- If you intend to use previously boiled water, ensure it is stored in a clean closed container for up to 24 hours.
- The water should be passed through a specific filter. Do not use just any filter, stick to the one designed to trap and get rid of potentially infectious organisms. As recommended by the Center for Disease Control, use filter with an absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller. Check for a label that reads “NSF 58 or NSF 53.”
- In regard to the solution to be used, you can either opt for the pre-made sinus rinse or make your own homemade neti pot solution. Making one is simple. Just combine half teaspoon of non-iodized salt to a cup of purified water. You may also choose to add in a pinch of baking soda. In case you decide to use two cups of water, do not forget to double the amount of salt and baking soda used.
- Don’t use salt that has other additional ingredients. This would interfere with the homemade neti pot solution. It is said that the best and healthy solution is the one that mimics the salt-to-water balance in our own bodies. You can use plain cooking salt, sea salt or kosher salt.
How To Use The Neti Pot
- When everything is ready, lean forward over a sink and tilt your head sideways (45 degrees). Next, place the spout of the neti pot in the upper nostril, definitely the one closer to the ceiling.
- Breathe through your mouth while it is open and slowly pour the content of the pot into your upper nostril. Once you do that, the solution will flow out through your lower nostril. Officially, the nasal irrigation has begun.
- Repeat the above procedure but this round, use the other nostril. It is good if you can use half the content of the neti pot on each side. This is a simple procedure that takes about 5 minutes. Time is therefore not an excuse here. The reason you do the nasal irrigation in the sink is to avoid spillage.
However, with time, you will perfect the art and won’t wet your clothes or the counters.
Common Mistakes And Risks
There are a number of dos and don’ts when it comes to using the neti pot. Do not take chances whatsoever! Here are some of the common mistakes and risks that people commit:
Using Dangerous Water
You risk your health or even your own life if you dare use contaminated water. Do not use tap water that has not been boiled and later allowed to cool. It is highly advisable that you use only the recommended water sources.
There is a possibility of death occurring if you use water containing bacteria. In the U.S. two deaths were reported as a result of improper use of the neti pot. The victims had used tap water contaminated with Naegleria fowleri (fatal bacteria).
These bacteria causes a brain infection known as Primary Amebic Meningoencephalitis (PAM). Victims will begin to experience symptoms withinn 1-9 days from the day of infection.
Early symptoms include nausea, vomiting, headache, or fever. Later on, the victims will experience symptoms such as loss of balance, seizures, hallucinations, stiff neck, confusion, and lack of attention to the surrounding and people. Within 5 days of onset, the disease gets worse and could lead to death.
Do not take this issue for granted. Use safe recommended water for your nasal irrigation.
Keep Your Neti Pot Clean
You must be very careful with the hygiene of your neti pot. Ensure that it is clean before each single use. Wash it after every use and allow it to dry in the air. Make use of paper towels to dry the pot. In case it is dishwasher safe, you can dip it in the dishwasher and thoroughly clean it.
Use high-quality salt to keep off any bacteria. Additionally, you should wash your hands before using the neti pot.
Similar to the case with your toothbrush, avoid sharing neti pots. Even if it is at the family level, avoid sharing this tool. It is not sanitary or safe to do so.
Do Not Over-Use
This is another common mistake. Remember that this is a natural remedy. Do not therefore overdo it. According to a study carried out in 2009, short-term usage of nasal irrigation is therapeutic and effective.
Long-term use, on the other hand, can be harmful. Theory has it that frequent use of nasal irrigation can weaken or remove the essential protective elements found in the mucus membrane of the nasal cavity and sinuses.
That should be avoided at all costs. Do not overuse your neti pot!
Keep the neti pots out of the reach of children. They are not recommended for infants. In case of discomfort or unwanted side effects, discontinue use and immediately seek medical attention.
Neti Pot Sinus Infection Health Benefits Conclusion
It is quite unbelievable yet so awesome that a simple teapot-like tool can work miracles in your nasal health. By looks, it is hard to believe that the neti pot can be the ultimate solution to all sorts of nasal issues.
However, one thing remains clear in our mind – the neti pot and some salty water offers a quick and easy relief to nasal congestion among other symptoms.
More amazing is the fact that everything can be done in the comfort of your home. No more running to the drug store or breaking the banks. Utilizing the neti pot for exclusive nasal health is practical, easy and inexpensive. And anyone can do it,
When used properly, even holistic and Ayurvedic Medical Practitioners agree to one fact – nasal irrigation surpasses conventional medicine in offering fast relief to nasal congestion. Whether you intend to get relief from all sorts of allergies, sinus infections, pregnancy symptoms, and common cold, neti pots are the ultimate solution to your problems.
There is nothing to worry about in regard to safety measures. This century-old irrigation mechanism has received scientific backing. It is therapeutic, helpful and most important, natural. All you need to do is use the right kind of salt, safe purified water and a thoroughly cleaned neti pot. Do not use salt that has added additives. Always remember nasal irrigation requires keen attention in both the manner in which it is done and the ingredients used.
Do not take chances. Are you experiencing any nasal congestion? Get the neti pot to work and see the amazing results on your own. Within 5 minutes, your nasal passage will be cleared leading to much easier breathing.