If you are someone who is suffering with a sinus problem, you might be familiar with facial pain and blocked nasal passages. In order to get relief, several people affected by sinus turn to neti pots. A popular and an effective therapy, neti pot is used for nasal irrigation. These ceramic or plastic pots make use of salt and water solution for flushing out nasal passages.
This home remedy is somewhat less known in Western countries but is quite common in parts of India and South Asia. It helps in treating sinus symptoms and reduces use of sinus medication. It finds its origin in the Ayurvedic/yoga medical tradition.
The neti pots can be bought over-the-counter at different drug stores, health food stores, and online retailers. Here you’ll know about the effectiveness and use of neti pots.
How Effective Is Neti Pot?
ENT (ear, nose, throat) surgeons usually recommend nasal irrigation using a neti pot or other method to patients who might have gone through sinus surgery. It helps in clearing the crusting in nasal passages. A lot of people having sinus symptoms due to allergies or environmental irritants have also been regularly using the Net pot or other nasal irrigation devices. The research-based claims find that neti pots relieve sinus symptoms like facial pain, pressure and congestion, when used along with standard medications. In certain cases, nasal irrigation may even provide relief without even using medications.
How Does Neti Pot Work?
A Neti Pot helps in thinning the mucus and flushing out the nasal passages. In biological terms, the Neti Pot working can be explained through tiny, hair-like structures called cilia that line the inside of nasal and sinus cavities. These cilia are waved back and forth for either pushing mucus to the back of throat where it can be swallowed or to the nose to be blown out. The saline solution in neti pot helps in increasing the speed, improving coordination of cilia and effectively removing the allergens and other irritants that could be causing sinus problems.
How To Use A Neti Pot?
No official medical guidelines for using neti pot exist as such. The Neti pots mostly come with a supplement that explains its use. You may even seek help from an ENT surgeon or your family doctor to talk you through process in order to feel comfortable with Neti pot.
A typical use of Neti pot or nasal irrigation device involves mixing 16 ounces (1 pint) of lukewarm water (distilled, sterile or previously boiled) with 1 tablespoon of salt. Half teaspoon of baking soda may also be added for buffering the solution and making it gentler on nose, but there is no evidence that it improves the experience. Use distilled, sterile or previously boiled water for making the nasal irrigation solution.
After you have filled the Neti pot with the solution, tilt your head over the sink at about 45 degrees angle. Now placing the spout into your top nostril, gently pour the saline solution into it. The fluid will flow from your one nasal cavity and come out from the other. It might also flow into your throat. If that happens, spit it out. Blow your nose to remove any remaining liquid and then refill the Neti pot and repeat the process for the other nostril. Make sure you rinse the irrigation device after every use and leave it open to air dry.
How Often Should Neti Pot Be Used?
Research says that people who suffer from daily sinus symptoms got relief by using the Neti pot or other nasal irrigation system on a regular basis. Once the symptoms reduced, 3 times a week is often enough.
Is It Safe For Use?
Studies find that Neti pot is generally safe. About 10% of regular users are known to experience mild side effects like nasal irritation and stinging. Nosebleeds might also occur but that happens rarely. The side effects can be reduced by reducing the amount of salt in the solution, adjusting the frequency of Neti pot use, and changing the temperature of the water.
Always use distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water to avoid infection. It is important to properly take care of your nasal irrigation device. Consider washing the device thoroughly by hand or putting it in the dishwasher if it is dishwasher-safe. Dry the device after every use.