Buying And Using A Neti Pot For Nasal Irrigation
If you suffer from miserable allergy or sinus symptoms like:
- Nasal congestion
- Runny nose
- Post-nasal drip
- Facial pain
- Itchy nose
You have probably tried a variety of treatments to relieve your discomfort. Prescription or OTC medications often have undesirable side effects, and natural remedies might help, but not be fully effective. One treatment that many ear, nose and throat doctors recommend is a neti pot for nasal irrigation.
What Is A Neti Pot?
A neti pot, or other nasal irrigator, is a simple device used to pour water into the nasal passages to flush out mucus, pollen, bacteria or other irritants. While the idea might seem odd or even unpleasant, once you get the hang of using a nasal irrigator, it becomes simple. The procedure takes just a few minutes and provides considerable relief for allergy, common cold or sinus symptoms.
Do You Want A Traditional Neti Pot?
Traditional neti pots are made of ceramic, though there are now plastic versions available. The design is similar to a small teapot, with a long spout that is inserted into the nostrils and a handle for ease in using the cup. Neti pots rely on gravity to drain water through the nasal cavity and out the opposite nostril.
Do You Want A Squeeze Irrigator?
If you find it difficult to coordinate tilting your head to the right angle while gently pouring water into your nose, you will probably find a squeeze irrigator easier to use than a traditional neti pot. A squeeze irrigator is basically a plastic bottle with a nozzle that is sized to fit into your nostrils. Just insert the nozzle, tilt your head forward and squeeze gently to rinse your sinuses. The solution will drain out of the opposite nostril, as with a traditional neti pot.
Do You Prefer An Electronic Irrigator?
If you’ve suffered through years of chronic sinus infections and allergies, an electronic irrigator might help you finally get relief. These devices are similar to a WaterPik used for dental care. You adjust the pressure to a comfortable level, and the device pulses saline solution into your nasal cavity and sinuses. Like all nasal irrigators, the solution then flows out your other nostril and into the sink or tub. Electronic irrigators can be more effective than manual devices, as the flow is delivered in a steady, pulsing stream that reaches further into the sinuses, and the pressure control makes irrigation more comfortable.
How Do You Use A Nasal Irrigator?
The basic method of nasal irrigation is the same whether you use a traditional neti pot, squeeze irrigator or electronic irrigator.
- Use a saline solution to irrigate, not plain water. You can mix your own saline solution by combining 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon non-iodized salt; 1/8 teaspoon baking soda and 1 cup warm distilled or purified water.
- If you want the convenience of a premade mix, there are many available. Just open the packet, and mix with clean, warm water.
- Always use purified or clean, distilled water to mix your saline solution. If you want to use tap water, boil it for a few minutes first and then let it cool. Do not put untreated tap water up your nose, which can be very dangerous.
- Once you have your saline mixed, pour it into your choice of irrigator.
- Your irrigation solution should be comfortably warm, not hot or cold.
- Stand over a sink or tub, and place the spout of the irrigator into one nostril.
- If you are using a traditional neti pot, tilt your head to the side away from the nostril you are irrigating. So if you are irrigating the left nostril, tilt your head to the right.
- If you are using a squeeze or electric irrigator, tilt your head slightly downwards.
- Pour water from the neti pot, or activate the squeeze or electric irrigator. You will feel the saline solution running through your nasal cavity, then pouring out the opposite nostril and into the sink.
- Use about a half cup of saline solution in the first nostril and then repeat the procedure on the other side.
- You can breathe through your mouth while irrigating. If saline runs down your throat into your mouth, just spit it out. With experience, this will not happen.
- When you are finished irrigating, gently blow your nose and wipe away any draining saline.
- With practice, the irrigation technique will become second nature and will only take you a few minutes to complete.
- Once done with irrigating, rinse your neti pot or irrigator, and let it dry. You should never share a nasal irrigator with another person, or allow the irrigator to touch the floor or unclean surfaces.
Chronic sinus inflammation, allergies and the common cold cause misery for thousands of people every day. If you have suffered with any of these, especially chronic conditions, using a neti pot, squeeze irrigator or electric irrigator can bring you considerable relief – and without the need of prescription or OTC medications.