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water, salt, towels and teacupA Neti Pot is a device in the shape of an elongated tea pot that is typically used to rinse the nasal passages from dirt, dust, pollen, and other debris, as well as loosen thick mucus and help relieve symptoms of allergies, colds, flu, and sinus problems.

Research backs up the claims that nasal irrigation with a Neti Pot is beneficial to help relieve some symptoms of the conditions mentioned above, and many ENT doctors recommend the use of this device.

How Does a Neti Pot Work?

The simple explanation? Neti Pots help thin the mucus in your nasal passages and therefore make it easier to flush the mucus out.

The science behind it? The nasal passages and sinus cavities are lined with tiny, hair-like structures called cilia. The cilia move back and forth, pushing mucus either to the back of the throat or to the nose to be blown out. When you use a Neti Pot, the saline solution helps increase the speed of the cilia movement and improve their coordination so that they can be more effective in pushing mucus and other debris out of the nasal passages and sinus cavities.

How to Properly Use a Neti Pot?

Instructions to use your Neti Pot usually come included with the device, however the FDA warns that sometimes these instructions are misleading or give the wrong information. The FDA recommends that you consult with your physician if you have questions or concerns about using the Neti Pot.

Below is a safe and common way to use your Neti Pot:

  • Mix about 16 ounces of lukewarm distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water with 1 teaspoon of salt or 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda. DO NOT USE TAP WATER UNLESS PREVIOUSLY BOILED OR ANY OTHER LIQUID.
  • Fill your Neti Pot with the above solution.
  • Tilt your head over a sink at a 45-degree angle and place the spout of the Neti Pot into your top nostril.
  • Gently pour the saline solution into your top nostril.
  • Let the fluid flow through your nasal passages and out the bottom nostril.
  • If the saline solution runs into your throat, just spit it out and resume the process.
  • Blow your nose to get rid of any remaining liquid.
  • Repeat the process on the other nostril.

Are Neti Pots Safe?

Research has shown that Neti Pot use is generally safe. Only about 10% of users experience side effects.

The biggest risk of using a Neti Pot is infection. This risk can be eliminated by using either one of these 3 types of water:

  • Distilled or sterile water.
  • Previously boiled water – only use when it has cooled down to a lukewarm temperature.
  • Water passed through a filter with a pore size of 1 micron or smaller.

NEVER USE TAP WATER THAT IS NOT FILTERED, TREATED, OR PROCESSED. Tap water contains certain organisms such as bacteria that are usually harmless when swallowed because the stomach acid kills them, but when introduced into the nasal passages they can stay alive and cause potentially serious infections.

What Are The Side Effects?

Side effects of using a Neti Pot can include: nasal irritation, nosebleeds, headaches, or fever. These side effects are rare, but be sure to talk to a physician if they are persistent.

How To Properly Clean Your Neti Pot?

After every use, wash your Neti Pot with distilled, sterile or boiled water. Dry the inside and outside of the pot thoroughly.If you suffer from allergies or sinus problems, using a Neti Pot can help relieve some of your symptoms. However, it is always recommended to treat the problem at its root. Visit a specialist for proper diagnosis and treatment. Make an appointment with Dr. Pasha today!