What Is a Neti Pot?
Looking very much like a miniature teapot, neti pots have been used for centuries to help relieve the symptoms of allergies and sinus infections. Today, more ears, nose, and throat doctors are suggesting their patients try using a neti pot before resorting to more invasive procedures.
Our noses are lined with tiny hairs that help move the secretions from the nose along so they don't plug the nose. Sometimes, the natural phlegm created by your body thickens. This can be a result of allergies or other bacteria that comes from a sinus infection or cold. When this happens, the sinus passages, including your nose, become clogged. You need something that will thin the mucus so the cilia can once again move it along in the proper manner.
What's In a Neti Pot?
The neti pot is filled with a saline solution made up of pure salt, baking soda, and purified water. The normal solution contains one teaspoon each of salt and baking soda mixed with eight ounces of warm water. This may need to be adjusted to a weaker formula for some people if the nasal passage is irritated and starts to burn. In most cases, this will not happen.
Using the Neti Pot
After you place the prepared solution into the neti pot, lean your head to the side and use the spout to very slowly pour the solution into one nasal passage. You will feel it making its way across your sinus passage and the fluid should flow from your other nostril. On some ocassions, because the sinus passage is also leading to your throat, some of the solution may find its way into your throat. Don't swallow this. Simply spit the solution out.
The solution of salt and baking soda helps loosen any blockages and it thins the mucus so it is easier for the cilia to do their job of moving it along. With regular use of the neti pot, you are able to keep things working as they should and keep your sinus passage clear. For some people, using the neti pot is only needed for getting through a cold or sinus infection. For others, the doctor may recommend a regular nightly use to clear your nasal passage.
Here at the ENT Centers of Excellence, we see many patients every day who experience minor sinus issues that can be alleviated with the use of a neti pot. If you have been bothered with recurring sinus issues, contact us today for a complete evaluation. We will be able to examine you and let you know if using a neti pot is the best course of action for your particular needs.