After another bad bout of sinusitis, my doctor recommended trying a netti pot as an alternative. I was a little reluctant to try but the last lot of decongestant medication wasn’t effective enough. As anyone else suffering from similar problems will understand, getting rid of excessive mucus can be a real problem which if it doesn’t clear by itself can lead to further infections.
According to studies, a saline solution can restore moisture to dry nasal passages and sinuses and reduce inflammation of mucus membranes. In fact if you use a Neti pot or a small squirt bottle for saline irrigation regularly, it can help to thin mucus, give you less postnasal drip, and cleanse your nasal passages of bacteria.
Intact further studies show people who suffer from daily sinus symptoms found relief from using the Neti pot. Though to feel the true benefit, you do need to use daily. Three times a week was often enough once symptoms subsided.
How safe are neti pot’s and sinus rinses to use?
The Neti pot is generally safe though mild side effects can occur, such as nasal irritation and stinging. Nosebleeds can also occur, but they are rare.
To prevent infection, always use distilled, sterile, or previously boiled water. Also, it’s important to properly care for your nasal irrigation device. Either wash the device thoroughly using hot water or put it in the dishwasher. Follow by drying the device completely after each use.
Where to buy
When you look on Amazon, there are plenty of different options and types of netti pot to buy. Health stores are another source.
My experience of using a saline rinse.
The whole process seems fairly safe and straight forward to do but I was a little scared the water would escape and flow elsewhere in my body causing more health problems. So I decided to opt for NeilMed. They seemed reputable and a brand I’ve found sold on the high street at my local chemist, although it did seem to be cheaper from Amazon which I decided to purchase from. What I liked about this brand is that it sells separate sachets if solution when you run out.
This pack came with an easy to squeeze plastic bottle and 60 sachets of saline solution. All I needed to was use distilled water (boil and cool tap water) and add a sachet. I shook the bottle to dissolve the solution. Then inhaled the formula up each nostril followed by gently blowing my nose. Too be honest, at first I found the experience uncomfortable as the luke warm fluid entered one nostril and came out the other. It’s a very strange experience especially when some of the salty solution caught the back of my throat after flowing through my nose. I found the squeezy bottle easy to use as it had strong controlled pressure up my nostril which a neti pot doesn’t. The neti pots seem to be more a trial and error when using. The squeezy bottle is definitely a better option. After a few goes daily, the whole experience of rinsing my nose felt okay. My nose did feel clearer after the first couple of goes and two weeks of daily use I felt less blocked by mucus. Now I use every few days to keep clear.
My biggest test was on a recent flight. I took the NeilMed bottle and a couple of sachets with me to use during my holiday as I suffer from blocked ears and congestion after flights. The whole kit worked great and it was such a relief to have unblocked ears for a change. I’ll definitely be using my sinus rinse regularly and definitely during hayfever and the cold season and before/after flights.
How to make your own Saline Solution
Buying saline solution sachets can soon add up if you are using daily. On Amazon alone, the NeilMed sachets sell for around £15 ($20) for 100 sachets. If your budget is tight, an easy option can be to make the solution yourself.
Mix together,1 teaspoon of Salt (Iodide free, preservative-free salt) to
1 teaspoon of baking soda. Then add to distilled, sterile or previously boiled and cooled water.
If you experience burning or stinging, cut the amounts of dry ingredients to make a weaker solution. For children, use a half teaspoon.