So, if you didn’t already know – my sinus health is atrocious. Year-round, I suffer from allergies, asthma, mucus build-up, sinusitis, colds, etc. It’s really not surprising, when you take all of this into account, that I’ve turned to neti pots. It took me long enough!
I’m going to start out by saying – nasal irrigation is weird. It’s not unpleasant, or horrible in any way you can really put your finger on, it’s just weird. You can continue to breathe through your mouth whilst using the device, which resembles a teeny-tiny teapot (though it’d be a pretty pathetic cuppa). The amount of salt used is miniscule, but considering it’s really only a saline solution, it’s not surprising.
A lot of people might consider making up their own mixture and using other devices to perform nasal irrigation, and that’s fine – as long as you take note of absolutely crucial health and safety steps. Even if you’ve used a neti pot before, it might be worth giving this a read as you might not be aware of some of the important steps.
- DO NOT USE TAP WATER. Or, at the very least, use tap water that’s been boiled for several minutes to remove any nasties. You can drink tap water without fear of repercussion because your saliva and stomach acid destroy this bacteria, but running it through your nose means it never reaches your saliva or your stomach acid, and can grow unchecked in your sinuses. There have been a few (very few – read: one or two) cases of death caused by neti pots, and this is why. Use distilled, boiled or sterile water. This goes for cleaning your neti pot, too.
- Make sure your hands are clean and dry, and prepare your solution by using around 100ml (or 200ml for a more thorough clean) of boiling water with 1g of fine sea salt (2g if using 200ml boiled). DO NOT USE TABLE SALT, as this also contains contaminants. Top this up with cooled water in the same amount until it’s lukewarm, or body temperature. You can then use this to perform the nasal irrigation – which involves tipping your head to the side, placing the spout of your neti pot against one nostril and tipping it until water flows from the nostril opposite. Use half of the solution in each nostril.
As for me, i’m on day three of this method, and it’s working pretty well. My issues are severe, but after using the neti pot I get several hours of relief. I’m considering upping my use to two or three times a day to pick up the shortfall – I’m definitely going to do it right before bed. I’ll keep you updated!