Neti technique uses water for the irrigation process. Lukewarm water is used to gently cleanse the nasal passages. A soothing, gentle stream of salt water, the same concentration as tears, flows through your nose, washing away pollens, mucus, viruses and bacteria. Use of a neti pot is recommended to ease this process.
Neti Pots: Are They Safe?
Most research on nasal irrigation indicates there are no significant side effects from neti pots and concludes that the benefits outweigh any potential risks. Proper use of a neti pot is key to safe and effective use, however. If you have any questions on using neti pots, ask your doctor or other health care provider.
Why Use It?
When you breathe in allergens, pollution, and other forms of irritation, mucus production can increase, setting the stage for congestion and infection. By performing a nasal rinse before this has a chance to occur, you can prevent and relieve symptoms that accompany sinus infections, common colds, and other illnesses. Flushing mucus and other particles out can help to thin out excess mucus, open up the nasal passages, and reduce inflammation of the mucus membrane, which swells when aggravated.
Prepare the Saline Solution:
Mix approximately 1⁄4 teaspoon of fine non-iodized table salt into about 1 cup (8oz) of warm water, until it is fully dissolved. To prevent contamination, it is recommended that you use sterile water, such as distilled water or water that has been boiled and cooled to make your irrigation solution. Once you have the saline solution mixed, pour it into the Nasal Rinse Cup.
After preparing your saline solution, fill your neti pot with a saline solution . Once the neti pot is filled, its spout is inserted into one nostril while the user tilts the head to the side to allow the saline solution to flow up the nasal passage and then out the other nostril. Then the technique is repeated on the opposite side. To ensure a smooth flow of saline solution, the user should breathe through the mouth while tilting the head. Neti pots can be used as needed to alleviate nasal stuffiness or daily as a preventive method of keeping nasal passages free and clear.
Important Tips for Using a Neti Pot
- Always wash your hands before using a neti pot.
- Use the purest water possible: sterile, distilled, or filtered.
- To avoid stinging, use non-iodized salt and make sure it’s completely dissolved.
- Clean the neti pot thoroughly after each use with distilled or filtered water, then dry completely.
Mild side effects such as nasal irritation occur in a small percentage of regular users.
Users with a history of nosebleeds may want to avoid nasal irrigation.