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Kristin Hayes, R.N.

The Scoop On Neti Pots

By August 20, 2009

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Many of you may have heard of neti pots only recently, they seem to be quite popular right now. However, the concept of the neti pot, nasal irrigation, has been around for thousands of years,  in fact, in India, the practice has been part of a yoga regimen for centuries. The purpose of nasal irrigation is to moisten the nasal passages and clear out unwanted debris. It may also be of interest to know that other methods of sinus irrigation, such as saline nasal sprays,  have been available at your grocery store all along. Nasal irrigation is recommended for many ENT disorders including sinus problems, and bloody noses due to dry mucous membranes.

How is a neti pot used? Well, it's not that hard really. You stick one end of the pot inside your nostril and tip the pot up. The shape of the pot, and gravity, work in  a matter which allows the fluid to go up one nostril and out the other. Sounds kind of uncomfortable doesn't it? In a recent article about coping with sinus headaches many readers responded to tell me that discovering the neti pot was the best thing that ever happened to them. Many stated that they were skeptical at first and even a little afraid to try it but once they took the plunge they were sold. You can read their stories here, and view pictures of neti pots on Google Images.

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August 20, 2009 at 9:07 pm
(1) ICU_RN says:

Yes, that definately looks uncomfortable. However if you are congested bad enough, I could see an uncomfortable method as a good solution that would probably feel slightly better than the problem. I’ll have to try it sometime when I’m really congested. Does it work when you are congested with a standard cold?

August 24, 2009 at 9:45 am
(2) shirlm says:

What I’d really like to know is who was the first person who came up with this idea? Seems like it would be really frightening if you didn know it would come out the other side.

August 24, 2009 at 11:55 am
(3) ent says:

Maybe Adam and Eve learned about it in the garden, we’ll probably never know who came up with it first. Yeah, it does seem kind of daring but when you have a major sinus headache you’ll do anything to stop the pain. Besides, it can’t be that bad. You probably get used to it.

February 1, 2011 at 9:56 am
(4) JMann says:

There is nothing to fear in using the Neti-pot sinus irrigation method. It is a technique that requires breathing through your mouth (something we allergy suffers are experts at) while holding your head correctly so the flow from the pot travels through the sinuses and into the sink. After one “test run” it becomes second nature. It works! Flushes all the allergens down the drain – especially helpful if you have irregular sinus – deviated septum, etc.

July 16, 2012 at 10:35 am
(5) Lindsey Cain says:

It takes a very short time to get used to using the device. I actually use one designed as a plastic squeeze bottle, that I think may be more effective.
Be sure to use the saline solution recommended to avoid the “sting” from using plain water.
Also, be sure to lean forward over the sink, and breath normally with your mouth while doing the task….

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