Health Hacks

A Neti Pot May Be Just What Your Congested Nose Needs

Everybody has dealt with a stuffy nose, whether they suffer from seasonal allergies or have an occasional cold. Most people turn to OTC medications, but how about a neti pot.

People swear by this nasal saline irrigation method for relieving clogged sinuses, facial pressure, and pain. It can be intimidating if you’ve never used it before. Neti pots can help you clear a stuffy nose when you need them.

There’s nothing new about the neti pot; it dates back centuries to Ayurvedic medicine. Aaron Pearlman, MD, an otolaryngologist, says using a neti pot can help with both short-term and long-term nasal issues.

Pearlman says, “If you have an acute nasal issue, sinus irrigation can be helpful in just mechanically removing that mucus, so you can breathe a little bit better after you do it.”

Neti Pots: How Do They Work?

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Neti pots have bulbous bodies that hold the saline solution and spouts that pour liquid into your nose. With the fixture tilted to the side, you can stream the liquid through your nostril, pushing out mucus through your nasal passage and out of your mouth if necessary.

Nasal saline irrigation can be performed through the neti pot. Dr. Pearlman prefers the bulb syringe, but you can also use a bottle. He says, “Salinity is buffered by sodium bicarbonate, which has already been mixed with salt.”

Does A Neti Pot Have Any Proven Benefits?

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Neti pots effectively remove mucus from our noses when we have colds, the flu, or sinus infections. Pearlman says nasal irrigation can complement tissues and decongestants but not necessarily replace them.

According to a study in The Laryngoscope, saline irrigation can help treat chronic rhinosinusitis symptoms.

How Do You Use A Neti Pot Without Making A Mess?

Using a neti pot probably won’t inspire you to wear your fancy top. Follow these simple instructions to avoid unwanted waterworks:

  • Use the saline solution (hygienically made) to fill the neti pot.
  • Place your head over a sink or tub while tilted sideways.
  • Take deep breaths through your mouth.
  • Pour through the top nostril. Your bottom nostril should run with saline and gross gunk.
  • Reverse the tilt of your head to do the same on the other nostril.
  • Ensure your neti pot is clean after each use, following the instructions on the box.