Is Rinsing Your Sinuses with Neti Pots Safe?

Almost all of us try to seek various solutions to be in the best health during the flu season. We are striving to improve our well-being and avoid illnesses, and nasal irrigation may be one efficacious remedy to flu and congestion. 

Multiple tests have shown that nasal irrigation is an efficient therapy for colds, asthma, and sinus infections. Using neti pots is an easy and effective way to irrigate your nose. But is it safe?

There have been some concerns regarding the safety of this device as it does involve putting water in your nose, and water can house numerous bacteria. Health care professionals believe that you can safely irrigate nasal passages with a neti pot if you know how to use it properly.

How Do Neti Pots Work?

Many patients with sinus complaints, including asthma and respiratory irritations, have now started to utilize Neti pots for nasal irrigation daily, believing that such systems minimize inflammation, pain, and discomfort. 

The simple idea of how Neti pot functions is that it evens out the mucus and manages to wash it out of the nasal cavity.

How Are Neti Pots Harmful?

Neti pots are not harmful, but utilizing them inappropriately will do more harm than good. The probability of a significant problem, however, is quite low. Usage of neti pot for a more extended duration is related to a higher frequency of sinus problems, as using the pot decreases the mucosal lining of the nose, rendering it more susceptible to infection.

There was a case of an elderly lady who suffered from a severe, brain-eating amoebic infection after using the neti pot for around a month when she developed a sinus infection. Safe usage of neti pot includes the use of clean, purified, or boiling water. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration advises using distilled, pure, or boiled water.

Tap water is not suitable to be used as a sinus rinse because it is not correctly purified or processed. Any tap water includes small amounts of microbes, such as bacteria and protozoa, including amoebas.

These may be healthy to drink since stomach acid destroys them, but in your nose, these microbes can survive and cause seriously harmful infections. They may also prove to be life-threatening in some cases.

Neti Pot Usage for Children

Ensure the product suits the age of the individual using it.  Many infants are identified with nasal allergies as early as two years of age and can utilize nasal washing instruments at that point as approved by the pediatrician. Yet small children cannot withstand the treatment.

Safe Water of Neti Pot Usage

Like mentioned before, only distilled or boiled water should be used in neti pots. The sterile water can also be bought in stores, and they are usually labeled as distilled or sterile as well.

If you can’t purchase it from the store, then you can boil tap water for 5 minutes, cool it until its lukewarm, and then use it. Boiled water can either be fresh or you can use previously boiled water as well within 24 hours of keeping it in a clean container.

Buffered Salt Addition

If you are using a neti pot, don’t forget to add the buffered salt packet to the water that is sold with the neti pot or individually.  Salt packets are specially formulated to have an appropriate balance of salt and pH. If you feel discomfort or irritation, heat the solution just above room temperature.

Usually, to utilize a neti pot or other nasal irrigation system, blend three teaspoons of iodide-free, salt with one teaspoon of baking soda and put in a tiny, clean jar. Then, mix one tablespoon of this mixture in 8 ounces of pure, clean, or freshly distilled water. Use half a teaspoon in 4 ounces of water for little children.

How to Handle a Neti Pot for Safe Nasal Irrigation?

There are many options to administer saltwater to the nose. Nasal spray bottles contain delicate vapor, which can be useful for moisturizing dried nostrils. Yet the drainage systems are ideally adapted to rinsing the nose and drying off mucus, irritants, and microbes.

The documentation provided with the irrigation system can include more precise guidance on its usage and treatment. However, the steps listed below are the most effective and common way of administering the saline solution from a neti pot.

  • Start by tilting over a sink. Then, turn your head horizontally with your forehead and lip in the same position to keep liquids from running into your mouth.
  • Breathe from your open mouth, put the projection of the saline-filled bottle through the top nostril such that the solvent escapes into the bottom nostril.
  • Clean the nasal passage.
  • Then, act again, tilting the head back and forth on the other side.

Sinus washing can eliminate dirt, particles, and help to eradicate dense mucus. It also tends to alleviate the respiratory effects of sinus problems, asthma, colds, and flu. The pure water can occasionally tend to irritate your nose. Salt helps the water to flow through fragile nasal membranes without any discomfort or inflammation.

Cleaning the Neti Pot Device

The water you are using is essential for the safety of the neti pot.  You can always thoroughly rinse and dry your neti pot with boiling water pre and post usage to ensure your safety and well-being at the end of the day.

Other Side Effects of Using Neti Pots?

A limited percentage of frequent users report minor adverse effects, such as nasal pain and tingling. Limiting the quantity of salt in the mixture, increasing the rate of use of Neti pot, and varying the temperature of the water can help to minimize these side effects.

Final Word

Neti pots are a readily available and highly beneficial tool when it comes to treating all sorts of sinus problems. However, the users must ensure they keep the device clean by washing it regularly, and they must use distilled or boil water to avoid any harmful microbes. 

Leave a Comment