Do you suffer from occasional nasal congestion due to a cold or an infection? Do you have recurring painful sinus issues due to allergies or sinusitis? Everyone who has experienced either of these at least once in their life knows the pain and uncomfortable feeling that comes along with congested, inflamed, and clogged sinuses.
Dealing with congestion can be annoying during the day, but even more so during the night when you are trying to sleep. Nasal obstruction is a major factor in lack of sleep. It may keep you from getting to sleep because of the pressure and pain that makes you unable to breathe correctly. Having a blocked nose for whatever reason may also cause you to breathe from your mouth while you sleep and provoke you to snore.
Saline irrigation is not a new solution to nasal congestion but is gaining popularity because it is an entirely natural solution. The neti pot is an effective way to administer a saline solution to help ease your congestion symptoms.
Ever wonder how to use a neti pot and how it can help you? Read on, we're going to get into the facts about neti pots.
What Is a Neti Pot?
The neti pot concept is not new and dates back thousands of years. It's an effective traditional Ayurvedic treatment for sinus congestion, allergies, and nasal surgery aftercare. It is a natural solution that has zero side effects.
A neti pot looks like a teapot with an extended spout that is usually made of ceramic, plastic, or stainless steel. The extended spout kind of makes it look like a genie bottle. Many shapes and sizes exist when it comes to neti pots, but the function is always the same. You can find them at your local pharmacy or on Amazon.
Why Use a Neti Pot?
Your nasal passages can become inflamed or blocked for many reasons. The common cold can produce a build-up of mucus, and certain infections can cause some inflammation in the sinuses. Seasonal allergies are a major culprit when it comes to sinus congestion and pain. A saline nasal solution may be prescribed after nose surgery to help with healing.
Your nose is one of the first lines of defense from irritants, allergens, and certain pollutants. It's essential to keep your nasal passages clog-free and to have them work in your favor to keep you healthy. You do many other things to keep yourself healthy like exercise and eating a healthy diet. Keeping your nasal passages clean is another way to stay healthy.
Some people use a nasal rinse when needed to clear blocked nasal passages. Others use it regularly to help keep the nose clean and to help prevent possible irritations.
Neti pots are also an effective and safe solution for children experiencing sinus pain or nasal congestion.
When can you use a neti pot for nasal irrigation?
- When you experience allergies.
- When you have a cold.
- When you want to keep your nasal passages clean.
- When you experience sinus pain.
- When you can't sleep due to blocked nasal passages.
- When you have had surgery on your nose.
How To Use a Neti Pot
So how does a neti pot work, and how do you effectively use one? The neti pot is generally filled with a saline solution that is poured into your nostrils to clean and moisturize your nasal passages. There are other solutions, and your doctor may prescribe you a medicated rinse that is suitable for your particular symptoms. Usually, the neti pot comes with solution packs that you dissolve in water. You can also make your own saline solution at home for your homemade neti pot.
"To make your own saline mixture, combine about 16 ounces (1 pint) of lukewarm water (distilled, sterile, or previously boiled) with 1 teaspoon of salt. You can add 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda to buffer the solution -- that'll make it a little gentler on your nose." - WebMD
Make sure you always use distilled or purified water for your neti pot if you use a prepackaged saline solution. It's not recommended to use tap water directly as it may contain contaminants. Boil tap water for several minutes and let it cool before using it in your neti pot.
Tilt your head while you lean over your sink and insert the spout into the higher nostril. Pour the solution in the nostril that is pointing upwards and breathe through your mouth while you do so. The liquid will pass through one nostril and come out the other. Turn your head and repeat this process with the other nostril. You can blow your nose afterward to clear the mucus.
- Make sure your neti pot is clean before you use it.
- Wash your hands before making your solution.
- Use sterile or purified water that is at room temperature.
- Make sure the solution is completely dissolved before using it.
- Thoroughly clean the neti pot after each use.
- Discontinue use if you experience irritation or nose bleeding. (Although this is very rare)
Benefits of Using a Neti Pot
The primary advantage of using a neti pot is the instant relief from the pain of sinus congestion and nasal obstruction. But clearing your nasal passages can have outlining effects on your health and your life as well.
A clear nose that allows you to breathe well while you sleep will permit you to have deeper and more restorative sleep. We all know how much sleep is vital for our general health and overall productivity. Waking up regularly in the night because of a stuffy nose can result in a groggy and sleepy day after.
A clogged or obstructed nose can also have you snoring up a storm. And, by the way, nobody likes to sleep with a loud snorer. Do you know for a fact that your congested nose is causing your snoring? If so, try a neti pot before reaching for the medication or decongesting solutions.
Using a neti pot will:
- Relieve pain and pressure in your sinuses.
- Help moisturize nostrils.
- Help you breathe better.
- Help you smell and taste better.
- Help you sleep better.
- Help prevent snoring.
- Keep your nose healthy.
- Keep you from using decongestants or antibiotics.
Many doctors recommend to patients with sinusitis and other sinus issues to use a neti pot at home to relieve their symptoms and to prevent further ailments. A study with a controlled trial of sinusitis sufferers proves that saline nasal irrigation helps improve sinus symptoms and also helps avoid the use of sinus medication.
Looking for some recommendations? We got you covered.
Do Neti Pots Work?
The fact that saline nasal irrigation has been around for such a long time means that it is efficient in clearing up nasal passages and helps people breathe better when they experience nasal congestion or inflammation.
Neti pots are a completely natural way of providing relief from congestion and are a good option for you if you are worried about the unwanted side-effects of certain medications. It may be that you are unable to take medications or decongestants for some reason, and a neti pot could be your savior.
You may want to consult with your pediatrician before using a neti pot on your young family members, but in general, it is very safe to use on children.
So next time you experience an unpleasant stuffy nose that is preventing you from getting a good night’s sleep, reach for the little genie bottle that will help get you to breathe better so you can sleep well through the night.