People who have sinus problems will tell you how annoying clogged nasal passages can be. That pain can actually make your life miserable. In order to deal with these sinus problems, many people try different techniques, and one relatively effective way is nasal saline irrigation, which involves using a saline solution to flush out the nasal passages. There are specialized devices available to perform this therapy, and a neti pot is among the simplest ones. The therapy is effective, but how often can you use a neti pot?
How Does Neti Pot Help?
Neti pot works because it thins mucus in your nasal passages and helps flush it out with ease. Moreover, there are hair-like structures called cilia inside the nasal and sinus cavities. The movement of these cilia plays an important role in pushing mucus towards the nose or towards the back of your throat. Saline solution not only improves coordination of the cilia but also increases the speed of the cilia to help flush mucus and any irritants out of your nasal passages. Once the mucus is no longer there to clog your nasal passages, you find it easier to breathe and experience an immediate relief from facial pain.
How Often Can You Use a Neti Pot?
Nasal problems can greatly affect the quality of your life, and it is true that neti pots really help resolve the issue. Does this mean you can use a neti pot as many times as you like? That is actually not the case, and it depends on the purpose of your treatments.
1. For Maintenance Purposes
Every other day.
Once you have achieved desired results, you may only use a neti pot once a day for maintenance purposes. Understand that using a neti pot on an ongoing basis offers certain benefits, but using it as a meditative routine is not the right thing to do. Excessive use may end up irritating your nasal passages and cause some uncomfortable symptoms to appear. Therefore, it is better to use a neti pot less frequently – you will be better off using it every other day instead of daily.
2. For the Treatment of Allergies
Twice a day.
How often can you use a neti pot if you have allergies? Hay fever, springtime allergies, or reaction to dust, mold, or animal dander can lead to the inflammation of nasal cavities. This will lead to a buildup of mucus. You can make things better with the help of a neti pot because it flushes allergies and clears your sinuses. While dealing with severe allergic reactions, you may consider using a neti pot at least twice a day. Lower the sodium content or use a neti pot less frequently if you experience any nasal irritation.
3. For the Treatment of Non-Allergic Rhinitis
Once a day.
Just like hay fever, non-allergic rhinitis produces similar symptoms, including nasal congestion, a runny nose, etc., but you do not develop an allergic reaction. Airborne irritants, certain odors, medications, foods, and weather changes can all trigger non-allergic rhinitis. Nasal lavage helps deal with this situation, but be sure to use a neti pot once a day only.
4. For the Treatment of Chronic Sinusitis
Once a day regularly.
With sinusitis, you will develop inflamed, swollen nasal passages along with excess mucus buildup. These symptoms make breathing difficult. In most cases, these symptoms can last longer than eight weeks. An effective solution is to perform nasal lavage regularly. It is better to use a neti pot once every day to help eliminate excess mucus and keep the nasal cavities moist.
5. For the Treatment of Acute Sinusitis
Once or twice a day.
How often can you use a neti pot to treat chronic sinusitis? Just like chronic sinusitis, you experience a buildup of mucus in your nasal cavities that inhibits breathing. The only difference is that the symptoms of acute sinusitis do not last as long. Using a neti pot once daily will help keep things under control. When you develop acute sinusitis, you can use a neti pot twice a day. Reduce the frequency or lower the sodium content after a couple of days – or when you experience nasal irritation.
How to Use a Neti Pot
While there are no official medical guidelines available, you can find some instructions on an insert included with neti pots. It is also a good idea to ask your physician to explain the procedure or see an ENT specialist for assistance. Knowing how to use it properly will make things a lot more comfortable.
Prepare the Solution
In most cases, you will have to prepare a saline solution before using your neti pot. Usually, you have to mix a pint of lukewarm water with a teaspoon of salt. You can also add half teaspoon of baking soda to the solution to make it relatively gentler on the nose. Make sure to use only sterile, distilled, or previously boiled water to prepare the saline solution.
Irrigate Your Nose
Once you have prepared the solution, fill up the neti pot and get ready to use it. You should be doing it over the sink to avoid creating any mess.
Simply tilt your head over the sink – it is better to maintain an angle of45 degrees. With the spout placed into your nostril, pour the solution gently to ensure that enough solution enters your nostril, goes through your nasal cavity, and comes out through the other nostril. Some of the solution may run into your throat as well. That is fine and you can just spit it out. You can also blow your nose gently to eliminate any remaining liquid. Repeat the same process on the other side.
Once you have used the neti pot, it is important that you rinse it well. This is to ensure that it stays in good condition and no germs collect on it. You should also leave it open after use to air dry.
Here is a video to help you develop a better understanding of how to use a neti pot: