T Nation

Neti-Pot Tips?

Since I moved from San Diego to Virginia for college (don’t ask…) my sinuses get really bad, and usually lead to something else later on (upper respiratory infection) and general ugliness coming from my face (first year my eye was swollen shut from it, that was fucked up)

Anyway, I had been just getting meds for it, just psudaphed type stuff, nothing for allergies. Don’t need any of that shit in me.

Ended up getting a nasal irrigation bottle (supposed to be better than a neti pot bc you can get a little pressure). I’ve only been using a sea salt:baking soda mix and warm water. It helps, but I’ve read up on getting anti-microbial/bacterial products into it like xylitol. Not sure how I feel about having that in my sinuses.

Has anyone had any success with anything else? I also boil about a gallon of water on the stove until it’s gone at night, helps keep the house humid and helps some during the winter.

I’m not expecting anything major, just asking for opinions or experiences.
Thanks guys

PS. just changed insurance, so when it all goes through i need to see and ENT, I think it’s a structural thing since I can’t breath through 1 side about 1/4 of the year

I feel for you. I’ve had these problems for a while. I find the Neilmed premixed packages are very good. I find them better than salt.
When you use a neti pot, mix with very warm water. Some people just let the water flow from one nostril and out the other. For a deeper flush, close one nostril with your finger, suck the water up with your other nostril and spit it out your mouth. It sounds gross but it’ll lead to easier breathing.

Also, these tips might help: http://khojee.wordpress.com/2010/07/14/defeating-nasal-congestion-and-allergies/

careful, you might get a brain eating amoeba if you use the wrong water.

[quote]Joq wrote:
For a deeper flush, close one nostril with your finger, suck the water up with your other nostril and spit it out your mouth. It sounds gross but it’ll lead to easier breathing.

[/quote]

Wow that sounds terrible in the kind of way that could become enjoyable once you get used to it.

I love my Nelimed nasal irrigator (which I think is the same device you’re using, they sound the same – light pressure instead of pure neti-pot gravity feed). I went from the desert to the pacific northwest, and that device is pretty much a necessity for my nasal passages.

As StevenF indicated in his link – it can actually increase the risk of a few types of nasal infections, though to be fair, that’s INCREDIBLY rare…as in, dying from listeria after eating a canteloupe type of rare.

Still, I think it would be smart to only use boiled or filtered water, and to toss the device in the dish-washer once in a while (or clean it thoroughly, regularly if you don’t have a dishwasher). The reason is, even though the saline-bicarbonate mix will flush away most pathogens, you are in essence driving fluid up against THE most virus/bacteria/fungus vulnerable spot on your entire body.

But other than that…just use it as directed on the pack. I use it twice a day, one packet of the powder mix per bottle. If I’m very mucous drippy (not just stuffed, I mean actual run-off), I’ll use two.

It’s great stuff.

So far I’ve found that technique does help a lot, but I can’t get the best one (IMO), just mouthing some salt water and flushing it up your nose with your head forward. I just can’t grasp it yet. it flows from the throat to nose, so anything you breath wont be pushed up into the sinuses.

The link seems kinda expensive for salt and baking soda, but thanks for it.

This sounds obvious but check for bad air quality in places you spend a lot of time. If you have carpet where you sleep for instance, this can be a problem. I had this issue all of my life until I figured this out. Getting an air filter and keeping my bedroom empty and clean with no carpet really makes a difference.

[quote]VTTrainer wrote:
So far I’ve found that technique does help a lot, but I can’t get the best one (IMO), just mouthing some salt water and flushing it up your nose with your head forward. I just can’t grasp it yet. it flows from the throat to nose, so anything you breath wont be pushed up into the sinuses.

The link seems kinda expensive for salt and baking soda, but thanks for it.

[/quote]

Incidentally, the mix is just ~ 1/4 tsp salt, 1/4 tsp sodium bicarbonate (approximately 750 mgs of each if that’s how you measure things) for approximately 500 ml of water (approximately 2 cups or 16 fluid ounces if that’s how you measure things), to produce a basic maintenance isotonic solution.

The real benefit of buying the Nelimed pre-packaged mix is the fact that each dose is individually sealed, so it won’t ever get those funky ambient smell/taste that sodium bicarbonate gets after you open the box and leave it out for a while. But that’s a luxury…millions of people do just fine mixing their own irrigation salt solution. All you have to do is get it saline enough to not burn your nasal passages – after a certain point, adding more saline is only beneficial if you want a mix specifically designed to be hypertonic.

That is, hypertonic being a state of saline concentration high enough that draws water out of cells (mucus membrane cells in this case). This is good for when you have a specific infection and you’re producing mucus – it’ll tend to draw the fluids away from the membrane, and the bicarabonate will tend to break up the ability for a pathogen to attach to your nasal passages (and will kill some pathogens).

For day to day use, to get rid of accumulating gunk, aim for isotonic – enough salt to just wash out the passages, not enough to really change your fluid balance.

The real benefit is using the squeeze bottle, it really does the job a lot better than the pot (in my experience). The added pressure really helps the solution get into the deeper sinus cavities…and it doesn’t have the learning curve of the technique described in the post above, where you learn to draw the solution into your own sinuses.

Technology is your friend…

Awesome guys. I’ll look into cleaning up the carpets and whatnot, too. I live in SW Va, the area is far from industrial, so the air quality is pretty good (Lived in San Diego my whole life, awful air quality, but the man made air dirtiness never bothered it like nature does)

I’ll keep using the nasal irrigation, I think it’s superior to the neti as long as you dont over pressurize it… Had my ear drum depressurize while driving after a day of like 10 nasal irrigations and the depressurization had a little moisture to it, I think that meant I overdid it lol