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Neti Pots....questions For Anyone Who Has Tried Them


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hi all -

i started writing this as a "reply" in the recent post on sinus pressure but realized that it wasn't really a reply at all but rather a question of my own. that said, i've considered trying a neti pot myself for some time but, for no reason in particular, haven't made it priority to pursue. i don't have major trouble with sinus infections but do have chronic allergies/ rhinitis that i've just come to accept as a part of life & while it's by no means even close to the top of my list of health problems, i'm all for anything that might improve how i feel in any way & have wondered if a saline rinse &/or neti pot use might do just that. and heck, improving how i feel in even a small way certainly can't hurt the bigger stuff so why not? particularly since my current living situation doesn't allow me as much control over allergens in my environment.

so....i have two questions for any of you that have used a neti pot or something similar:

1 - most importantly, are you able to manage using the neti pot (or similar such thing) from a seated position? i can stand over the sink for a minute or so but not much longer, and expect the rinsing process takes longer than a minute from start to finish. i manage to be pretty creative with lots of other things that most people do standing so don't see why i shouldn't be able to do so with a neti, probably along the lines of sitting & using a tub instead of a sink, or figuring out a way to sit on the counter over the sink or whatnot, but figured i'd ask just to make sure others haven't had a problem with standing/ positioning.

2 - are there any types of the neti pots (or similar such things) that you've NOT been happy with? i've looked a bit & have come across several varieties of "neti pots", i.e. long & slimmer (looks more like aladdin's lamp), rounder (looks more like a tea pot), etc. is there any reason to get one over another? any merit in going for the name brand or okay to go with whatever's the best deal? none are cost prohibitive but figured i'd ask those who might have tried. i'm not too worried about finding the "absolute best" bust just want to make sure there aren't any that folks have found to be a complete waste/ hassle. i fully expect any of them to be a bit weird & messy to use initially but rather just want to make sure in the long run that i'm deciding on the right thing.

thanks bunches!!!

B) melissa

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A few years back I tried nasal inhalation after reading an article by Dr. Weil on the benifits. If I recall it was a saline solution, and I am pretty sure I just used the cup of my hand and "snorted" the water up into my nose and let it drain out my mouth. A poor woman's neti pot if you will. I also can't stand at the bathroom counter so I'm sure I did it sitting at the sink without a problem.

However, in my case I was doing it to try and clear up a small sinus infection I had picked up and instead of clearing it the process seemed to SPREAD the virus all up through face. I ended up on serious anti-biotics and the pain and pressure as a result from the infection was intense.

I've opted out of going further with the inhaling fluids concepts as a whole. But that's just me, and it could have been an entire coincidence.


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I am quite clumsy and found the traditional neti pots difficult to use and ended up covered with water! I bought a syringe version (Nasaline) which solved that and it would be possible to use it when seated.

If you are new to this, make sure the water is warm and add salt and bicarbonate of soda to make it isotonic - there are various recipes on the Internet.

Regarding EM's response, some people say you should not use neti pots if you already have an infection due to the risk of it spreading further. I have found that sometimes nasal irrigation works and sometimes it doesn't and wish I knew why. Anyway, I tend to use mine when my sinuses have been relatively clear but are just starting to clog again and it seems to work well for this. It's also helpful to use it just before I do something which I know will aggravate my sinuses (eg, going on a long car journey) which can avoid a few miserable days.

Good luck!

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Guest Sandy Sims

I too have these problems.

The saline rinse takes only a minute--is a small bottle you squirt maybe twice up each nostril. If standing even that long is a problem a bowl in your lap would work.

I agree that I nuke the water for 15 seconds to take the chill off--test it on my wrist like a baby bottle. Cold water is NOT a plan. Also used distilled water with the saline pack--tap water can STING.

I use a commercially prepared little pack of stuff to add to the water that has what it needs to have in it--is more than just salt.

This fix is cheap--easy--painless--and works VERy well for me. BUT I started using this after a course of antiboitics--and as soon as sinus stuff started to return. Now I just do it any time I feel my sinuses are getting stuffy--NOW--before they get too bad. Doing this seems to help nausea instantly.

Can be done 3 times per day--and is harmless. This really shouldn't spread infection as the saline in not a good grow medium for germs. But I guess asking a doctor is never a bad idea.

Hope it helps you too!



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I LOVE my neti pot, I don't want to think of what it felt like before I had it! Yes, it helps with garden variety allergies (pardon the pun.) I can be in the middle of a never-ending sneezing fit from petting a dog, and it stops the sneezing and congestion (just not the hives B) ) Yes, you can do it seated: if you can sit on the edge of the tub and drain your nose over the toilet that works, my 6 and 9 year olds neti over the edge of the tub (put some water in the bottom of the tub or it is a nasty mess.) I went for the stainless steel variety neti pot, it has the greatest water capacity and you can run it through the dishwasher and sanitize it. The rhinohorn is what my husband uses (yep, I've indoctrinated my whole family!) it is lightweight and easier to hold, but has a smaller capacity. If you only want it for "feeling better" and not big time sinus infections, that should work. Quantity of water is crucial if you are infected, you have to get all the goo out.

The other problem and might be what made EM's sinuses worse is that you have to dry out your sinuses after you neti, otherwise you've added more moisture to the bacterial soup. To dry out the sinuses, you have to gently blow out through your nose and breathe in through your mouth, while looking at the floor (10X is what they recommend) then turn your head to one side and do it again, then the other side, and then upright. You can hyperventilate REALLY easy doing this! You can also blow the water back into your ears if you do it too hard! You have to get the salt water back out of your nose for it to dry you out and work.

I studied studies for 3 months before I would commit to using it, thinking there must be some gimmick or catch, and because I thought it would be gross. I did not find anything to contraindicate it's use, other than waterpic saying that theirs is more effective (I just don't like forcing water up my nose) and a few articles with competing interests from drug companies saying that it was not as effective. It is not gross, or painful: the water needs to be body temperature or warmer, and too much salt (non-iodized) can sting. My ENT was thrilled and highly recommends nasal irrigation and a thousand years of yogis have done it.

My concern for you would be the possibility of hyperventilation or adding more moisture than you can get out and creating a bacterial breeding ground. But, if you think you can move your head around enough to get the water out, give it a snort and see! :)

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I've used both a fancy grosjean pulsating machine, a squirt bottle, and a simple plastic aladdin-type bottle. In the end I like the aladdin variety, as it's easier to keep clean. If I forget to wash it, there are no nooks and crannies for bacteria to grow in, and you can be sure you've really gotten it cleam. I think you could use it seated with your head bent over a bowl or basin. It does help. When I've had colds, I've shortenened them and avoided sinus infections, using it up to 3 times a day. I'm lazy, so I use tap water and regular salt. Sometimes it burns a little, but not much. I only find it uncomfortable if I'm really congested (I stop if it doesn't immediately drain some out the other nostril), or if I don't angle the tip the right way. I think my little pot cost around five dollars. For the next fifteen minutes, I then find that I've really loosened stuff up, so ha v e to keep tissues around.

I do forget to use it when I don't have a cold--which I shouldn't as I have nasal allergies. But for a cold, it's great. Between that and mucinex... But I've heard one can even get fewer colds if one uses it daily.

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Hi Melissa,

It's good to see you around the forum these days! I recently started using a neti pot. I got the SinuCleanse, only because I saw a commercial saying that it's the #1 netipot, whatever that means. I was surprised to find out it's made of plastic, but it seems sturdy enough and is dishwasher safe...and actually plastic is lighter, so that is probably better. Mine looks like Aladdin's lamp, but I don't think the shape would matter if you're using something with a spout.

It's actually a lot easier to use than I thought. Not to get graphic, but you just pot the spout in your nose and tilt your head to the side and the water comes out the other nostril. I think it would be easy to use over a wide bowl or pan if you couldn't make it to the bathroom. Good luck!

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I have done the neti pot while sitting next to the bathroom sink. I have also done the neti pot while kneeling in front of the sink (for me this is actually more tiring than standing, but I don't get as faint as quickly). I've even done the neti while sitting on my shower stool in the shower. I've probably also done the neti while sitting on the bathroom counter. We get creative. :) I'm sure you'll be able to find some sort of set up and position that works for you.

It doesn't take more than a minute to do one side with the neti. Then you need to fill the pot back up, add some salt, and stir before doing the next side. If the break in between while sitting to mix up another pot is enough of a break, then you might be able to stand at the sink while doing the actual pouring.

I've only tried one type of neti pot, so I have no idea how it compares to others. The one we have looks like a small ceramic watering can. It works very well.

I hope you find one that works well for you.


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I use the NeilMed squirt type bottle, and it's faster than a minute. The hard thing for me about a neti pot, was the head tilting to the side, which I couldn't do without provoking pain and near-fainting. With the squirt bottle, I can sit, and lean over the tub if standing at the sink is too much for me. Also, it only requires a lean forward so that your head is facing the sink/tub/shower floor. I can't I really like that my stuff is pretty much pre-made, except for adding lukewarm water. Mine never stings so long as I use one packet per one bottle.


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I've used the Neilmed one for a while but switched to the netipot a few months back. I bought a ceramic one from Vitamin shoppe(not sure what brand it is) and bought the saline. Definately use lukwarm water,, if the water is slightly cool it hurts me!! It should work out well if you do it from a sitting positon over a bucket or such as long as you are comfortable tilting your head a bit to the side.

I switched to the netipot after doing some reading and also that it is easy to clean being made of ceramic. I have allergies year round and helps to open them up a little. A little is better than nothing ;)

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Hi Melissa! Haven't talked with you in a while and hope you are doing well...please email me with updates if you can! I miss our talks!!

As far as the Neti Pot, I haven't tried it. But I DO use the Neilmed brand of Sinurinse - it's a small bottle that you fill up with lukewarm water, and you use one packet of the sodium that's included in the "kit". You close the top, shake it around, and it's ready to go - really quick and easy to use. You turn to face the ground and squeeze the bottle, going in one nostril, and letting it come out the other. It sounds really gross, but it's not bad at all and you get used to it fast - especially since the results are awesome! If I have really bad pressure, etc. it helps almost immediately! You have to make sure you blow your nose gently beforehand and after, and that you turn your head to each side to drain your nose properly - it should have instructions included.

And for sitting down, it would be easy to sit down on a bench or chair and just do it over a bowl - that's what I do when I'm having a bad day. I also don't really have allergies, but vasomotor rhinitis...so I get the symptoms of allergies, congestion, pressure, etc. I use the Sinurinse daily to help with the feeling congested, etc., and also to avoid getting sinus infections, which I get all to frequently.

I've heard the Neti is great too - I just like the bottle because since you can squeeze the bottle, you can regulate the force of the flow of water which is nice - with the Neti you just kind of poor and let it flow. You do have to be gentle though because it's tempting to squeeze too hard to de-congest yourself and then you get the ear popping, etc... ;)

Let me know if you end up trying any of these and how they help you!!

Also, are you on any medications for the nasal symptoms? Astelin (prescription spray) seems to help keep my nose clear.

Chrissy :ph34r:

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