Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Yep, I'm One of Those Now ...

I'm tired of my frequent/chronic sinus infections.

So many people have recommend neti pots to me over the past couple years, and I halfheartedly looked around for them at the pharmacy. But even after seeing it demonstrated on Oprah last year, I wasn't convinced I really wanted to poor salt water into one nostril until it ran out the other nostril. 

But after my internist and my immunologist started sounding like maybe the sinus surgery my ENT wants to do might be a good idea, I decided I needed to do whatever I could to avoid it.

But I just wasn't sure about the whole teapot-looking thing. I mean, how do you pour a teapot up your nose?  

So I was kind of pleased when I found this NeilMed sinus rinse thingie next to their version of a neti pot. It's essentially an extra-large nasal spray bottle. I put the tip of it into one nostril and squeeze gently and steadily until the liquid starts running out my other nostril.

It's weird. It really is weird. There's an instant as the liquid hits my sinuses that if feels a little like drowning. But as soon as the liquid starts coming out the other nostril, it's fine. 

The theory is that flushing my nose and sinuses will wash away allergens and bacteria. In theory, I will have fewer colds and other infections. Time will tell.

It's only been a few days, but I definitely haven't seen any improvement in my allergies and congestion yet. But who knows?

Note: I bought the NeilMed sinus rinse. I have not received any payment or freebies from the company for mentioning them. If anyone ever does send me a freebie that I end up writing about, I will fully disclose that fact.


Sherril said...

It helped me. I've been doing it off & on since I was a teenager. When I went to Santa Fe, NM in the spring this year my sinuses got sooooooooo dry. My cousin reminded me of the salt water rinse so I did it. It can be done, and I was originally taught, to do it by hand or with a cup. It burned like fire, and I'm using great restraint in not cussing when I describe this pain. That never happened before, but my all-knowing cousin said 'You used REGULAR TABLE SALT? You're supposed to use non-iodized, pure salt.' She explained why to me but six months later, I forget. Anyway, I trotted on down to the Whole Foods where I had already scoped out the Neti pots (apparently lots of people need then in the high mountain dessert of SF) and got myself a plastic travel model by Ancient Secrets, along with the good salt that doesn't burn.

If you've spent years using your hand or a regular cup to do this sinus cleansing, a Neti pot is pure heaven. You just have to tilt your head just so. It's in the instructions. I've always wanted one but didn't want to go to the expense. The plastic model (which I've never seen before) was cheap, and it's light and unbreakable so it travels well.

So Aviva, thanks for the trip down sinus problem memory lane!

Aviva said...


Happy I could amuse you with your trip down memory lane! :-) I can't imagine how you'd do it by hand or regular cup --- and I'm fairly sure I'm not coordinated enough to manage it! Thank goodness there's choices like the neti pot and this spray bottle!

I've heard about the burning if you don't get the salt just right, or use water that's too cold or too hot. Ouch! Sorry you had that experience!! I've been "cheating" and using the packets that were included with my spray bottle. But good to know that I shouldn't use our normal table salt when I run out of the pre-measured packets!! Thanks!