As the use of neti pots to rinse out the sinuses has become more popular, concerns about the safety of these devices have also surfaced. However, experts say that with proper care and practices, these devices can be safe and helpful for irritated sinuses.
What's a Neti Pot?
Neti pots are small devices, often ceramic and teapot-shaped, that are filled with a saline (salt water) solution and held up to one nostril.
In an interview with dailyRx News, Tom Schnorr, RPh, CCN, owner of Apothecary Shop Pharmacy and Austin Compounding Pharmacy in Austin, TX, explained that the liquid goes in one nostril and out the other, clearing the sinuses of pollen and debris along the way.
"Our sinuses are coated with a thick mucus layer that our body creates to protect the tissue," Schnorr said. "... We are just literally washing it as if we were washing our hands, and we are pulling the mucus layer off — which has been trapping all the pollen — so our sinuses will make a fresh new layer each day, or twice a day."
A Neti How-To
Schnorr noted that many patients don't know how to use the neti pot at first, or they find it uncomfortable. He recommended bending over quite low — until the head is below the hips — and using the neti pot over a bathtub instead of over a sink, until the body adjusts and gets used to the process.