What is a Neti Pot, you ask? It's a magic-lamp looking thing with a long spout; you fill it with a lukewarm saline solution and pour it in your nose. In one nostril, out the other; instead of a genie that grants you wishes, you get nasal irrigation. It's supposed to help tremendously with allergies and sinus conditions.
|This is the one I have. They make ceramic ones too.|
I still suffer from seasonal allergies though, and each year they seem to get a little worse. I get hit in the spring AND the fall. I usually have at least one sinus infection a year.
So the Neti Pot has always intrigued me, but also weirded me out a bit; pouring water into my nose just doesn't seem natural, and I know I HATE getting water up my nose while swimming, so why would I want to do that? Americans who use Neti Pots seem few and far between, and while I talked to a lot of people who were interested in them, I never found an actual person I knew who had used one. Everything I read claimed it shouldn't feel like like much of anything, that the 'getting water up your nose while swimming' feeling would not happen. I remained skeptical.
I finally broke down and bought a Neti Pot early last spring, while I was on vacation in Utah, of all places. Then I left it sitting in my suitcase for two months, until I was beset with a godawful, unexpected late-spring sinus infection. One of the most painful ones I'd ever had. At some point in my misery, while waiting for the medicine to kick in, I remembered the Neti Pot and frantically dug it out. I didn't even CARE if it felt like poolwater-in-the-nose at that point, I just wanted some relief.
It's probably not recommended to start using a Neti Pot when you're stuffed up like crazy, and at first I wasn't even sure it would WORK, but it did. And it helped clear me out. And the next day, and the next. It helped me feel better and I believe it helped me recover more quickly.
It DOES have a little bit of that 'water up your nose' feeling, I won't lie. But it's not as bad as it can be while swimming and you can adjust the tilt of your head and the angle of the water to minimize it. I don't find it particularly PLEASANT (as some people claim to), but it isn't so bad either, and I think the benefit outweighs the weirdness of the experience.
You can find a lot of videos of people using Neti Pots on youtube and it's kind of interesting to watch. I like this one from Howcast:
Since then, I haven't used it regularly (I have an irrational fear of running out of the little packets of saline solution it came with; this is stupid because a) we could buy more and b) YOU CAN MAKE YOUR OWN SOLUTION) but I have used it when I've had some stuffiness, and it always helps.
It is now edging towards fall, and with the appearance of the cooler weather comes crazy allergies. I can feel the pain and pressure in my face already. I am making a vow to use the Neti Pot daily this fall and see if it makes a difference with my allergies this year.
Do any if you use Neti Pots? If not, are you willing to try? What's your thought on them?