Even though you may be decking the halls or spending time with family during the holidays, you may also be stuck at home with a lot of sinus congestion. Whether you have sinus congestion due to the cold, flu, or even a sinus infection, you may have tried your hand at an over-the counter solution like a neti-pot. Neti-pots are usually small plastic or clay pots that you use to help clear out your sinus passageways. Even though they may help you find temporary relief from congestion, the Food and Drug administration has put some disclaimers on them because they may also lead to infection. But how? Let’s take a closer look at neti-pots and some disclaimers to consider.
Don’t Use Tap Water
You may think that if you can drink the water coming out of your tap that you may as well use it in your neti-pot, right? Unfortunately that’s not the case. Tap water typically contains low levels of organisms that are safe for you to consume because your stomach acid naturally kills them. However, if these organisms enter into your nose or nasal passageways, they tend to stay there which may lead to a serious infection.
When using your neti-pot, make sure that you use sterile or distilled water. If you don’t have either of these on hand, you can always boil water on your stove for about 5 minutes, let it cool down, and then use it; just make sure that it is cold enough to use before you put it into your neti-pot.
They Can Dry Out Your Nose
One common misconception that patients have about these sinus cleansers is that they will moisturize your nose, but they actually do the opposite. The only thing that a neti-pot should be used for is to clear out the sinuses, but if you use them too much, they may cause nose bleeds or other problems.