Are Neti Pots Effective?

Mar 23, 2010
Many people, who suffer from allergies or frequent sinus infections during cold and flu season, now use a natural and popular way to cleanse their noses of the irritants with the help of neti pots.

Neti pots are devices shaped like small teapot that are designed for nasal saline irrigation. Saline solution is poured through the nostrils to flush out the nasal cavity, which is known to ease sinus problems, such as congestion during cold and flu and lessen allergy symptoms.

How do Neti Pots work?

It is important to understand what happens in the nose when it becomes clogged or some irritants and bacteria get inside the nasal cavities. Tiny structures called cilia that cover the nasal cavities help to guard you from outward irritants. But sometimes, when you get ill, the cilia may not work properly and you may feel the symptoms of the sinus infection. Saline rinse with the neti pot helps cilia to function properly and thin the mucus and get rid of the bacteria or allergens.

Using neti pots for nasal irrigation makes the procedure easier and more convenient. You need to prepare the saline solution or buy ready-made saline solutions to fill the neti pot. The procedure is usually performed with your head tilting to the sink. The tip of the neti pot is inserted into one nostril to pour the saline solution. It will run through the nostrils, cleansing the cavities.

Frequency of use of neti pots

Many people notice considerable improvements after the use of neti pots. During the illness neti pots are usually effective in lessening the symptoms of congestion or runny nose with or without other treatment options. Saline irrigation with neti pots is usually recommended to use neti pots daily several times a day if you have dry and thick mucus or other sinus problems.

Some people think that using neti pots on a regular basis will help them prevent the sinus infection. However, one of the recent studies suggested that saline rinse with neti pots may be not effective if a person does not have sinus infection symptoms or other problems with nasal cavities. Specialists advise to use neti pots only when the symptoms appear, because otherwise saline wash may interfere with the function of the defense agents that help to fight with bacteria and viruses.

If you have nasal congestion, neti pots can be used daily, but no more than one to three weeks. If the symptoms persist, it is recommended to see the doctor for further treatment.