Is a Neti Pot Safe to Cure Sinus Infection? Read the Doctors Advice

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Neti pots have become very popular over the last ten years for the person with sinus problems. People are also using neti pots for easing the symptoms of cold and different allergies.

Neti pots are like small teapot devices that people apply to get rid of their sinuses. Although they can be helpful, they should be used appropriately to avoid health problems.


Neti Pots

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) advises that if they are not applied properly, the user will fall in the risk of happening severe infections, even might be deadly ones.

The FDA states that neti pots do not create a problem on their own. But, they also maintain that the way neti pots are being applied puts a health risk.

Facts about Neti Pots:

  • Neti pot can decrease the symptoms of rhinosinusitis if applied correctly.
  • The initial record of nasal irrigation comes from the old practice of Ayurveda.
  • Neti pots should be cleaned carefully before and after every use and never shared.
  • If a person has any doubt about how to use a neti pot, they should ask a doctor.

What is a Neti pot?

The neti pot is a home remedy for sinuses or clogged noses which is readily available as an over-the-counter (OTC) treatment at maximum pharmacies or medicine shops. It is a sort of saline nasal irrigation (SNI) cure.
A neti pot is commonly filled with a saltwater solution, leans their head back, and pours the mixture into one nostril. The liquid enters into one nostril and out of the other nostril.
With its origins in Indian Ayurvedic treatment, neti pots were first introduced to Western medicine in 1902. In a study, 87 percent of doctors were suggested SNI to people that came for one or more health issues.
But, The FDA warns that the improper uses of neti pots or other devices for rinsing out the sinuses, as well as squeeze bottles, battery based bulb syringes and pulsed water devices, have been connected to a higher possibility of infection.
The FDA is telling the doctors, device producers, and users about safe practices when applying these devices.
Users must confirm that the fluid is dedicated saline to rinse out nasal clogging. But never try to use tap water or other types of unsterilized water.
Tap liquid commonly contains small amounts of protozoa, bacteria, and other microorganisms, as well as amebae. They should not go into the nasal passageways. If it happens, they can stay alive into the nostril and ultimately cause severe infections.
In 2011, two neti pot users were lost their life for using polluted water with Naegleria fowleri (N. fowleri), a type of ameba in Louisiana. This was occurred to another person neti pot death in 2013.
N. fowleri is commonly found in lakes or rivers freshwater. If the bacteria go into the nostril at the time of swimming, they can travel to the brain by the olfactory nerve. This can primarily cause amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), which is deadly for everybody with a sinus issue.

Misleading Instructions:

According to the FDA, some of neti pot producers offer false and conflicting data. Some don’t have proper guidelines at all. The neti pots maker commonly informs that neti pots are made by artists but have no instructions for using them.
Some advice have pictures or videos of people using plain tap liquid, while simultaneously, write in the instructions that tap water must not be applied.

How to Use Neti Pots?

Now I have some details on how to use neti pots in the nasal passage. The exact method might be different, depending on the product:
  • Lean over a sink.
  • Lean the top to one side so that the temple and chin are at about the same level. This stops the saline mixture from getting into the mouth.
  • From this point, take breaths through the mouth.
  • Put the spout into the upper nostril.
  • Pour the solution so that it runs out by the lower nostril.
  • Rinse your nasal passages by blowing your nose, and do the same thing repeatedly from the other side.
Rinsing the nostrils helps clean-up spore, dirt, and other trapped debris. The saline solution does not irritate or burn the nasal tissue layer, which are very sensitive and tickly.
If the instructions on a neti pot are not clear, person should ask a doctor on how to use a neti pot. The possible effects are not worth the risk.

Use the following types of Water for Nasal Rinsing:
Distilled or sterile water: When purchasing, see the label goes on Distilled or Sterile.
Boiled tap water: Tap water must be boiled for 3 to 5 minutes then cool it down. If it is keept in a clean, closed container, it will be safe and must be used by 24 hours.
Filtered water: Filter Water must be implemented a filter with an absolute highest hole size of 1 micron.


It is vital to clean the neti pot after every use.  Pay attention to the part of the neti pot at which the spout connects to the pot. Salts can build in this part of the device.
As like as toothbrush, try not to share neti pots with others. If the device is cleaned correctly after using, it can be passed on to the next user.
Overusing of neti pots might also be harmful to overall health. Long-time users are mostly attacked by rhinosinusitis, a type of infection in the lining of the sinuses. This is happened due to the salt gradually runs through the mucus that act covers on the membranes of the nose.
Generally, a neti pot should not be applied for more than 1 to 3 weeks at a time. The person should go to a doctor if blocking continues.