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How do I Use a Neti Pot?

G. Wiesen
G. Wiesen

To use a neti pot you will typically need to begin by either purchasing an appropriate saline solution or creating your own. You should also ensure the solution is at a proper temperature, since both too hot and too cold can be quite uncomfortable. Once you do this, you should then tilt your head to the side, while leaning over a sink, and pour the solution from the neti pot into your top nostril so that it flows out your lower nostril. You should then use the neti pot in the same way on the other nostril, and blow out through your nose several times to ensure the solution is out of your nasal passages.

A neti pot is a piece of equipment used for nasal irrigation. It appears similar to a small teapot, but it has a longer spout and may not necessarily have a handle. To use a neti pot you should consider first consulting a doctor, usually one who specializes in ear, nose, and throat work, for instruction on proper nasal irrigation. You should also look at any instructions on how to use a neti pot that are provided with your pot.

A neti pot can be used to ease sinus pressure.
A neti pot can be used to ease sinus pressure.

In general, however, to use a neti pot you will first begin by purchasing or creating a saline solution. There are a number of different nasal irrigation solutions you can purchase, or you can make your own by combining about 8 ounces (about 240 ml) of warm water with 1/4 to 1/2 a teaspoon (around 3.5 to 7 g) of pure non-iodized salt. The exact amount that's useful can be different for some people, so you may need to experiment a bit with the proper amount of salt for you. Too much or too little salt can make it quite uncomfortable to use a neti pot, and nasal irritation or nosebleeds may occur as a result of an improper solution mixture.

You should be sure to mix the water and salt together until all of the salt has dissolved and make sure the water temperature is close to your body temperature. If the water is too hot or too cold it can be quite uncomfortable, and hot water can potentially burn your nasal passages. You can then use a neti pot by standing over a sink and tilting your head to the side about 45°. It can also be helpful to tuck your chin in a bit to help prevent the solution from flowing down into your mouth or throat.

To use a neti pot, you then insert the tip of the spout into your top nostril and pour the water into your nose. The water should naturally flow through your nasal passages and come out of your lower nostril. If any water flows down into your mouth, you can simply spit it out and adjust your head position to prevent further drainage into your throat. It can also be helpful to breathe out of your mouth as you do this to help you relax, especially if this is the first time you have used the pot.

Once you irrigate one nostril, you should blow any extra water out of your nose; you can also lean down into the sink and shake your head gently to remove excess solution. You should then tilt your head to the other side and irrigate your other nostril in the same way with the same amount of solution. If you are suffering from severe allergies or sinus pressure, you can irrigate your sinuses with a neti pot once each day, though most people find it sufficient to use a neti pot three times a week.

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    • A neti pot can be used to ease sinus pressure.
      By: bloomua
      A neti pot can be used to ease sinus pressure.