Saturday, March 26, 2011

Getting ready for pollen season with a neti pot

With pollen season right around the corner, I thought it would be a good time to pass along some helpful advice I received from a friend around this time last year. I had complained to her of chronic sinus congestion and she said she got rid of hers by using a neti pot. Now you might be thinking — just like I did — that there’s no way you’re going to pour a bunch of water up your nose. When she first brought up the idea, I had bad flashbacks to my childhood swim classes at the town pool. But I tried it anyway, and it definitely helped me out.

Nasal irrigation using a neti pot has been around for centuries and is recommended by many medical professionals today. A neti pot looks like a cross between a squat teapot and Aladdin’s magic lamp. Typically, you use it with a solution of 16 ounces of lukewarm water and 1 teaspoon of non-iodized salt; though some people add a ½ teaspoon of baking soda as a buffer. Most neti pots come with an insert that explains how to use them; make sure to read it thoroughly so you can learn the right technique. Rest assured, it’s painless and very easy to do. You’ll be glad you gave it a try.

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