How to Use a Neti Pot
It is important to learn exactly how the neti pot is used, as proper technique can minimize side effects and discomfort. Using the pot, a saline solution is poured into one nostril and comes out the other. Using an inappropriate irrigation liquid can cause discomfort and irritation; isotonic saline (0.9%) is probably the least irritating and is most similar to the body's natural fluids.
Using a neti pot can take a little practice in order to get it "just right," and having poor technique (or using an inappropriate irrigation liquid) can increase the risk of discomfort. While it is a good idea to follow the instructions for your particular neti pot, this article will attempt to address some of the most commonly encountered issues when using a neti pot.
There are few general steps that most people agree upon for how the neti pot is used. These steps include:
- Obtain a neti pot and an appropriate saline solution (your neti pot will come with packets or instruction on how to make your own).
- Be sure to stand over a sink or bathtub.
- Relax -- this is a very important step.
- Keep your mouth open and breathe through your mouth; this helps keep the solution from going down your throat and reduces the drowning sensation.
- Tip your head slightly to the side and gently pour the solution into one nostril.
- Let the solution flow through your nasal and sinus passages and out the other nostril.
- Repeat with the other side.
- Remove any remaining solution by blowing the nose and/or performing various "exercises" to help dry out the nose.
- Make sure to clean the neti pot on a regular basis.
It may take practice to find just the right angle and head tilt.