Neti Pot Safety
To ensure your safety while using a neti pot, it's important to take precautions to prevent contamination of the pot and the solution. Using an inappropriate irrigation liquid can cause irritation, so be careful when choosing a saline solution for your pot. If you have any nasal or sinus problems, it is recommended that you consult your healthcare provider before using a neti pot.
The use of neti pots seems to be a relatively safe practice for many people, especially when they are used correctly. Some people may be more likely to experience problems due to using a neti pot. Therefore, you should talk with your healthcare provider prior to using a neti pot if you:
- Get frequent nosebleeds
- Are pregnant or thinking of becoming pregnant
- Have a medical condition affecting the nose or sinuses
- Will be having nasal or sinus surgery
- Are breastfeeding.
You should also be sure to tell your healthcare provider about all other medicines you are taking, including prescription and non-prescription medicines, vitamins, and herbal supplements.
Warnings and precautions to be aware of concerning the safety of neti pots include the following:
- A saline (salt water) solution should be used in a neti pot. Using a salt solution that is too concentrated (or not concentrated enough) can result in discomfort and irritation. Similarly, using plain water may also cause discomfort and irritation.
- It is possible that using a neti pot (especially using one incorrectly) could worsen frequent nosebleeds.
- Be careful when choosing or making a saline solution for your neti pot. Take care not to contaminate the solution. It is probably not a good idea to mix up a large batch of solution. Instead, just make enough for one use each time.
- Various aromatic salts (rather than plain saline) are also available for use in a neti pot. Depending on the particular aromatic salt, other warnings or precautions may apply.
- Make sure to regularly clean your neti pot. Follow the instructions for cleaning for your particular pot.
- Do not forget to relax and breathe through your mouth, as this helps reduce the "drowning" sensation. Also, having the solution at body temperature may reduce the discomfort and drowning sensation.
- If you have any nasal or sinus problems or will be having nasal or sinus surgery, it is probably a good idea to check with your healthcare provider before using a neti pot, although no precautions are necessary in most situations.
- Using a neti pot is probably safe for pregnant or breastfeeding women (see Neti Pots and Pregnancy and Neti Pots and Breastfeeding).