Nasal Irrigation using “neti pots” or rinse bottles are often used to clear the sinuses, soothe cold and allergy symptoms, and decrease sinus infections. But now preliminary research suggests that chronic use might actually INCREASE the risk for sinus infections.
According to the Natural Medicines Comprehensive Database (NMCD, one of my most favorite web sites for trustworthy information on herbs, vitamins, and supplements), researchers suspect that chronic irrigation might alter normal nasal secretions and wash away protective immune mediators.
But some experts think that contaminated neti pots and rinse bottles might also contribute to increasing infections.
So, here are my recommendations:
- Use boiled, bottled, or distilled water in the neti pot for irrigating.
- Wash your neti pot with hot soapy water after every use and never to share them with other people.
- If you are using a rinse bottle, switch to a new bottle monthly.
- And, if you continue to get frequent nasal infections, consider a trial off irrigation to see if that helps.
- Also, consider limiting nasal irrigation to once or twice daily to minimize irritation.