A himilayan neti pot is a ceramic container that is used as a tool for nasal irrigation. A type of self-care practice used for allergies, postnasal drip, sinus infections, and colds, nasal irrigation involves using a salt water rinse to clear the nasal passages. When performing nasal irrigation, the neti pot serves as a vessel for the salt-water rinse.
How Sinusitis and COPD Are Linked
Current research suggests that as many as 75 percent of people living with COPD have a co-existing nasal condition. On the flip side, roughly a third of people with chronic sinusitis are believed to have lower airway problems related to either COPD or asthma.
Because the inflammatory response is similar in both the upper and lower airways, it is not surprising that the exposure to certain irritants can trigger symptoms in both the lungs and the sinuses. Many refer to this as the nasal-bronchial effect in which both systems react at the same time (or to each other) but with a slightly different range of symptoms.
In addition, people with chronic sinusitis tend to have a condition known as nonspecific bronchial hyperresponsiveness (NBH). This is when the passages in the lung will constrict and narrow to any number of triggers. As this is a central feature of COPD, some have proposed that any bronchial constriction may trigger a nasal reflex or vice versa.
If you have COPD, your doctor is likely to prescribe medications to treat your sinus infections, at the same time, there are things you can do at home to treat sinusitis and avoid the worsening of symptoms such as the Irrigating your nasal passages with a Himalayan neti-pot.
Benefits of the Neti Pot
- Congested Sinuses
In India, flushing warm salty water through the nasal cavities has been used for centuries to help with nasal congestion as well as allergies. Sometimes we can experience sinus congestion due to environmental irritants including dust, pollen, chemicals, or synthetic fragrances. In general, a neti pot is an excellent tool to perform nasal irrigation and reduce general sinus congestion. Whatever the cause, neti pots are best known to help get the inside of your nose in a healthier, less irritated state by flushing out any unwanted invaders and excess mucus.
One of the most classic unwanted symptoms of the common cold is nasal congestion. It can also be accompanied by sinus headache and facial pain. When you use a neti pot for a stuffy nose due to a cold, you can thin out the mucus so it can drain out more easily. This can help to relieve multiple cold symptoms. In addition to using a neti pot, you should also drink a lot of water to help break up mucus.
- Sinus Infections
Not only can using a neti pot help with an acute sinus infection, it can even provide relief for chronic sinusitis. A study published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal revealed that patients suffering from chronic sinus infections were able to improve their symptoms and maintain positive outcomes for six months. The study subjects not only got relief from sinus congestion. They also experienced fewer headaches and resorted to over-the-counter medicines a lot less. Dr. Richard J. Harvey, a professor of rhinology at Macquarie University, also points out that higher volume neti pots definitely trump nasal sprays. This is because the neti pot actually accomplishes true nasal irrigation removing irritants as well as excess mucus.
If you’re one of the millions of people that suffer with allergies on a yearly basis, when your season comes around it’s a good idea to get out your neti pot. Seasonal allergy symptoms commonly include nasal congestion and post-nasal drip. According to Melissa Pynnonen, M.D., co-director of the Michigan Sinus Center, “One of the best methods for relieving the symptoms is nasal irrigation. It’s like a power washer for your nose.” Nasal irrigation with a neti pot is even said to work better than medications for common sinus issues. Many doctors, like Dr. Pynnonen, consider it “a first-line treatment for common nasal and sinus symptoms.”
Preparing the Nasal Wash
Mix a 1/4 teaspoon of ﬁnely ground non-iodized Neti Pot™ Salt in 8oz of warm sterile water. Use the purest salt available because impurities in the salt can be irritating. Neti Wash Plus™ should also be added to maximize the effect of your sinus rinse.
Lean forward and turn your head to one side over the sink, keeping the forehead at the same height as the chin, or slightly higher.
Gently insert the spout in the upper nostril so it forms a comfortable seal.
Raise the Neti Pot™ gradually so the saline solution flows in through your upper nostril and out of the lower nostril. Breathe through your mouth.
When the Neti Pot™ is empty, face the sink and exhale vigorously without pinching the nostrils.
Refill the Neti Pot™ and repeat on the other side. Again, exhale vigorously to clear the nasal passages.
Do one or more of the recommended exercises to drain any remaining saline solution.
Throughly clean your Neti Pot after each use. Periodically place it in your dishwasher for a thorough sanitizing. Same as a toothbrush, do not share your Neti Pot with anyone else. Everyone in the household should have their own.
If you experience burning in the nose, it often means you have not used enough salt. Make sure you are using a 1/4 teaspoon of salt or a full scoop of the included measuring spoon.
You may notice improved breathing, smell and taste.
If you experience any discomfort please discontinue using your Neti Pot and consult your doctor or other health care provider.
After the Nasal Wash
You may need to do a few simple exercises to expel any saline solution remaining in your nose. Everyone needs to do the first exercise; others will also need to do one or both of the others. The first few times you use the Neti Pot, try them all. Form a habit of doing any which cause water to drain from the nostrils.
Exhale vigorously through both nostrils while holding your head over the sink. Quickly drawing the abdomen toward the spine with each exhalation will make your exhalations more forceful. If you exhale into a tissue, be careful not to pinch the nostrils closed while exhaling.
Bend forward from the waist far enough so that the top of the head is pointing toward the floor. Hold this position for a few seconds, then return to standing. Follow this movement with a few vigorous exhalations.
Alternate Toe Touching:
Place your feet two to three feet apart. Raise the arms out to the side at shoulder height. Slowly bend from the waist and bring the left hand to the right knee, shin, or foot (whichever you can reach without straining). Reach up toward the ceiling with the right hand; turn the head gently and look toward the raised hand. Hold this position for a few seconds. Come back to standing and repeat the movement to the left. Exhale vigorously through the nose. When you’ve practiced this routine a few times, you’ll find it takes less time than brushing and flossing your teeth.
Common Mistakes & Risks with the Neti Pot
The number one risk when it comes to neti pots is using a dangerous water source. By dangerous, I mean water that contains bacteria. This can happen if you use tap water in your neti pot that has not been boiled and cooled first. ALWAYS use recommended water sources and don’t take any chances whatsoever.
DISCLAIMER: The content is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or another qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read on this website.