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How safe are Neti pots?

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How safe are Neti pots?
By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, Aug. 9, 2021 (HealthDay News) – When your sinuses are clogged, you’ll try anything to relieve congestion: neti pots, bulb syringes, squeeze bottles, and even battery-powered pulsed water devices.

But improper use of these nasal irrigation devices can put you at risk for infection, warns an expert from the US Food and Drug Administration.

According to Dr. Eric Mann.

Talk to your healthcare provider first to determine if the nasal rinse will be safe or effective for your condition, he said.

Only certain types of water should be used in the devices: distilled and sterilized water; water that has passed through a filter designed to trap potentially infectious organisms; or water that has been boiled for 3 to 5 minutes and has cooled down. Pre-boiled water can be stored in a clean, closed container for use within 24 hours.

But tap water is not safe because it is not properly filtered or treated to remove organisms that can cause potentially serious infections in the nasal passages, Mann said.

“There are several ways to deliver saline to the nose. Nasal spray bottles deliver a fine mist and could be helpful in moisturizing dry nasal passages. But irrigation devices are better at rinsing the nose and removing mucus, allergens and bacteria, “Mann said. in an FDA press release.

It is important to follow the instructions on the proper use and care of the devices:

  • First, wash and dry your hands.
  • Check that the device is clean and completely dry.
  • Prepare the saline rinse, either with the prepared mix supplied with the device or with one that you prepare yourself.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for use.
  • Wash the device and dry the interior with a paper towel or allow it to air dry between uses.

If you have immune system problems, talk to your healthcare provider before using any nasal irrigation system, Mann advised.

It is also important to ensure that the device is suitable for the age of the person using it. Some children are diagnosed with nasal allergies as early as 2 years and may use nasal rinse devices if recommended by a pediatrician. But very young children may not tolerate nasal irrigation.

If your symptoms don’t improve or don’t work after the nasal rinse, go back to your healthcare provider, especially if you have a fever, nosebleeds, or headaches while using the nasal rinse, Mann said.

More information

The US National Library of Medicine has more about saline nasal washes.

SOURCE: US Food and Drug Administration press release.

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