Pros:Relieves sinus pressure and improves breathing. Can be used with other medications.
Cons:Disgusting. Takes some time.
The Bottom Line: Fast acting, non-drowsy, can be used by anyone 4 and up.
Have you ever been so stuffed up that you would do anything to breathe? Desperate times call for desperate measures.
One day my husband came home from the doctor and told me that he was suppose to flush his sinuses as part of his routine for dealing with allergies. It sounded really weird to me but I went to the pharmacy to see if I could find something to do the trick.
What I found was a SinuCleanse Neti Pot for $15. There were several different brands and styles to choose from but I chose the SinuCleanse brand because they have better marketing. When in doubt I always buy whatever says #1 selling. I thought it would be funny to bring this object that looks like a child's tea pot home to my husband. I wasn't even sure if he would use it. I sure didn't think that I would.
The neti pot will not cure anything but it can relieve the symptoms of sinusitis, cold, flu, allergies, nasal stuffiness or post-nasal drip. We also found it to be useful to reduce the chances of snoring during the night, at least for a few hours.
To use, add a package of salt and fill with lukewarm water. Hold the head straight and put the stem of the pot into the nostril. Turn the head slightly and the water comes out the other nostril. I use half a pot for each side. A whole pot can be used per side if desired.
Here is the learning experience that you don't want to find out on your own. Always have a box of tissues within reach. Undissolved salt in your nasal passages burns and doesn't feel good at all. Use the little spoon with the pot to stir with. Warm water helps the salt dissolve and is much more soothing to the sinuses.
When it's used correctly it will not run down your throat. Incorrect use could potentially result in an ear infection.
Junk in your nose will either come out during the irrigation or in the many times that you'll blow your nose in the few minutes after using the product.
$7+ salt packets
The neti pot comes with 20 salt packets to get you started. Salt packets are sold in a box of 40 and costs about $7. Refills can be found at drug stores or wherever they sell neti pots.
Frugal minds everywhere are probably thinking table salt because it's considerably cheaper. Table salt is not recommended and should be avoided because it contains iodine and anti-clumping additives. Some alternatives can be one teaspoon of sea salt, kosher salt, or canning salt.
Since this product isn't medicated it can be used in conjunction with all the other medicines. Decongestants make me terribly drowsy so I really prefer this in the mornings. It's an excellent alternative to avoid feeling like a medicine head.
In my experience, this product works faster than any other sinus medicine. Within 2 minutes I can breathe and headache is gone. It doesn't last but an hour or two but the neti pot can be used several times a day.
Who can use it
This can be used by anyone ages 4 and up including pregnant women. I didn't think my 8-year-old daughter would use this but she does occasionally. She doesn't like.
When to Use
I don't like using this right before bedtime because it stirs up a lot of mucus. To use it and lie down causes a lot of coughing and choking. If I feel like using this in the evening I do it about 8 pm so I will be able to breathe smoothly at bedtime.
If I use this in the morning it would have to be right away because it gets me blowing my nose and it makes my eyes water. It makes it complicated to get ready quickly in the morning and wrecks my makeup.
One to 2 packets can be used every 2 hours as needed. It is safe to use on a daily basis. I only break out the Neti when I have a sinus headache or when I catch a cold. My husband uses it more frequently because he has allergies.
The neti pot should be cleaned after each use. It is simple to clean or can be put in the dishwasher.
I think this is a really good investment because it's unbreakable and should last a very long time. It is a nice alternative to medicine or can be used without side effects with any medication that you may already be taking.
It's also wonderful how quickly it starts working. In my experience it does relieve sinus headaches quickly and makes it easier to breath.
There are a few drawbacks. It will probably be limited to home use. It's pretty disgusting especially if it's somebody else's nose. It makes a little bit of a mess in the bathroom. I find the whole act of pouring salt though my passages disgusting and unpleasant. It also takes longer to comlete the task than it does to pop a decongestant. I also don't like the way it smells.
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Amount Paid (US$): 15.00
Frequency of Use: Sometimes (monthly)
Extent of Symptom Relief: Relieves most symptoms quickly
Duration of Symptom Relief: 1 to 4 hours
Best for relieving: Sinus headaches and congestion
Extent of Side Effects: No noticeable side effects
Worst side effect: Messy