Allergies wreak havoc on many of us as the seasons change. Molds, mites and pollens fill the air and irritate our nasal passages. Experts agree that simple things like staying inside during peak allergy days, washing clothes after being outside, closing windows and getting HEPA filters for a/c systems are effective as the first line of defense. What else can you do?
Ed Neuzil is board-certified nurse practitioner and fellow who specializes in allergy, sinus and asthma conditions. He owns a practice in Central Florida and preaches the benefits of nasal irrigation as a way to "wash" sinuses. It's virtually impossible to avoid inhaling micro-particles when you're outside, so frequent cleansing of the nasal passages helps get rid of the irritants.
Here are three simple steps to using a Neti Pot:
- Make sure your neti pot is clean. If it has been sitting in a cabinet, it may contain dust, bacteria or other irritants that should be washed away. Wash then let it air day.
- Fill with filtered or distilled water and add a bit of table salt for a saline solution. OTC packets are also available called sinus washes.
- Bend over the sink and position the pot's spout into your nostil; the fluid will flow out of the opposing nostril. Make sure to keep mouth closed to avoid fluid coming out of your mouth.
- Repeat the process on the other side.
- Blow your nose and wash your hands and face.
This simple holistic home remedy really makes a difference immediately after rinsing. It may seem a bit awkward the first few times but once you've become more comfortable with the idea and process, it can be better to use than nasal sprays.