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on the benefits of nasal irrigation.

sure, npr might be reporting that nasal irrigation is making a comeback ( was it ever previously popular in The West? ) as a cold and allergy remedy; but still, the thought of shoving a neti pot up my nose and flushing my sinuses with warm salt water seemed a bit odd and new agey.

but i was willing to try anything after years of suffering from allergic rhinitis, where springtime inevitably heralds the onset of rivers of "thick and purulent secretions", sinuses the size of texas, allergic shiners and eustachian tube dysfunction. and if this little pot and some salt water could help me kick my seasonal addiction to intranasal decongestants, well, all the better then.

while i fully prepared for an unpleasant experience, it's really not that bad. quite pleasing actually, or at least as pleasing as pouring warm salt water up your nose can be. and! it! works! at least for a short time. maybe i'm an outlier and my IgE mediated allergy response system is a perfectly perfect storm, but the relief only lasts for an hour or two. which makes me wonder: a. is it socially acceptable to walk around in public with a neti pot? and b. is there an upper limit to how much saline you can safely flush through your sinuses?

and apparently i'm not alone. ucsd researchers concluded that "...nasal irrigation is effective in improving symptoms and the health status of patients with sinonasal disease.." and the fine folks at the university of wisconsin school of medicine concluded that "...resulted in improvement in the symptoms of chronic sinusitis in over 70% of subjects..". still not convinced? other research has shown that "participants with chronic sinonasal symptoms reported improved [quality of life] and frequent, satisfying use of [ hypertonic saline nasal irrigation ]." but i must admit, i don't think i've been able to replicate the spiritual and meditative benefits reported by a study performed on yoga students.

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4/25/2006 09:24:00 PM 3 comments

3 Comments:

Um. . .socially acceptable . . .I don't think so. How much salt water? Not sure, but make sure you use sea salt and not table salt. We have one. Wait until Odin goes to school talking about "daddy's pot." Yea . . .thanks to the wonderful world of talking children, I had some 'splainin' to do! :-)
Hope your allergies are better. This year seems pretty bad.

By Blogger Carters Mom, at 12:39 PM  

mmmmmmmmMMMMMmmm the magical neti pot.

I use one here (if you want to hear the gory details about the previous sinus surgery I've had I'd be evilly glad to share some time over cocktails. Ugly fun, fersure) - neti pot use has helped me, like you, more short-term than long stretches, but seasonal allergies are rough and I'm glad to use anything that will help (the more natural/less chemical the better, imo).

The only thing I kinda wonder about is how to be sure I'm keeping it as germie-free as possible. I spray it down with a weak bleach water solution and set it in the sun to dry ... s'pose that's enough?

By Blogger McBeth, at 11:19 PM  

you're right, the yogis swear by this thing. i've heard the key to long term benefits is using it every day - haah - there's the catch! matt and i bust it out once in a while, and while i hate the process it sure does feel good afterwards. if you're willing and able, keep it up for a while and see what happens. it's also supposed to prevent colds and bring about world peace.

By Blogger Deborah Moroz, at 11:38 PM  

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