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How to Clean Your Sinuses

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You can clean your sinuses really effectively just using warm water, salt, and something called a Neti Pot. I have done it a few times now and I have to say that it really works and feels good.

Many people suffer from some kind of nasal irritation, be it mucus, allergies, an infection, sinus pain or even snoring. While a doctor may prescribe a steroid spray that costs a ton of money and never seems to work, there is a simpler and much more effective way to help your nose and nasal cavity. It's the ancient practice of nasal irrigation - The Neti Pot!

This is not an ad, it just happens to sound like one because I am excited about pouring salt water through my nose.
 
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Step 1: Bennefits and Supplies

Using a Neti Pot to clean your nose seems to have all different kinds of effects on people. I felt clean, open and free of mucus after I did it, but since I didn't really have any sever allergies or irritations to begin with I can't report on the validity of those kinds of results.

(I used it because who doesn't want to pour water through their nose and see what comes out???)

The Neti Pot is reported to have many benefits:

  • Removes mucus and pollution of the nasal passages and sinuses
  • Helps to prevent respiratory tract diseases
  • Daily use relieves allergies, colds and sinusitis
  • Cooling and soothing to the mind
  • Beneficial in the treatment of headaches and migraines
  • Alleviates anxiety, anger and depression
  • Removes drowsiness, making the head and sense organs feel light.

To use a Neti Pot all you need is:

  • The Neti Pot itself (You can get one for about 10 dollars at a drug or natural foods store. If you don't want to buy one look around the house because chances are, you already have something lying around that is perfect for sticking up your nose. Try a children's sippy cup or even a watering can with a narrow spout. Do you make gravy on Thanksgiving? The Neti Pot sure looks a lot like a fat drippings separator!)
  • Warm water
  • Non-iodized salt
Biotele7 months ago
I just use a sterile saline intravenous infusion bag. Hang it high an get a lot pressure. No fear of any bacteria or parasite growing in the pot.
I don't suppose you folks have read about the two folks that used Neti Pots until one day they happened to all end up mainlining a brain eating bacteria which grew inside the pot directly to their brains. Came from tap water.

They died.

http://www.examiner.com/article/brain-eating-parasite-death-usually-within-5-days-of-first-symptoms
Goose7 months ago
It might sound funny but swimming in the ocean, Or surfing works too. You fall in the water and get sea water in your nose. Everytime you blow your nose to get the water out you clean it. Went kayaking in the ocean and rolled a couple of times. Noticed that the next day I could breath much better. Surfers say the same thing.
milesfromneihu10 months ago
Thanks for sharing. Good intro to nasal irrigation, with good humor too!
diydude6 years ago
Yes, it really works! My wife and I have been doing nasal irrigation for ten years now, on the advice of our allergist. We live in the S.F. north bay (wine country), and at different times of the year, allergy issues can be quite brutal. My wife has had significant issues, her level being 4++ (the worst, life threatening). She has taken every medication, spray and shots for years, without relief. Some days all she could do was to stay inside our air conditioned home (which helps, by the way).

There is only one negative to all this (which is why some of you haven't heard of this): No doctors prescribe this and no one dispenses it. You can't make money on saltwater. I take that back-they do sell saltwater spray! Ya, they also sell pet rocks and canned air! Go figure.

As you can see in the picture, (if it did upload) what we use is an 8 oz. squeeze bottle filled with warm water and the top is like a liquid dish soap top. About 1/4 t. of salt is about right. If you were to measure the salt content of our mucous and blood, that would be close to this ratio. Same ratio in the ocean. A quick swirl will mix it. Did you know your nasal passages are connected? That's why you can squeeze the bottle lightly and it will come out the other nostril. Don't worry about feeling like you are drowning. That can't happen when you put it in one nostril and blow (or drain) it out the other. If you were to draw in the water through both nostrils, then it would go into your lungs.

Alternate nostrils till you've used it all up. You will have a residual amount still in your nose. Just blow it in a hankie and/or lower your head below your heart and let gravity do the rest. Do this twice a day for a few days and then once a day should do. If you have bad allergy issues, stick with the twice a day regimen, as my wife still does.

You may be surprised at all the crap that will come out. Sometimes I get this crystal clear, spongy blob that pops out. Other times I get nothing. Remember, the allergens and bacteria that we are getting rid of are microscopic anyway. Also, you won't be sick as often, because most of the cold and flu (airborne) germs we get can be dislodged before they are absorbed by our body.

Never done it before? Do it! As NoahW and others have said, it actually feels good, almost exhilarating. Want to get really clean on the inside? I'll tell you about colin cleansing, if anyone's interested. Feel and think better, be healthier, and loose weight. You wouldn't believe the crap that has been caked on your intestines since you were a child! I'll write about it if someone is interested, but just let me know.
I'm new to nasal irrigation, but I did an 'ible on colon cleansing, including how to make the equipment. See http://www.instructables.com/id/Colonic-Irrigation-Board/
It's been a long time since I've had the opportunity to have a proper look around Instructables. diydude, you've hit the nail on the head with your comment about doctors and the fact that they can not make money from salt water. There is another alternative "medicine" they can not make money off, and that is hydrogen peroxcide. I'm not sure if anyone has written here about it yet, and if not I will post something on this wonderfull "medicine".
I know you meant well, but this is horrible advice. Hydrogen Peroxide is good for a toothache to draw the toxins out, but it also draws all of the good (and much needed) natural bacteria in your body. If you ask a doctor that works with wounds, they will tell you to never use hydro perox on a wound. It should not be ingested for the same reason.
They say the hydrogen peroxide messes up the oxygen level in wounds and slows down the healing process. Seen it in some health news site. Doodado
Please, do tell.
I know about using H2O2 for toothpaste, but what medicinal qualities can it provide?
lots of stuff. i use it for disinfecting cuts, but i've heard that it will also bleach hair.
excellent way to lick that congestion-just do it correctly
http://thechart.blogs.cnn.com/2011/12/16/two-dead-in-louisiana-after-unclean-water-used-in-neti-pots/?hpt=hp_t2

Kynnie diydude2 years ago
Thanks for the informative info on the Neti Pot! I'm looking forward to FINALLY having a inexpensive and sucessful way to treat my sinuses!

I didn't see any info that you already posted on the colin cleansing. I am interested in that too, if you don't mind posting about it! It's another bodily issue that needs to be taken care of :)
Scunnerous1 year ago
As davedking says you really should use sterile water: first, most city tap water has chlorine in it which is not good and will at best cause some irritation; second, the cases of Naegleria fowleri infection and subsequent deaths which have been reported are ample warning. The fact is that all tap water has bacteria and protozoa in it and the goal is to clean out lingering bacteria from the sinus cavity. Remember, your nasal cavities are only a thin membrane away from your brain.
MsJan1 year ago
Buy a glass one, if possible. Stay away from plastic. We do not need to be adding more bad chemicals to our bodies. I think cleaning the sinuses should be done daily but I do get lazy about this. It does work wonders if you have any sinus problems.
pudi.dk MsJan1 year ago
I always eat with disposable glass knife and fork at parties so I don't add any more bad chemicals to my body. The bristles on my toothbrush are glass fibers so I don't accumulate bad toxic plastic in my mouth.
To sum up, I have a plastic Neti pot, and I don't think it's a problem.
MsJan pudi.dk1 year ago
I for one can tell you that are plastics are not safe for us. Best to use glass when ever possible. I use to have plastic containers until I became ill from chemicals.
If you even wash plastic in dish soap it picks up the chemicals from the soap and your adding that to your body also.

I now can even smell if something plastic has been washed in any type of scented dish soap. My nose has became so sensitive since I have became allergic to chemicals. The more we avoid the chemicals the safer our healthier we will stay.

Some people cannot see beyond the nose on their face until it is to late....

Please do not bite your glass fork and knife to hard. They also say there is always one in a crowd.
Ex - plode4 years ago
Will a cup and funnel work instead of a neti pot.
You would have a serious balancing act, help would be necessary I think. Doodado
it should. make sure your head is completely upside down. whats the worst that could happen? you drown in your own salted water.
You have to be careful doing it upside down. All of your sinus cavity is connected. You have to be careful with how much you use, how long you let it sit, etc or you may wind up with an infection in your ears, eyes, throat or even lungs.
mjaved31 year ago
Will this help clean out my throat? I think I might be suffering from nasal drip. I seem to always have a collection of mucus in my throat and i have to make that "funny nose" to spit it out...also bad breath???
gaby0012 years ago
I was diagnosed with sinusitis, I haven't tried this yet, but a friend of mine had already recommended it using a seringe without the needle. My case is so bad I get headaches, and stuffed ears, like I'm constantly on an airplane, the back of my eyes hurts, and I only breath from one nostril at a time. I tried a bottled sea water solution, and it worked a little, but I think this might help more, specially with the ear problem. Has anyone had that due to sinus problems? Please help cos I've read on other blogs of ppl that have had it for years and haven't found a solution.
Gaby001, Your problem is my problem.!!!!! :) I have been sufferring from all what you say here all my life. I have every single symptom you mention here. The only difference is that the docs have always refused to accept that I have a problem, since I look normal (:)) , breath normal (to outsiders) and never ever have runny noses. Iam in Europe, not sure whether I could get hold of this stuff but I am a bit hesitant too..it has H2O2....
can you use this? It is a company product but is it the same
Picture 129.jpg
honestly i just clicked on this because that picture is AWESOME! you look so relaxed while pouring water [hot? (i didnt read the 'ible yet) but still] through your nose. i just love that picture.
dreich5 years ago
I just tried this and it didn't seem to work too well because I think I did it wrong and ended up blocking my right nostril... I was just going to post asking for tips, but then I sneezed.(Thankfully I turned away from my keyboard first) Needless to say I think now have cleaner sinuses but a floor that needs cleaning.
Badetise dreich2 years ago
if this were facebook id like that times 10.. my dad has horrible allegies so im thinking ill recommend this to him
isaac! dreich4 years ago
lmao nice
idzaferovic2 years ago
what a relief!!! just tried it after 3 days of being on pain killers wanting to rip my head off. Sinus pain, sore throat and ear ache. The stuff that came out gave out a small scream but so happy and smiley now. Thanks.
bheuer2 years ago
Just want to say I have been dealing with chronic sinus infections for years. Any time the temp goes up or down more than a couple degrees, boom, instant infection again. I actually was recommended to a specialist and got done my first round of apts before I could no longer afford their absurd rates even with insurance at the time. And this is the first thing he told me to do.
rockadio1013 years ago
please answer this questein. i know i spelled it wrong but still.ok here it is (why do you have to use non-iodized salt) just wondering.

ps. please answer dont be sarcastic or aney thing im 11 and i have a stuffed up nose and i want it gone be for vacation is over! so please answer
If you still wanted an answer, it wont make a huge difference. Non-iodized salt is salt with no iodine in it. Iodine is usually used to clean cuts as it is an effective antiseptic.

Iodized salt, in moderation, is healthy to the body and is often subscribed to people with iodine deficiency.

So my guess is that it wont be a huge problem pushing iodized salt round your sinuses :P although its possible it could cause irritation.
Ionized salt can cause irritation of the sinuses which leads to further inflammation making it even harder to breath. They say to use pickling salt I use kosher salt as it is also unionized. Regular table salt or sea salt should be avoided but I doubt that it would be a huge issue.
thanks for tellin me :)
Beware, I tried this with one of my nostrils clogged up so I could barely push air through it. It's not so bad pushing the water through the clogged side to the open side, but the other way around makes you gag.

Hopefully I can get some sleep tonight. Thanks!
Just Relax2 years ago
I really want to know if having blocked sinuses can cause purplish circles under the eyes? Because I have them really bad and I dont think it's genetics and I get plenty of the right vitamins so it can't be that. Recently I realised that the breathing through my nose really isn't good and then I heard blocked sinuses can effect circulation or cause blood to build up in the blood vessels under the eyes? I really hope this is right cos I've been trying looking for the reason for my dark circles forever so any help on this would be great :)
leskvon2 years ago
I know its a bit freaky but, its great for washing junk out of your nose like um . . . the flu.
chaydgb2 years ago
I thought I'd give this a go, and despite the swiming-pool-water-up-the-nose feeling, it's now like someone's turned up the volume on my sense of smell! Thanks for posting this.
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