I have been blessed with sinuses that are temperamental. I am allergic to cats, dogs, pollen, and dust to name a few of the airborne trouble makers.
I have added an important safety feature to my nasal irrigation ritual.
I use a device called a neti pot to flush water into my sinuses, the water is introduced in one nostril and travels the sinuses exiting the other nostril. The neti pot is one of many devices available to flush the nose and its accompanying cavities evacuating debris best flushed out. I have been doing this for many years and I can tell when I miss a day or two by being more congested, and longer term I get fewer colds when I am diligent.
The flush is a saline liquid and it can be purchased prepackaged or I make my own. The saline combination I use is 1 teaspoons of sea salt and 1/2 teaspoon of baking soda in 16oz of water. The Mayo Clinic recommends 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 8oz of water, they have no mention of baking soda.
I am hearing grave warnings about using tap water with this flush which is what I have always used in the past. Here is the scoop, health authorities have issued a statement about the type of water you should use in neti pots or any nasal irrigation system. The recommendation is for users to obtain sterilized water not water from the tap even if it is city water.
Ignoring this warning may lead to life threatening complications. Two people have recently died using tap water. Can you imagine that? The organism that is in common fresh water in some Southern states will not hurt you if you drink it but if it is introduced into the sinuses it can cause a brain infection sometimes, with fatal consequences. Naegleria fowleri infections are rare, although we had a death in 1999 here in Palm Beach County. The swimmer was using a local lake and the amoeba got into the victim’s sinuses, they contracted the infection, and poof they were gone.
People with sinus issues that use the neti pot or other irrigation devices get a great deal of relief from the saline water flushing out bacteria, pollen, and mold spores that aggravate sensitive sinuses. The water flushes out the allergens and the saline can kill bacteria.
Be careful, it is important to realize problems can occur yet used safely this is a wonderful way to keep sinuses healthy.