Q. Every spring I have a terrible time with allergies. I have been told that a Neti Pot can be helpful to eliminate nasal congestion and sinus problems. Is this true and if not, what can I do?
A. Nasal allergies can cause nasal congestion that may lead to a sinus infection in some people. Removal of the excessive secretions from the nasal passages via a nasal wash results in less congestion for patients that suffer from seasonal allergies and sinusitis, and may offer other benefits. Studies done at the University of Wisconsin have shown that patients with sinus disease who use nasal washes experienced less frequent nasal symptoms, used fewer antibiotics and nasal sprays, and had improved quality of life.
The Neti Pot is a small tea-pot shaped vessel that has been used for over a thousand years to cleanse the nasal passages. Warmed salt water is placed in the Neti Pot and the spout is inserted in a person’s nose to administer nasal washes. Also available for nasal cleansing are pre-mixed saline solutions and plastic bottles with saline packets. It is important to have instructions on how to perform nasal washes. Instruction videos are available online.
If nasal irrigation does not control your symptoms, speak with your health care provider for alternatives. Medications and allergy shots can provide relief for people with nasal allergies. If you have sinusitis, antibiotic therapy might be necessary to eliminate the infection.
Susan P. Raschal
Covenant Allergy & Asthma Care
1350 Mackey Branch Drive, Suite 114
Chattanooga, TN 37421