Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Wisdom Wednesday: Nasal Irrigation

A recent study published in JAMA (Journal of the American Medical Association) indicates that nasal irrigation may be effective for the treatment of chronic sinusitis and sinus infection. The study involved just over 900 subjects, half of which used a Netti Pot daily for 30 days. Self-evaluation at three and six months revealed that 8% of those who used the Netti Pot reported long term resolution of symptoms verses those that used steam inhalation or other methods.

While the subjects that reported good improvement was small, it was statistically significant and the study went on to suggest that the use of a Netti Pot should be considered in the treatment of chronic sinus conditions.

Clinically, I find the Netti Pot to be an excellent tool for home therapy. The traditional pot looks just like a plastic tea pot. You fill the pot as directed (more on that later), stick the spout in the end of one side of the nose then tilt the pot and your head to the same side allowing the water to enter the nose. The water flows through the sinus cavities and out the opposite side.

I’d like to say the sensation is pleasant, but I would be lying. It feels just like you might imagine – water up the nose. The Netti Pot kit comes with kosher salt that you add to distilled water.

Distilled water is vital. Tap water can contain nematodes that can breed in your sinus cavities then burrow into your brain causing death. When you drink tap water, the nematodes hopefully are killed by the hydrochloric acid in the stomach (unless you take a proton pump inhibitor, like Prilosec or Nexium). I keep warning you not to drink tap water but you should absolutely never use tap water in a Netti Pot.

I prefer to use colloidal silver in place of the kosher salt. It actually is much more painful than the salt, creating a burning sensation as it courses through your sinuses. However, the pain and watering eyes pass in about a minute.

Colloidal silver has antibacterial, antiviral and even antifungal activity. So regardless of what kind of infection you have, the colloidal silver will be effective. Three peer reviewed published studies have shown colloidal silver to be effective against MRSA. When I have used the Netti Pot with colloidal silver, I typically feel an improvement immediately. Even with a chronic sinus infection 4-5 days of treatment is usually sufficient to resolve the infection.

Recently, Netti Pot came out with a squeeze bottle applicator. It’s much easier to use than the traditional pot and just as effective. Both products are dishwasher safe and I highly recommend sending them through a wash cycle after each use.

The Bottom Line:
Please give the Netti Pot a try for any chronic sinus issue. The pot and squeeze bottle are equally effective but I suggest colloidal silver in lieu of the kosher sat. A 1:10 ratio with distilled water is strong enough to be effective. Anything more and the burning sensation may be unbearable. Most drug stores carry the Netti Pot or you can order online.

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