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Long-Term Neti Pot Use Linked to Sinus Problems

Neti Pot Use Could Cause Sinus Problems?

Pollen and cat fur are not my friends, and when I become so stuffed up I can't smell a thing, I turn to my neti pot. It looks like a little teapot. You fill it with warm salt water, place the spout in one nostril and as the water passes through your nasal passages and comes out the other nostril; it helps get rid of irritants and mucus so you can breathe easier. I know it sounds medieval, but it really works whether I'm stuffed up from smelling flowers or if I have a cold. Last Spring I was happy to hear that science backed up the use of a neti pot to relieve congestion, but I've got some bad news for my fellow neti pot lovers. A new study shows that long-term use of the neti pot can actually cause sinus problems. The study followed 68 people who used their neti for a year, and then took a break for a year. The rate of sinusitis actually dropped by 62 percent in the year that the participants stopped using the neti pot.

Researchers believe that the mucus in your nasal passages acts as a defense against infection, and flushing it away disrupts your body's immune function. They recommend that neti pots be used every once in a while to relieve congestion, but should not be used daily for an extended period of time. If you have issues with constantly being stuffed up, see your doctor so they can help figure out the cause of your congestion and how to treat it.

If you've never heard of a neti pot and want to see how it's used, check out a how-to video when you


Source: Flickr User Thirteen Of Clubs

Join The Conversation
ImJessica ImJessica 7 years
I love my neti pot. I usually use it twice a day, and since then my sinus infections and terrible (!) allergy symptoms have gotten waaay better. I don't buy this study.
EvieJ EvieJ 7 years
I love my neti pot, but I only use it when I'm congested, not every day. It was tough the first couple of times I used it, and yes everything ran down my throat and I felt like I'd been swimming, but once I got the hang of using one, it was easy.
Zulkey Zulkey 7 years
wow, what a huge sample size :P I'm a fan of yours Fitsugar but i wish you'd add a little more grain of salt when you reference these small studies--someone could just be skimming the site and think that neti pots=bad even though this study is not exactly a huge project.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 7 years
Shocker, snot is there for a reason! :headsmack:
Autumns_Elegy Autumns_Elegy 7 years
Not for me. The thought of flushing out my nose is a little scary.
dunnonuttin dunnonuttin 7 years
Spectra - supposedly you can use the neti pot twice a day everyday with no problems. This is according to natural health practitioners (my sister is a doc) as well as just about any literature you can find on the neti pot.
Spectra Spectra 7 years
I could see maybe if you used it, like, constantly it may cause some issues with irritating your sinuses, but if you use it when you're congested, it's probably a better solution than OTC or prescription meds.
GlowingMoon GlowingMoon 7 years
Who sponsored this new study? I've used the neti pot for the last several months, and I like it. It's especially good to use after gardening.
dunnonuttin dunnonuttin 7 years
Well I used to use my neti pot frequently in the spring due to pollen... but I always ended up with a sinus infection (or some kind of sinus problem). I used to blame it on the pollen ... but since I quit using it I don't have those problems anymore.
Yogaforlife Yogaforlife 7 years
My yoga instructor swears by it but it scares me! I'm so afraid the water is going to run down the back of my nose and into my throat - like when you're swimming and you get water up your nose. Terrifies me.
cg130 cg130 7 years
I'm with you, mamasita, that thing disturbs me!
genipher85 genipher85 7 years
I am so scared to use one of those!
mamasitamalita mamasitamalita 7 years
I know lots of people on this site LOVE the Neti Pot but seriously I can't even watch the video, the still picture alone skeeves me out, the whole idea weirds me out beyond belief.
RoaringSilence RoaringSilence 7 years
Oh noooo! This is seriously bad news for me. I thought that thing was the greatest invention since the wheel! My nose used to be stuffy all day every day for as long as I can remember. I almost cried tears of joy when I found the neti pot. Before I discovered it though, I went to a doctor who prescribed some nose spray that contains cortisone. That doesn't seem like the right thing to use for a long time, either!
kimmieb124 kimmieb124 7 years
Interesting. I've used a neti pot every day for about two years because of chronic sinus infections. I can happily say that I have now gone an entire year without a sinus infection and my allergy symptoms are also much improved. I was crediting that to the neti pot, but maybe it's just luck instead. This is good to know about the long term.
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