The Big Sandy Mountaineer -

Getting By


June 13, 2018

Are you bothered by congestion or sinusitis due to season allergies? While drinking more fluids, increasing omega-3 fatty acids and Vitamin C, and taking decongestants and antihistamines are some ways to cope with the symptoms, clearing your nasal passages with saline irrigation is also beneficial. Sinus rinsing removes dust, pollen, bacteria and other debris. It also loosens mucus. Nasal rinsing helps relieve sinus infections, allergies, colds and flu.

Maybe you have heard of a little teapot with a long spout, called a neti pot that allows a saltwater solution to pass through your nostrils. In addition, bulb syringes, squeeze bottles and even battery-operated devices are all other devices that assist in cleaning your nasal passages. It is a matter of finding one that is easiest for you to maneuver and comfort in using.

Whichever device you choose to use, there are some things to remember in order for them to be used safely and effectively.

1. Use only distilled, sterile or previously boiled water. Avoid using tap water directly because some tap water contains low levels of organisms that may be safely consumed because your stomach acid kills them but, in your nose, they can stay alive and potentially cause serious infections.

2. Pre-mixed saline packets are available which are convenient to add to the slightly warmed water, however, your healthcare provider may give you a recipe for a homemade solution. Be sure to follow the ingredients and measurements as directed to avoid burning and irritation. It also improves the effectiveness in cleaning your nasal passages.

3. Follow the directions on how to use your nasal rinsing device and how to properly clean and maintain the device.

4. Make sure your device fits the age of the person using it. Not all devices can be used for both adults and children.

5. If symptoms worsen after using nasal rinsing devices, talk to your healthcare provider, especially if you experience fever, headaches and/or nosebleeds.

The above information was taken from the US Food & Drug Administration website article “Is Rinsing Your Sinuses With Neti Pots Safe?” Additional information is available by contacting Janell at the Chouteau County Extension Office at 622-3036, or in the Chouteau County Courthouse at 1308 Franklin St in Fort Benton.

Follow us on Facebook @ChouteauCountyExtension to keep up to date on what is happening in Chouteau County Extension and 4-H.

Montana State University, US Department of Agriculture and Montana Counties Cooperating. MSU Extension is an equal opportunity/affirmative action provider of educational outreach.


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