To Netti or Not?

netti pot

My husband and I have been using a netti pot for years. I went to an allergist 4-5 years ago and she recommended that I use it daily. Chris had surgery on his deviated septum and his surgeon recommended that he use one. I’ve also been told by my acupunturist as well as my primary care physician  that I should use netti pot daily. Have no idea what I’m talking about? If you are unfamiliar with what a netti pot is, it’s a way to flush mucus out of your nasal passages. Basically you fill one of these nifty little containers with water (preferably warm) as well as a salt packet and you clean out your snot (sorry that’s gross and blunt but it’s the truth). Anyway, I’ve been a big fan of the netti pot for years; however, I’ve pretty certain that the new netti pot that I bought (the one on the left) is the reason that my cold turned into an ear infection. Allow me to explain…

I’ve owned the netti pot on the right for years. The way it works is that you put the spout in one nostril and then turn your head so that it’s parallel to the floor. It sometimes takes a while but the salt water will enter one nostril and gravity will allow it to drain out the other nostril. The only issue that I had with this is that when you are really stuffed up this can take some time. The benefit to the netti pot on the left is that after you fill it with the salt water you keep your head upright, put the tip of the bottle in one nostril, and then squeeze the bottle. Pressure from the force of the water along with gravity allow the water to come out of the other nostril. This is much easier when you are really stuffed up. But what happens to all of that mucus that’s in your nose? Well, we hope that it all comes out your other nostril but in my case, I’m pretty sure the pressure caused some of the mucus to enter and clog my ear canal and therefore give me an ear infection. Sound far-fetched? Maybe it is. Strangely enough Chris had an ear infection this past Thanksgiving. I was almost making fun of him because I said what adult gets ear infections? It’s not something that you commonly hear of. So how is it that he had an ear infection and then 6-8 weeks later I end up with one too? Now you see where I’m going here.

I looked online for research to see if I can support my hypothesis but unfortunately I didn’t find any. I did find studies that support the use of using a netti pot as well as research showing the importance of using distilled (not tap) water. I guess on this one, you can take this as a personal warning.

2 thoughts on “To Netti or Not?

  1. I had gotten my first double ear infection at 28 after using a netting pot. My left ear drum almost ruptured and I have some permanent hearing damage and ringing ever since. 😦 However, I now use it regularly and have had no issues. I think I was so sick and already getting a sinus infection, and that wasn’t the time to give the netting a go.

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