How to Use a Neti Pot

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A Neti Pot is a type of pot that dispenses saline solution, which is a common remedy for cold-weather sickness. Use a Neti Pot the proper way with help from a health expert in this free video clip.

Part of the Video Series: Cold-Weather Sickness Remedies
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dr. David Hill, and today we're going to be talking about how to use a neti pot. Now, what is a neti pot in the first place? I wish I had one with me here to show you, but you've probably seen them around. It looks kind of like a teapot and kind of like Aladdin's magic lamp, if you can imagine that. But, what comes out of it is not a genie, it's saline solution. Now, you can make the saline solution yourself. All you need is two cups of clean water, and one teaspoon of salt. You can warm those together to help the salt dissolve, and there you've got the magic normal saline. You put that in the pot, and the idea is to use this normal saline to rinse the mucus out of your nose. Now, this has been shown to be effective for relieving symptoms of sinusitis. And, some ear, nose, and throat surgeons even suggest it for patients who've undergone sinus surgery to help debris the area where the surgery was done. What you need to do is fill the pot with your saline solution, and then tip over the sink at like a 45 degree angle, and put the spout in the top nostril, and just kind of tip it in and pour a little bit. The water from the spout will go both in that nostril, it'll cross over into the other side. It may go down to your throat a little bit, too. If that happens, just spit that water out. Then, you have to turn your head over and go the other way. Some people find they get a little bit of irritation with this. You can jigger with the salt solution a little bit, maybe add a little bit less salt. Some people swear that adding a little baking soda makes it more comfortable, although there's not really scientific literature to prove that. Now, how often should you use a neti pot? Most studies look at just using it once a day, even a couple of times a week will do. There's probably no major advantage to putting a river through your nose. You don't need to do it every time you look around. So, just once or twice a day at most will be perfectly adequate. Most importantly, if you have sinus symptoms that just aren't going away over a period of two weeks or more, you probably want to seek advice from a doctor. There could be allergies, it could be a sinus infection, it could be polyps. Find out if there's something else that you need to be doing. Talking about how to use a neti pot, I'm Dr. David Hill.

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