Have you ever used a neti pot? Where am I going wrong????

@liquorice (3901)
September 22, 2009 8:02am CST
I've been reading a lot about the benefits of nasal irrigation using a neti pot, a little plastic pot that has a spout, a bit like a teapot. Nasal irrigation involves pouring warm, slightly salted water into one nostril and out of the other, and it's meant to be great for clearing your sinuses, improving allergies, sinus infections, colds and, apparently, strengthening your immune system. Well, as I have constant sinus problems and am prone to sinus infections I thought I'd give it a whirl. I was very excited that this natural solution might be good for me, and might also mean that I can stop using my chemical-filled nose spray that has a million and one awful side-effects. So I prepared my water and started pouring. It felt a bit strange, (being as I'm not used to pouring things into my nose), but I carried on breathing through my mouth and tried to stay relaxed as per the advice, and it wasn't too bad. And then nothing. The water didn't come out the other side, and neither did it come out of the original nostril. And I didn't feel it flowing down my throat either. So where did it go???? Foolishly I tried this a few times in the hope that if I used enough then it was bound to flood out at some point, (wasn't it???) and also in case I was doing it wrong the first time. Each time I've done it I've ended up with a sort of bunged up feeling around my nose and eye on whichever side of my nose I started it, but I've never seen the water again. Has this happened to anyone else? Is my nose abnormal? Would you go and see a doctor if this happened to you, or would you be too afraid of their scorn (or laughter?! ) Hopefully I haven't done any permanent damage (I'm telling myself that it's probably no worse than getting a load of water up my nose when I go swimming), but I'd love it to work. Any tips, advice or thoughts? (And please don't be too scathing, lol!)
2 people like this
4 responses
@jane239 (521)
22 Sep 09
I brought a Neti pot because, like you, I had some sinus problems. My left side it will work on,the water comes out like it should, the right side, it doesn't but thats my most congested side and maybe that has got something to do with it. My head feels clearer after using it, once the feeling of being under water goes off (!) and I've had a few less sinus problems but I'm not convinced they are that effective. The Neti pots only basically use salt and warm water so if you can't use those then you can get a saline spray which does the same as the other nasal sprays but without the chemicals. You can get them on Amazon.
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@liquorice (3901)
23 Sep 09
Ooh, that's interesting that it works for you on one side, but not the other. Does the water get stuck inside of you when you try it through your right side, or does it just come back out of the same nostril? I'm glad you've found that it helps you a bit anyway. I'm thinking of using a saline nasal spray, or even just making a little bit of the salty water solution and using that as nose drops, with a dropper. Thanks for your answer and for the suggestion.
@jane239 (521)
23 Sep 09
The water comes out of the same side so I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong or not. I presume if it works on the left side, I must be getting something right but these Neti pots don't come with very detailed instructions.
• United States
30 Sep 09
i dont use the neti pot but a different kind that is a squeeze bottle that pushes it with more force and my allergist said to use it on the side that is the most stuffy because if you do the opposite will just get trapped and not be able to come out the stuffy side..
1 person likes this
• United States
23 Sep 09
Well, if you didn't swallow it, and you didn't inhale it (which i am SURE you would have felt) my only suggestion is that it got trapped in your sinus cavities. Luckily, as it it just salk water, i don't bleeive this should do any damage, and will eventually either drain, or just absorb into your body with no harm, except for the fact that it might make your sinuses feel more congested until it does one of these things. I have never used one of these, but i have seen doctors talk about them, and i do sell them (and the packets to mix with water) in the store. I have always had a SERIOUS aversion to gettig water up my nose (i canot go swimming with out a pair of nose plugs even...) so i dunno if it would be the choice for me LoL. Maybe poke around online, read up on some info and see if there was something you were doing wrong? or else maybe your sinuses were just SO clogged up that the water coudln't escape andgot trapped. Hope this works out for you!
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@liquorice (3901)
23 Sep 09
Thanks fruitcakeliz (great name, lol!) I think you're right, it must have ended up in my sinuses somehow. It begs the question how big are one's sinuses? There was a lot of water going in there, are they that big that none would have needed to come out again? I am completely ignorant about this, maybe they are in fact huge!? I would think that it's all absorbed by now. I did feel a lot more congested and achy for a while but that feeling's gone quite a lot now. Think I'll just drop the salt water in using a dropper (in smaller quantities this time!) That might be my best bet at a natural solution. Yep, if you don't like water in your nose this is probably not the thing for you. I have tried looking around on the web since posting this discussion. Apparently if you have a deviated septum you could have problems, and a doctor did once tell me that mine was a bit deviated (after I was hit in the nose with a shuttlecock..) So maybe that could be why. Thanks for your answer!
• United States
23 Sep 09
i am really not sure how much room there is in the sinuses, but with out a lot of pain, i can't imagine that too much would be able to get trapped up there...but i am not being able to do any successful searches for information on this right now *sad* i have found this though..about using a netti pot with a deviated septum.. "People who have a deviated septum and decide to try using a neti pot sometimes find it difficult to get the salt water to move into one nostril and out the other. If one nostril is completely blocked, that will stop the salt water from flowing. The salt water simply won't travel all the way over to exit the other nostril. Usually, however, the blockage is not complete, and eventually the salt water will flow after a few tries. Sometimes people with a deviated septum say that they can get the salt water to flow one direction, but not the other direction. If that is the case, go ahead and do it on the side that works, and continue to try on the other side. Usually the blocked side opens up after a few tries. Remember that it takes a few seconds for the salt water to wind its way through the nose, so give it some time when you try it and make subtle adjustments to your head position to find the position that works best for you." (from the website http://www.intothescentedgarden.com/Neti_Pot_Questions_s/31.htm#septum ) And this about having problems getting the water to flow through with a netti pot Your Neti Pot may not empty due to the reason listed above, so be sure and rule out the possibility that you are shutting the flow off at the nostril. If this is not the case, then you may be experiencing a problem due to either excessive congestion, or you may have an anatomical obstruction such as nasal polyps, etc. The first thing to try is to attempt to flush from both sides...see if the water will flow from the other nostril. If there is an intitial flow and then you feel the water stop, there is a good chance that you have either excessive congestion or a blockage from a polyp or similar problem. If you are able to get the warm water into one nostril, try running whatever amount will enter the nostril and then let it stay there for a few minutes. Alternate filling the nose and draining it to see if you can get the water to flow. Warm water will sometimes relieve swelling in the nasal turbinates and thus open the passageway. If you are unable to open the nasal passages after trying the steps above, then consult a physician. (from the site http://www.neti-pot.biz/neti-pot-problems.html/ ) sorry i am not of much help!!
@bmuchler (442)
• United States
22 Sep 09
I have heard of nettie pots, but have never used one. A friend of mine took Yoga a few years ago. They said you will get the same benefit by using warm salted water in a medicine dropper. Maybe the liquid absorbs into the nasal tissues? Did it help you breathe better? I am tired of using medications and am looking into natural ways to treat my ailments. Allergies and sinus problems are a big one for me. Did the nettie pot come with a pamphlet that explains how it works?
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@liquorice (3901)
23 Sep 09
Thanks, I'm thinking of doing this, as I do want a natural solution, but don't want cups of rogue water mysteriously floating around my sinuses. It could be that it is absorbing into the tissues eventually. At first it felt a lot more pressurised in there and the sinus pain was worse, and I also got a bit of head pain . The tingling feeling from the salt felt nice though. It's difficult to judge whether it helped me to breathe. I'm still having problems (from the original sinus infection), but I don't know how I would have been if I hadn't tried it. I think I'll try putting drops of solution into my nose instead. Less volume and less pressure! No, the neti pot didn't come with any useful instructions unfortunately. Thanks for your reply and your suggestion of using a dropper.
• United States
30 Sep 09
i havent tried the neti pot but my allergist gave me something similar that squirts it up your nose via squeeze bottle and you just tilt your head and open your mouth slightly but dont breathe but maybe slightly exhale and shoot it up one nostril etc.. well some times no matter what i do it goes down my throat but i blame that on not being able to tilt my head good because of neck injury. im thinking maybe it you had the kind i had with it forcing the water the pressure would be enough to push it through.. my allergist said to use it on the most stuffy side so that it would push it through the other side.. if you use it on the clearer side and shoot it up it can get trapped up there because the other side is too blocked to let it out.. did you try both sides?? im thinking maybe you did the clearer side or something.. but yeah its not a pleasant thing to do but it does help.. i get awful sinus headaches and pressure and problems and some times it will just take all the pressure out but ugh its annoying to do!