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  #1  
Old 02-01-2011, 08:21 PM
abderian abderian is offline
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Another Neti Pot Posting -- What Am I doing Wrong?

Inspired by this thread, I bought a neti pot to clear out my clogged up sinuses.

The first time I used it, the water poured into my right nostril and ran out my left one. It wouldn't flow from the left nostril to the right, but my nasal passages felt clean.

The second time, the water poured into my right nostril and dribbled out my left one. Again, nothing from the left to the right. Afterward, I had that feeling I used to get when I was a kid and jumped in the pool and got water up my nose.

The third time, the water poured into my right nostril and didnít come out the left one at all. Left to right: Nada. I ended up with the pool-water-up-the-nose feeling again.

The past couple of days, my sinuses feel ďfullĒ. Yesterday, I didnít use it, but took a decongestant instead. Now, Iím hesitant to use the neti pot again, but so many people have successfully improved their nasal / sinus conditions with it that I hate to throw in the towel.

So, neti-experts, what could I be doing wrong? Iím careful with the water temperature; use the NeilMed solution; and blow my nose gently afterwards. Could I be holding my head at the wrong angle? If I just bite the bullet and keep at it, will it get better? How can I achieve neti-bliss? Is there any hope for me or do I have to carry on my pathetic life nasally clogged and neti-less?
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  #2  
Old 02-01-2011, 08:28 PM
JFLuvly JFLuvly is offline
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try blowing your nose first
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  #3  
Old 02-01-2011, 08:40 PM
BoBettie BoBettie is offline
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It won't work unless you can pass air through your nostrils- a total clog/swollen sinus situation means the water won't flow through and you'll have trouble. You need to maybe blow gently first and test your nostrils- plug each and make sure you can pass air through the other one.
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  #4  
Old 02-01-2011, 08:44 PM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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How far forward are you tipping your head? I have to put my forehead on the faucet sometimes to get it to flow.

But BoBettie gave some good tips.
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  #5  
Old 02-01-2011, 08:46 PM
The Conqueror Worm The Conqueror Worm is offline
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Try one of the squeeze bottle "neti pots." Sinucleanse and Neilmed both make them. Just don't squeeze too hard.

Last edited by The Conqueror Worm; 02-01-2011 at 08:46 PM.. Reason: 'cuz I can't spell to save my life.
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  #6  
Old 02-01-2011, 09:14 PM
elfkin477 elfkin477 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The Conqueror Worm View Post
Try one of the squeeze bottle "neti pots." Sinucleanse and Neilmed both make them. Just don't squeeze too hard.
So, is it really pretty much the same thing? If so, I can't for the life of me figure out why people recommend Neti pots since it doesn't help much (I feel better for an hour, maybe), but does make you feel like you're drowning. At least I only threw up the first time I tried it...If the NeilMed bottle is actually like a neti pot, I'm never bothering with a neti pot.
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  #7  
Old 02-01-2011, 09:23 PM
BoBettie BoBettie is offline
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Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
So, is it really pretty much the same thing? If so, I can't for the life of me figure out why people recommend Neti pots since it doesn't help much (I feel better for an hour, maybe), but does make you feel like you're drowning. At least I only threw up the first time I tried it...If the NeilMed bottle is actually like a neti pot, I'm never bothering with a neti pot.
That's what I have, the bottle style. The pot looked awkward to me, but the bottle style is pretty straightforward. Fill it, tip head, squeeze and let it flow. Half in one side, half in the other.
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  #8  
Old 02-01-2011, 10:00 PM
BigT BigT is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elfkin477 View Post
So, is it really pretty much the same thing? If so, I can't for the life of me figure out why people recommend Neti pots since it doesn't help much (I feel better for an hour, maybe), but does make you feel like you're drowning. At least I only threw up the first time I tried it...If the NeilMed bottle is actually like a neti pot, I'm never bothering with a neti pot.
Because people tend to overdo not pay attention to the "Just don't squeeze too hard" recommendation. Gravity is inherently gentle.

At least, I assume that's the case, as my neti pot specifically advertises usng the "gentle pull of gravity."
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  #9  
Old 02-01-2011, 10:23 PM
Johanna Johanna is offline
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If you feel like you're drowning, you're doing it wrong. Breathing through your mouth the whole time, your air passages are not obstructed. Waterboarding this ain't. If it feels like pool water up the nose, your osmotic balance is probably off. Try a little more salt. About a quarter teaspoon to a cup of lukewarm water.

The best answer to the OP is what BoBettie said: If you can't breathe through both nostrils, you can't neti them so well either. Wait until your nasal & sinus passages are reasonably unobstructed. I think neti shows its benefit over time, with regular use. The passages should become less and less obstructed on the whole. If jala (water) neti isn't happening for you, there's always sutra neti: nasal floss. Makes a great party trick.
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  #10  
Old 02-01-2011, 10:25 PM
Parenchyma Parenchyma is offline
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Like a lot of people, I only use my neti pot in the shower. This gives you a lot more options on positions. Usually my head is close to vertical, but sometimes, for what seems like a deeper or more thorough cleaning, I will tip my head closer to horizontal. Maybe if you experiment with this you will find the optimal path for the solution to flow.
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  #11  
Old 02-02-2011, 08:43 AM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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If you wear glasses, make sure you take them off before you Neti. I did my nightly rinse last night and I had my glasses on and it didn't work at all until I took them off
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  #12  
Old 02-02-2011, 11:20 AM
muldoonthief muldoonthief is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BigT View Post
Gravity is inherently gentle.

At least, I assume that's the case, as my neti pot specifically advertises usng the "gentle pull of gravity."
Well it depends. If you're pouring water through your nose, gravity is gentle. If you're jumping off a building, then gravity is a harsh mistress.

OP, I've found that when I'm completely blocked, just filling up as much water as my nasal cavities will take, then letting it drain out the nostril it went in, will help as well. Sometimes if I do that 3-4 times, I get to where it will flow all the way through.
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  #13  
Old 02-02-2011, 11:34 AM
Sattua Sattua is offline
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Neti pots, as has been said before, are great for keeping open noses open. If you're already stuffed up, you've got problems. Take a hot steamy shower and blow your nose first, or even take a decongestant first, to get your airways open. Then the water will soothe them and clean them out, instead of getting stuck.
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  #14  
Old 02-02-2011, 05:35 PM
abderian abderian is offline
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Wow --- thank you!

Thanks for all the advice! I can routinely breathe through both nostrils, so I can only assume it must be a matter of how Iím holding my head. Guess Iíll try to get my head more horizontal, and it certainly wouldnít hurt for me to try it in the shower.
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  #15  
Old 02-03-2011, 12:17 AM
Throatwarbler Mangrove Throatwarbler Mangrove is offline
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I currently have a cold and blocked sinuses as well. I find that with a heavily clogged nose, you need to hold it in position for quite some time, so that the warm water has time to dissolve its way through the congestion. For me it might take 2 or 3 minutes with my head cocked before the water starts to drip out.
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  #16  
Old 02-03-2011, 01:21 AM
Princhester Princhester is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Portwest View Post
The past couple of days, my sinuses feel “full”. Yesterday, I didn’t use it, but took a decongestant instead. Now, I’m hesitant to use the neti pot again, but so many people have successfully improved their nasal / sinus conditions with it that I hate to throw in the towel...
This is exactly my experience. It feels good while I'm doing it and I get free flow of water both ways (right/left and left/right) but then I get the feeling afterwards like my sinuses are waterlogged and congested worse than before. I don't know whether sticking with it would eventually cause it all to declog and be better off or whether it's not for me.

I did read that for some people saline rinsing itself seems to irritate sinus linings.

Last edited by Princhester; 02-03-2011 at 01:21 AM..
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  #17  
Old 02-03-2011, 08:12 AM
corkboard corkboard is offline
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If all else fails, work a pipe cleaner up one nostril and down the other & saw back & forth a few times. That should get you started.
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  #18  
Old 02-03-2011, 10:20 AM
Troy McClure SF Troy McClure SF is offline
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Chiming in again that it does not feel like drowning. Not only that, you can breathe through your mouth quite easily, and even talk (though it'll affect the flow and you'll sound stupid).

I usually do it over the sink, because it gives me a great sense of accomplishment to actually see all the gunk I've expelled from my head. I tip my head forward forward, almost to the horizontal, then rotate my head about 40 degrees. I don't have flow problems usually, but don't be afraid to move your head around. At first, go ahead and make an effort to seal off your mouth from your nose with the back of your tongue, sort of like you might when something in the room smells really bad. Breathe through your mouth. In fact, if you feel like you're drowning, worry about this before you worry about the flow through your nostrils.

If you are stuffed up, the flow will be a problem, and indeed in can cause pain. I'll still give it a shot if I'm stuffed up, but as soon as it's apparent it won't work, I give it up.

If you feel like the neti pot is stuffing you up, try moving your head all over. Gravity is what gets the water out, and there are a lot of nooks and crannies in your sinuses where water can get trapped. I've been pretty lucky in my experiences, but every time there's a neti pot thread here, someone says they were getting something out of a low cupboard 15 minutes later and water came pouring out their nose, because they hadn't quite found the angle to get it out until then.

If you use the bottle, don't squeeze too hard. It's not the pressure that clears the sinuses, it's the steady flow of the salt water. And it feels awful when you squeeze too hard. Though if you train yourself to handle it, you can take care of your sinuses and ear canal all at once*.

*-not really
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Old 02-03-2011, 10:24 AM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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When badly congested, the salt concentration may need to be increased slightly, perhaps by 1/4 or less. This will remove more fluids from the congested nasal tissue.

Otherwise, one could consider cautiously using an oxymetazoline spray to open up badly clogged nostrils prior to flushing, if symptomatic relief is strongly desired. One must be careful not to use oxymetazoline too often, or one's nose could get 'addicted' to it.

Last edited by Qadgop the Mercotan; 02-03-2011 at 10:24 AM..
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  #20  
Old 02-03-2011, 10:33 AM
StGermain StGermain is offline
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QtM - This sounds dumb, but how do you use the oxymetazoline spray? I bought some to try before I used the neti pot, and I squeezed, but nothing seemed to blow into my nose. Should you be able to feel the mist?

I've pre-mixed a 1/3 baking soda, 2/3 pickling salt mixture and I'm finding the neti pot is flowing better. The saltwater does burn a little. Am I using too much?

StG
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  #21  
Old 02-03-2011, 10:41 AM
WhyNot WhyNot is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qadgop the Mercotan View Post
One must be careful not to use oxymetazoline too often, or one's nose could get 'addicted' to it.
Quoted for emphasis. Oxymetazoline is amazing, miraculous stuff, but I've never, ever been so miserable as the weeks it took me to knock the inadvertent addiction I gave myself.

StGermain, you sniff while you squeeze the bottle. Within 60 seconds, you experience sweet, sweet relief with a little throat burn. And you mark your calender for three days and DON'T let yourself use it longer than that no matter how stuffed up you are and how important it is to not be blowing your nose at work.

Last edited by WhyNot; 02-03-2011 at 10:43 AM..
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  #22  
Old 02-03-2011, 12:06 PM
Qadgop the Mercotan Qadgop the Mercotan is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by StGermain View Post
QtM - This sounds dumb, but how do you use the oxymetazoline spray? I bought some to try before I used the neti pot, and I squeezed, but nothing seemed to blow into my nose. Should you be able to feel the mist?

I've pre-mixed a 1/3 baking soda, 2/3 pickling salt mixture and I'm finding the neti pot is flowing better. The saltwater does burn a little. Am I using too much?

StG
Schpritz it up there & snort it down, or dribble it in with your head upturned. If the liquid doesn't trickle in, it won't do much. You should be able to sense something penetrating it, if you're doing it right.

I generally recommend a flat 1/2 teaspoon of kosher salt to start, with 1/8 tsp of bicarb in 8 oz of warm water. If that burns or fails to unplug a really swollen nose, I make the 1/2 tsp a bit more 'heaping'. Not real scientific. Your mix sounds a little tilted towards the bicarb.

Stir well! Not much is more irritating that putting undissolved salt into your nose.
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  #23  
Old 02-03-2011, 03:37 PM
StGermain StGermain is offline
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Qadgop - This sounds like good advice in more than one way!
Quote:
You should be able to sense something penetrating it, if you're doing it right.
StG
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  #24  
Old 02-03-2011, 05:36 PM
Heffalump and Roo Heffalump and Roo is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Princhester View Post
This is exactly my experience. It feels good while I'm doing it and I get free flow of water both ways (right/left and left/right) but then I get the feeling afterwards like my sinuses are waterlogged and congested worse than before. I don't know whether sticking with it would eventually cause it all to declog and be better off or whether it's not for me.

I did read that for some people saline rinsing itself seems to irritate sinus linings.
That's exactly my experience also. I'm actually relieved to read this since I seem to be the only one that seems to have the experience. I only tried the neti pot once. That night, I was so congested that I had trouble sleeping. Since I wasn't that congested to start with, I decided not to try again at that time. But I still have the stuff, so maybe I'll try again later.

I now use saline spray that comes in a can. It's really expensive, but it helps keep my sinuses clear and doesn't make me feel congested.
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  #25  
Old 02-04-2011, 05:59 AM
BigT BigT is offline
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I feel the water log thing when I'm already sick, so I don't use it then, either. Everything is already irritated, and the process is always at least slightly irritating.

Heck, I hate taking decongestants because they tend to dry me out, and that means I can feel the irritation that much more. It feels like I have water permanently stuck up my nose. I'd rather just be a mouth breather for a while, but I know you have to clear the sinuses to clear up the infection.
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