Does nasal rinse work?

I get sick about 4 times a year, usually when the seasons change. I thought it might be chronic sinusitis, but the doctor said no.

So, I bought a nasal rinse kit, and I’ve been doing it for a few weeks now. I haven’t been sick, but I was wondering if anyone has been using it for longer and seen any benefits.

In case you don’t get posts for a little while, do a search here on “neti” (‘neti pot’ is another utensil for nasal rinsing, but the board won’t search on the three-letter word) and you’ll turn up a lot of threads on the topic. Even our own doc Qadgop the Mercotan has good words for the practice.

Here is the thread where I become a convert and Learn to Love the Neti. There are many other threads about neti and its cousins on the Dope.

The overwheming consensus among Dopers is that they work. And according to Qadgop the Mercotan, one of our Doper Docs, there are also clinical studies to support this.

I use it every day, and I have almost entirely stopped having dry sinus nosebleeds. I have almost no allergy issues unless we do something that generates a lot of dust and particulates even in the height of pollen season, and I have had 2 colds in the last 3 years which I attribute to being packed into a tight crowd breathing in everybody else’s germs.

Just not getting dry sinus and resulting nosebleeds is worth the 5 minutes it takes every evening. The lack of sinus headaches is pure gold!

I really do need to get back into using mine again. It worked wonders during springtime, but I fell out of habit when fall started.

Yeah, I’ve fallen out of the habit too since spring - it made a world of difference for me.

I ordered mine a week or so ago and am just waiting for it to arrive. I get a sinus infection about once a winter so I’m hoping this will prevent this year’s session.

I love mine. Seems to keep my usual allergy reactions to a minimum.

Hmmm - Typo Knig hasn’t had a bad cold since he started using his routinely, that may or may not be coincidence. What has improved - dramatically so - is his snoring. If he omits the neti at bedtime, he’s nearly guaranteed to snore the whole damn night. If he uses it, he rarely snores.

I don’t use it nearly that routinely. Usually I only trot it out when I’m having extra trouble with post-nasal stuff. That definitely feels better afterward.

People with sinus problems swear by them. I guess it’s a combination of washing away the actual bacteria, and washing away some of the mucus that serves as a breeding ground for them, plus the antimicrobial properties of the salt itself.

Same here. My wife insists I use the neti pot at bedtime.

I had sinus problems and allergies my whole life. in my experience, sing the neti pot at least once daily has made a huge difference.

TheElf swears by the practice and in combination with a colloidal silver spray, can get rid of a sinus infection in a day or two instead of a week.
(Please do not ask me about colloidal silver, I don’t use it and I don’t know if it works or if it’s just a placebo. I just know that is his process, and that it seems to work for him. I am not a woo-woo health nut person and neither is he.)

I started using one several months ago, but not on a daily basis. I love it.

In the past, I have gotten bad sinus infections. I can feel them coming on, so much so that if I went to my doc and told her I was fighting one she would prescribe antibiotics and steroids. After about 4-7 days of meds it would improve, but sometimes came back a week or two later.

Now, if I feel a sinus infection coming on, I use my neti pot for a couple of days. So far, this has solved the problem and prevented the need for a doctor visit and course of medications. I’ll probably use it more frequently in the spring to prevent allergies.

Kansas Beekeeper, I think you and I need to have a talk. :stuck_out_tongue:

On topic, so these things are the real deal huh? I am always constantly “stuffed up”* and have been told I should seek the treatment of a neti pot. I have been skeptical because the description of them just screams snake oil to me. Perhaps I know of a Christmas present someone can give me now. :slight_smile:

*But then again, maybe it’s just the bees.

My wife, Pixilated swears by it and I will use it occasionally. I seem to have missed my annual sinus infection for the past few years. Not drawing any conclusions, just sayin.

Yes, it works. From Laryngoscope. 2000 Jul;110(7):1189-93.
Clinical study and literature review of nasal irrigation

Just one good study of many demonstrating the effectiveness of nasal irrigation.

Good to see there’s another beekeeper here.

I was initially as skeptical as you. I don’t go out for woo-woo stuff, but my doctor recommended it for me, and our kids’ pediatrician recommended it for them. I can’t take Sudafed because of blood pressure, and discovering the neti pot has been a real blessing.

It does take a few days to get used, however.

I use mine pretty much daily as part of my shower routine, and I have not had a bad cold or typical allergy outbreak since I started using it last summer. It takes a few days to get use to, and if you are particularly congested, you may have to use it 5-6 times the first couple of days to get things washed out, but after that, once or twice a day is usually good.

Interesting. That study cites use of the water-pik attachment (which I actually heard of before I heard of a neti pot); any studies that talk just about the more passive neti irrigation?

I actually used the water-pik thing (different brand actually) and found it harder to use and harder to tolerate than an actual neti, which simply relies on gravity. Not to mention the damn thing was NOISY.

I’m a total convert. I don’t use a neti or flush/rinse, I prefer the aerosol saline spray ($8 at any pharmacy, over the counter, sounds dear but lasts a long time!). It’s effectively the same thing though.

I encountered it when I was directed to use it following sinus surgery, to fight infection and keep everything well moisturized. In the days following, I used it 10+ times a day! I found it to be the bomb.

My surgeon had pointed out that years of bad sinus’s meant I had pretty entrenched sinusitis, notoriously difficult to completely get rid of. But this saline spray did the job within a couple of months it was gone without a trace, never to return.

Now I use it whenever I get any kind of congestion, and I haven’t had a sinus infection since.

(Caveat - it is imperative that the nozzle be sterilized after every single use, or you’re just reintroducing the infection to your sinus cavity.)

Another really helpful thing I learned from the surgeon is the value of apple cider vinegar. It seems there is something in apple skins that helps thin mucus. It’s concentrated in the vinegar. One half ounce, a couple of times a day, thins the mucus and your sinus drains and your body gets the upper hand and you get over your cold really fast. Bonus it will clear your clogged sinus’s within minutes of ingesting!

If I’d known about these two things 20 years ago I’d have saved a small fortune in over the counter cold and sinus meds, plus have avoided innumerable colds, sinus infections and blinding sinus headaches. Quite possibly even surgery.

Specifically for the neti pot? Not sure.