What Is A Neti Pot & What Makes Complete Rinse Different?
By Stephen Chandler, MD |09 May 2021|
If you suffer from chronic sinus congestion, you know how miserable it can be. It’s difficult to breathe, it’s difficult to talk, and if there’s a constant post-nasal drip, it can even cause a chronic cough. To mitigate this, many people use a neti pot. A neti pot is a nasal irrigation tool that’s used to flush out your sinuses with salt water.
Sinus irrigation is a good first choice of treatment for chronic sinus issues. Whether the issues are related to allergies, bronchitis, or other respiratory issues, the benefit is the same. You can relieve congestion without the use of medication. This makes irrigation relatively safe, since you don’t have to worry about drug interactions or any other negative side effects.
There are a number of ways of irrigating your sinuses. Probably the most famous is the neti pot. This is a simple pot that looks like a small teapot with an extended spout. You fill it with salt water, put the spout in your nose, plug the other nostril, and tilt back your head. The fluid flows through to the other side, and can be easily drained out when you’re done. This leaves your sinuses clear without a lot of fuss.
The same technique applies for most other methods, as well. But there are important differences that can make some nasal irrigation techniques better than others. So, why might you choose the Complete Rinse over an ordinary neti pot? Let’s take a closer look at how nasal irrigation works, the downsides of neti pots, and what the Complete Rinse does better.
Irrigation is designed to help your sinuses perform their natural function. There are many good reasons we have sinuses, but one of their functions is to serve as a first line of defense for your body’s immune system.
You see, your lungs are vulnerable to infection by their very nature. They’re warm, moist areas that are designed specifically to allow for gas exchange. To keep them safe, your nose is full of tiny hairs. Yes, you have nose hairs to keep out dust, but those are just a “pre-filter,” so to speak. The bulk of the work is done by tiny hairs called “cilia,” which line your nasal passages and sinuses.
The cilia sweep back and forth and capture bacteria, viruses, and tiny dirt particles. Because the cilia are covered in mucous, they’re sticky, and contaminants adhere to them. This mucous is then slowly pushed towards the back of your throat, where it goes down to your stomach. There, stomach acid makes short work of any germs that could have infected your lungs.
In a healthy respiratory system, the mucous has a medium consistency. It doesn’t drip, but it flows slowly and doesn’t clog up. Sometimes, when you get sick, the mucous becomes watery, and you get a post-nasal drip out of the back of your sinuses. Other times, the mucous becomes more viscous and doesn’t flow at all. This causes your sinuses to get plugged, preventing draining, and causing headaches and discomfort.
Irrigation is one way of relieving all of these symptoms. By flushing out the excess mucous, you help your respiratory system to maintain itself in the way that nature intended. For allergy sufferers, this means significant relief from symptoms at any time of the year. For someone who’s sick, it means symptom relief while their prescribed medication does its work.
Why Not Use a Neti Pot?
So, we know why irrigating is clearly a good idea. But why wouldn’t you just use a neti pot? While neti pots are a longstanding method of irrigation, they’re also outdated. Simply put, using a neti pot to irrigate is like using a horse and buggy for your daily commute. Here are a few drawbacks.
Burning or stinging:
To begin with, a neti pot can cause burning and stinging. This happens when the salt water solution irritates the nasal membrane. It usually occurs because the solution balance is off. Too much salt — or not enough — can dry out your nasal membrane, causing irritation.
Excessive ear pressure:
Any nasal irrigation is capable of producing ear pressure. This is a natural effect of pouring water directly through your sinuses. As the water flows through, it may force air to compress. This pressure can build up, and can become uncomfortable if it becomes strong enough. It may even cause your ears to pop. This isn’t dangerous, but it’s an unpleasant experience for many people.
Coughing, choking, or gagging:
A neti pot is a fairly crude instrument. It simply pours water into your nose. Because it’s gravity fed, this water can go anywhere. Depending on your experience and how you hold your head, it can go down your throat and send you into a coughing fit.
How is the Complete Rinse Different?
So, why is the Complete Rinse better? Here are a few reasons:
No burning or stinging:
The Complete Rinse salinates your water inside the mixing chamber, using the Buff’R Caps Dispenser. Because every dispenser is the same, it will produce ideal salinity when mixed with any distilled water.
Minimal ear pressure:
Because a neti pot is gravity-fed, there’s no way of controlling the water pressure. If it’s going to pop your ears, there’s not much you can do about it. By contrast, you control the Complete Rinse by blowing into it. This gives you total control over the amount of pressure that’s applied. If you’re feeling uncomfortable, simply reduce the pressure.
Effective cleaning without the gagging:
The Complete Rinse is specifically designed to keep the solution in your nose. Because you’re blowing out your mouth at the same time as you’re irrigating, there’s a natural seal at the back of your throat, which prevents the salt water from leaking through.
Finally, remember that regardless of what irrigation method you’re using, you should never use unpurified tap water. You should only ever use distilled water, or water that has been sterilized. Any other source can cause you to run the risk of infection.
Dr. Stephen Chandler is a practicing Otolaryngologist in Montgomery, Alabama and owner of Sandler Scientific, LLC, makers of CompleteRinse®. To schedule a visit with Dr. Chandler call 334-834-7221 Learn more at https://www.jacksonclinicent.org/. Complete Rinse is available on Amazon and at www.completerinse.com.