If you are looking to relieve sinus pressure, nasal symptoms, or allergies, irrigating your nasal passage via a neti pot might be a good option. This salt water flushing loosens and thins mucus, making it easier to expel which can reduce and eliminate the root issue of recurrent sinus issues. Antihistamines, antibiotics or even surgical interventions resolve the symptoms but may fail to stop the cycle at the cause. As the mucus releases, cilia in the nasal passage are able to function more efficiently to rid excess mucus toward the throat or the nose to be expelled. Note, though, that it is crucial that you only use sterile water!
Because the solution flushes the nasal cavity, if contaminated water is used, it obviously poses great threat to your sinuses and potentially to your brain! Because tap water can be home to any number of contaminants, it is extremely important to use only sterile, distilled or boiled water (that is cooled after) for nasal irrigation. In two reported cases, a contaminating amoeba, named Naegleria fowleri, enters the nasal sinus then traveled to the brain where it causes primary amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM), which destroys brain tissue. In both of these cases, it resulted in death.
Although this fatal ameba is rare, it is important to use save practices when using a nasal irrigation. When choosing water to irrigate with, be sure to use distilled, sterilized, adequately filtered or previously boiled water. You can perform this nasal irrigation up to four times a day until your symptoms improve. Generally, if you follow the instructions carefully and continue the routine until all your symptoms resolve, it is a very effective, and safe, technique.