I mentioned this story this morning along with my initial reticence to use the neti pot. Use it once and you'll be convinced it's welcome relief for your sinuses. Thing is, you have to use it right. The consequences are too frightening if you don't!
(UPI) -- The sinus-cleansing neti pot is a popular avenue for relief, but it requires a certain amount of care, a Dallas expert advises.
Dr. Bradley Marple, an otolaryngologist at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, says neti pots are a cost-effective way to address allergies by irrigating the sinuses by pouring a solution into the nose.
The neti pot is popular, but safety concerns arose last year when Louisiana health officials warned they were linked to two deaths caused by a so-called brain-eating amoeba that infects people by entering the body through the nose. In those cases, tap water was used.
Marple says such issues are easily addressed.
"Most allergists or ear, nose and throat doctors have few concerns about neti pots," Marple said in a statement. "The product's safety was brought into question after users cleaned their pots with straight tap water."
To ensure effective cleaning, the pot should be sanitized only with a saline solution made with either distilled water or cooled water that has been boiled for 1 minute.
"In either case, 1 cup of water should be mixed with one teaspoon of a 3-to-1 mixture of iodide-free salt -- such as pickling or canning salt, not table salt -- and baking soda. After cleaning, empty the neti pot and allow it to air-dry," Marple said.
"Once in a while -- perhaps at the end of the allergy season -- you can wash a neti pot in the dishwasher or with soap and water, but again, allow it to completely air-dry before storing it."