Here's What Happens To Your Body When You Use A Neti Pot Every Day

The thought of using a Neti pot every day horrifies some people, but for others it is a life-changing hack that vastly improves their health. These strange devices that look like a small teapot with a spout that fits in your nostril help clear your nasal cavity of mucus and other debris, which could come in handy, especially during allergy season (via the Mayo Clinic). When you use a Neti pot to rinse your sinuses, it's essential to clean it properly and use the correct type of water to create the mild saline solution, according to Today

"The salt water helps loosen and flush out the mucus. Because it also thins the mucus, it helps with post-nasal drip," Dr. Amy Crawford-Faucher, an assistant clinical professor in the department of family medicine at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, told Today.

Of course, if you're new to using a sinus rinse, it might feel a bit like jumping into the ocean and breathing in the salty water, but with practice you can figure out how to enjoy the benefits of Neti pots without feeling like you're inhaling the sea. While you might only think of using them when you have a cold with congestion or suffer from seasonal allergies, the benefits of using a Neti pot regularly might surprise you.

The surprising benefits of using a Neti pot daily

Once you get the hang of using a Neti pot, the relief it brings far outweighs any negatives. Several studies revealed that nasal irrigation helps treat upper respiratory infection symptoms (via National Institutes of Health). While some people only use it when they experience acute symptoms, many people find that using the saline rinse regularly helps keep their noses mucus-free and stops any post nasal drip they experience. 

Dr. Marilene Wang, the director of UCLA's Nasal and Sinus Disease Center, told Today that sinus irrigation helps remove environmental irritation, especially for people who live in areas with higher air pollution like Los Angeles and other large cities. "When you breathe air in Los Angeles, it comes with a lot of particles. They land in the nose and irritate the tissue. People who have allergies have an overreaction and develop symptoms like thick sticky mucus, sneezing, and runny eyes. If you rinse out the irritants, you remove the trigger that incites the symptoms," she said.

How to care for a Neti Pot

Without the proper care, a Neti pot could cause some health problems. NBC News reported that two deaths in Louisiana happened due to contaminated Neti pots. The amoeba called Naegleria fowleri, or brain-eating amoeba, got into their sinuses from using the dirty device. To keep your Neti pot safe, you need to be sure you clean and replace it regularly and use only distilled bottled water or water filtered through one micron (via the Mayo Clinic). "I recommend changing the bottle or pot at least every month," Dr. Wang told Today.

You can find a Neti pot at pharmacies, health food stores, and online. In addition to the traditional devices, you can choose from squeeze bottles and motorized rinsing devices, which work similarly to the Neti pot. Still, you should carefully read and follow the instructions to avoid using too much force with the water. If you experience sinus issues or nasal drip, and you haven't tried nasal irrigation, it may be time to take the plunge and see how it can change your life.