Editor’s ChoiceMain Category: Ear, Nose and ThroatAlso Included In: AllergyArticle Date: 26 Aug 2012 – 2:00 PDT
Current ratings for:Improper Rinsing Of Sinuses With Neti Pots Can Be Dangerous, FDA Says
Neti pots are tiny teapot-like devices which people use to rinse out their sinuses. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warns that if they are not used properly, the user runs a risk of developing serious infections, even potentially fatal ones. The FDA states that the neti pots are not the problem, but rather how people are going about rinsing their sinuses.
Over the last ten years, neti pots have become very popular for people who have problems with their sinuses – they are also used for relieving symptoms of a cold and various allergies. The user fills a neti pot with a salt-based (saline) solution, tilts their head back and pours the solution into one nostril, the liquid goes up their nose and comes out of the other nostril.
The FDA informed this day that the improper use of neti pots, as well as other devices for rinsing out the sinuses, including squeeze bottles, battery-operated pulsed water devices, and bulb syringes have been linked to a higher risk of infection.
The FDA states it is informing doctors, other health care professionals, device makers and users about the safe practice of devices used for rinsing the nasal passages.
Steven Osborne, M.D., a medical officer in FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health (CDRH), emphasized that these devices are safe and useful overall, as long as they are properly used and cleaned.
Users have to make sure the liquid is a dedicated saline nasal rinse. Do not use tap water or any form of unsterilized liquid. Tap water generally has small amount of bacteria, protozoa and other microorganisms, including amoebas, which is OK if we swallow them, but should not go into our nasal passages. If they do, they can remain there, alive, and eventually cause serious infections.
Last year, two neti pot users in Louisiana lost their lives after using water tainted with Naegleria fowleri, a type of amoeba.
A number of instructions have photos or videos of people using plain tap water, while at the same time write in the instructions that tap water should not be used.
Below are some details of how to go about rinsing your nasal passage with one of these devices (might vary, depending on which product you are using):
Rinsing the nasal passage helps clear out pollen, dirt, and other trapped debris. The saline solution does not irritate or burn the nasal membranes, which are extremely sensitive and delicate.
If the instructions on your neti pot are not clear, you should check with a pharmacist or health care professional, the FDA added.
Only use the following types of water for nasal rinsesSterile or distilled water. When you purchase them, check the label states “sterile” or “distilled”Boiled tap water. It must be boiled for three to five minutes, and then granted to cool down. If you store it in a clean, closed container, it will be good for use for no more than 24 hours.Water that has gone through a filter with an absolute pore size of 1 micron maximum.Is it OK to carry out nasal rinsing on children?According to Osborne, after the age of two, if the physician recommends it, kids with nasal allergies may benefit from using nasal-rinsing devices. However, this should only be done if the physician states so.
Written by Christian NordqvistCopyright: Medical News TodayNot to be reproduced without permission of Medical News Today
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