Good To Nose Baraka Blog

Do Neti Pots Relieve Chronic Sinus Congestion?

Written By: Sue
March 14, 2011

hownetiHow Neti Pots Can Help Sinus Congestion

If your sinus congestion has lasted over 3 months, you’re likely to have a chronic sinus condition. The symptoms can range from a mild post nasal drip to head pressure so severe it causes headaches. With such a wide range of problems, can nasal rinsing help them all?

First, let’s consider three questions:

1. Do you have a deviated septum or a broken facial bone? All this can contribute to the sinuses being unable to optimally regulate themselves- so when you rinse, water may run out one side but not the other. Or both sides may not release water. Nasal rinsing can help in these situations, but not always.

2. Does the saline solution not completely drain from your sinuses? Anatomy books lead us to believe that our sinuses are created proportionally to our body size and evenly placed and angled in our bodies. This is far from the truth. 10% of people have an extra sinus cavity and our sinuses can be different sizes, making one side more difficult to drain.  It is helpful to bend over at the waist with the crown of your head to the floor for about 30 seconds to drain excess water.

3. Are you repeatedly exposing yourself to allergens that trigger congestion? Allergies can range from airborne pollens and pollution to food. If your congestion is airborne, nasal rinsing might be beneficial in cleansing the nasal cavities and reducing inflammation. If it’s food, nasal rinsing might not work so well, since the inflammation leading to your sinus congestion is triggered internally. (An additional thought is to check your home for mold or mildew.)

So how do you answer the question: Will nasal rinsing benefit my sinus congestion? Investigating the above questions may help to understand why you are chronically congested in the first place. From there, you can focus on how nasal rinsing can be beneficial. If you’ve never rinsed before then by all means try it. Not just once but a few times to see if it changes anything.

For those of you that have rinsed and aren’t sure of it’s benefits – experiment around! Everyone is different! Unless you’ve been told by your health provider not to rinse, there is no harm in seeing what works for you. Try rinsing every day and see how you feel. Or once a week. Try an isotonic rinse one time and a hypertonic rinse the next. Experts can only give suggestions and if you’ve read my past blog posts, you know I advocate trying different things to determine what works best for you. Listen to your body.

sinus rinse


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