Spring (Hay) Fever - Neti
This is how I’m feeling this morning. For more great comics, visit www.phdcomics.com.
One thing that helps me when I’m like this is the traditional yogic practice of Neti. For the uninitiated, this is nasal irrigation using either a traditional Neti pot or just a bowl of water. I tend to use saline (1/2 teaspoon salt + 1/2 teaspoon sodium bicarbonate to 1 pint of tap water) as it makes my nasal passages feel more comfortable when they’re being flushed out. It’s especially good for the headachey kind of sinusitis but does help with general sneezing and wheezing as well. The bicarbonate is a mucolytic so it really helps clean the passages out.
Using the Neti pot, the goal is to flush saline through one nostril and out the other. This isn’t as difficult as it sounds. If you sniff backwards at the same time, you also get the saline running through your nose into the back of the throat which helps if you have nasal drip. Recently, I’ve also started using the yogic practice of clearing the nose after Neti ie I bend over from the waist with my nose facing the floor and breathe in through my mouth and then out through my nose for 10 breaths to remove leftover water. I then stand up and breathe in and out through my nose (with forceful exhalation) to make sure everything is as dry as possible.
If you’re wary of this procedure, please note that it is now a recommended practice for postoperative cleaning of the nasal passage.
It’s worth giving it a go IMHO if you have a clogged or runny nose. Yogic practice recommends once a day but I only do it about 1x or 2x a week at most - there are some studies that show too frequent irrigation can actually cause more infection, although getting rid of the water afterwards helps a great deal.