Thursday, January 21, 2010

you want me to put saltwater where??

I'll be honest with you. At the beginning of my serious sinus troubles, when my doctor told me to get some saline for my nose, my first thoughts were "what the heck--you want me to put saltwater where--that sounds totally gross--surely you jest."

Uh, yeah.

I started off easy. With some saline spray in a little bottle. You just squirted it up in there and it wasn't overwhelming and then you'd need to blow your nose. Nothing exciting or involved. But helpful. I went through one-two of these on a weekly basis, it seemed. I also learned that the Ocean brand spray was soooooo worth extra $$. The generics were seriously sub par.

Then, as I saw my bank account dwindling I googled "make your own nasal saline," got directed to this and found out what a neti pot was. I spent $15 and bought the squeeze bottle one. It seemed more like what I was already used to. Little did I know! Turns out that it filled up your whole nose, and it kind of freaked me out. I hung onto it and tried something less scary. And waited for my next doctor appointment to ask him about it.

I also learned about the pressurized version of the pre-made saline. The pressurized version REALLY makes a difference. But it's like $7 a bottle and creates a lot of waste. I talked to my doctor and he said they were all good options, but I should try the squeeze bottle again because it could really do wonders for me. I listened. I liked it better after I got over the weirdness of the sensation.

I also bought a neti pot. Also from neilmed, using the same solution as the squeeze bottle. Really, it seemed like a gentler way of doing things--maybe very good for days where my nose was sore or I was congested and didn't want to shoot the liquid up my nose. So I spent another $15 and got the neti pot kit. and hooooooo buddy, did I use that a lot.

so, now I have a neti pot, a squeeze bottle and sometimes a nice little collection of saline squeeze bottles and the pressurized saline.

and then I as introduced to the navage system. now, I'm gonna tell you this thing is EXPENSIVE. it is a contraption, not a super-simple item. And before I bought it I had to write them an email asking about their rinses--because you use a new bottle every time you use it. They assured me that they were developing an alternative that didn't require the shipping of something dissolved in water, and they told me my neilmed packets would likely work just fine but would void the warranty. Luckily I got it on a supersale, and I have certainly gotten my money's worth.

the pros:
-the premade squeeze bottle is portable.
-the pressurized bottle really does an amazing job, especially if you're congested.
-the neti pot really cleans things out and is gentle
-the squeeze bottle cleans even better than the neti pot!
-the navage pulls a vacuum on your head and really gets stuff out--wow!

the cons:
-the premade squeeze bottle creates a lot of waste and not much bang for your buck.
-the pressurized bottle also creates a lot of waste and sometimes won't stop flowing when you release. also expensive.
-the neti pot is not always awesome if you're already stuffed up.
-the squeeze bottle cleans is better than the neti pot if you're already stuffed up, but still not as good as the pressurized bottle or navage.
-the navage creates a lot of bottles to recycle, takes up quite a bit of space comparatively speaking, and costs quite a bit more than any of the other options. I only paid $39 plus shipping when I got it on a super-duper-duper sale, and even then. yikes. plus, to keep the cost low and the waste low too, I voided the warranty by using the saline solution packets.

my assessment: they all have their place.

In my opinion--the most eco-friendly and pocket-friendly options are, far and away, the neti pot or the squeeze bottle. both of them use little tiny dry packets and you fill up the bottle at home, so there's no shipping of water from one place to another. and they are both about $15 for the bottle/pot plus 50 packets of the saline mix. I spend $10 three times a year or so to get new packets of the mix.

And I think depending on your situation, one of the other options might be a better fit.

But most importantly? Whichever one you choose--I think everyone should use them. I think that's the most eco-friendly option of all. Because sinus rinses are a preventative measure, and ultimately lead to fewer sinus issues and less medicine consumed--which in the grand scheme of things makes the world a much better place :)


Del said...

Yikes. I feel like I should tell you to move to the water and take up lots of ocean swimming. I've never had any problems with my sinuses, but I get a great deal of enjoyment watching Darin get wax from his ears. Seems to be similarly creepy.

Zan said...

another good thing about using saline is that you won't get rebound congestion. if you use medicated nasal sprays for several days-weeks for congestion and then suddenly stop because the congestion is gone, you can quickly become congested again. doesn't happen as much with the saline.

and we had to watch videos of using the netti-pot in school in order to teach our patients!

Renee said...

i know a lot of singers who swear by the neti pot!

Andrea said...

I use the squeeze bottle thing. I call it my nose hose.

It really does help out as I have chronic sinus-itus.

Maria said...

I dig my neti pot. I might have to check out the squeeze bottle. I don't use mine that often though-- just when I feel something out of the ordinary. Also, I thought I saw at WF an option to buy the salty stuff in a bulk container instead of individual packets. Less waste, but you have to measure. :)

Jimmy Cook said...

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