Wednesday, January 19, 2011

My Sinus Solutions (reader-be-warned)

I'd like to think I came from a family pool of pretty good genes. Sure, I'm terrible at all things mathematical, and my hair has a cow-lick I simply cannot conquer, but overall I have little to complain about. However, if there's one place where genetics handed me a stocking full of coal, it would have to be in my proclivity towards all-things-sinus.

That is a very long way of saying I get a sinus infection almost every time my nose drops a drip. I've had so many over my lifetime, in fact, that I've learned how to recover from them without antibiotics. And it isn't any difficult process.

To avoid allowing a sinus infection to progress to the point that I need antibiotics, the only thing I need to do is prevent crud from hanging out in my sinuses. This involves a whole lot of nasty blowing noises, followed by lougie halking noises (are those even words?), a bunch of sleeping completely upright, and usually a very chapped nose. But hey, it works for me. And until recently, I thought it was the only thing that worked. Then I found this:

(This post is about to get ugly, friends)

I would totally not be sharing this with you if I didn't believe that it has prevented not 1, not 2, but 3 sinus infections from taking over my body in the past year. Nobody in their right mind would post vulnerable (read: blackmail-ready) photos such as these without a darn good reason.

The NeilMed bottle is based on the same concept as the (now famous) Neti-pot. The purpose behind them both is to introduce fluid to the sinuses, and invite the mucus to exit with it. In my opinion, the bottle is superior for only one reason: the user can control the rate of flow. Instead of allowing gravity to bring the water out of the neti-pot, into one nostril, and out the other, I can squeeze my little bottle and use a little more force, bringing more of the yuckies out than gravity alone would be able to.

The NeilMed bottle comes with packets of pre-mixed saline solution that dissolve in the warm water used to fill the bottle. Because it has a straw down to the bottom, it needn't be tipped during use.

Simply hold up to one nostril, and while breathing solely through the mouth, squ
eeze the warm saline solution into your sinuses.

The solution, along with whatever it collects on its way out, will exit the opposite nostril.
Continue with the other side,
blowing your nose gently when finished.

Sure. It feels really weird. At first you wonder if you're about to drown yourself. But once you see how much junk that saline solution brings out with it, you, too, will be a believer. Well worth $7.99, especially for those pregnant and nursing who have such limited medicinal choices. Find more information here.

Oh, and if you do decide to give this a try, I may have a couple tips for you. But I'll save the really juice stuff for those who actually want it :)


Kim said...

I was a hard core netti pot user. Jer bought one of the nettimeds and swore by it, but I thought it was the same thing. He recently got me to try it and I was hooked- SO easy and awesome! (and doesn't burn like the pot did sometimes)

Glad you found a solution!

fresitamariana said...

Um yes, gross. But going on two weeks of a nasty cold I'm seriously contemplating it. Can you buy it at Safeway? If only it worked for babies...

Anonymous said...

I just love Neilmed products. they have products for infants too. check with your pharmacy. I buy them at Costco as they have great deals !

Melissa K. said...

Marian, I'm sure they sell them at the Safeway pharmacy, and if not there, then RiteAide would surely carry them.

One thing we use on Levi is an aerosol saline spray. We spray it up his nose a few hours before bed (never right before though, it wouldn't have enough time to exit) and although he doesn't know how to "blow" per-se, the additional fluid in his sinuses encourages the mucus OUT! If he doesn't start dripping within a few minutes, I tackle him (literally) and sucker the saline+snot out with the bulb syringe the hospital sent us home with.

Brian said...

Wow, grossness aside, I really appreciate this post!

Joyce said...

I LOVE my sinus rinse bottle. I got one at Walgreen's. I swear if I use it consistently right at the beginning of a cold, I can cut the length and severity of the cold by half. And this prevents you from so aggressively blowing your nose that you force the infection farther back into your sinuses, complicating or causing a sinus infection. So weird, but it makes me feel so much better during the day and night. It's been helping with my pregnancy related nasal congestion too.