Nasal rinse, which is done using a neti pot filled with warm salt water solution, is considered a powerful technique to relieve nasal congestion due to allergies and sinus infections. But improper use of the neti pot could prove fatal.
In a consumer update issued on August 23, the FDA has listed the safe practices for using all nasal rinsing devices.
According to the regulatory agency, care should be taken to see that only safe water is used to prepare the saline rinse for use in nasal rinsing devices.
Distilled or sterile water, which can be bought in stores, or tap water boiled for 3-5 minutes, then cooled until it is lukewarm, or water passed through a filter with an absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller to keep out potentially infectious organisms, are the types of water that are safe to use in nasal rinsing devices.
The FDA warns that tap water that is not filtered, treated, or processed in specific ways is not safe for use as a nasal rinse.
Last year, two people in Louisiana died as a result of a rare brain infection that the state health department linked to using tap water contaminated with an amoeba called Naegleria fowleri in neti pots.
Tap water is safe for drinking, but not for nasal rinse. The reason being, some tap water contains low levels of organisms, such as bacteria and protozoa, including amoebas. These organisms, which we swallow while drinking the tap water, will be killed by our stomach acids. But that is not the case if the microbes enter the nasal passages during nasal rinse as they can stay alive, and cause potentially serious infections like the brain infection by Naegleria fowleri.
The nasal rinsing device should be cleaned with distilled, sterile, or boiled and cooled tap water, and should always be kept completely dry between uses.
If there are any symptoms like fever, nosebleed and headaches while using the nasal rinse it is advisable to consult the health care provider, suggests the FDA.
by RTT Staff Writer
For comments and feedback: email@example.com