FDA: Improper use of Neti Pots could lead to brain-eating amoebas

(WUSA)--Neti Pots have became a regular use in many homes. They are used to flush out clogged nasal passages and help people breathe easier, but the FDA has issued a warning regarding the use of the product.

Neti Pots use a saline solution to treat congested sinuses, colds and allergies, but according to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), improper use can increase your risk of an infection.

The FDA gave some tips on the proper use on their website.

It includes the following:

  • Rise only with distilled, sterile or previously boiled water

-Tap water is not safe for nasal rinse because it's not adequately filtered or treated. Some tap water contains low levels of organisms-- such as bacteria and protozoa, including amoebas-- that may be safe to swallow because stomach acid kills them. But in your nose, these organisms can stay alive in nasal passages and cause potentially serious infections. They can even be fatal in some rare cases, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Safely Using Nasal Irrigation Systems:

  • Leaning over a sink, tilt your head sideways with your forehead and chin roughly level to avoid liquid flowing into your mouth.
  • Breathing through your open mouth, insert the spout of the saline-filled container into your upper nostril so that the liquid drains through the lower nostril.
  • Clear your nostrils. Then repeat the procedure, tilting your head sideways, on the other side.
  • Sinus rinsing can remove dust, pollen and other debris, as well as help to loosen thick mucus. It can also help relieve nasal symptoms of sinus infections, allergies, colds and flu. Plain water can irritate your nose. The saline allows the water to pass through delicate nasal membranes with little or no burning or irritation.
  • And if your immune system isn’t working properly, consult your health care provider before using any nasal irrigation systems.


To use and care for your device:

  • Wash and dry your hands.
  • Check that the device is clean and completely dry.
  • Prepare the saline rinse, either with the prepared mixture supplied with the device, or one you make yourself.
  • Follow the manufacturer’s directions for use.
  • Wash the device, and dry the inside with a paper towel or let it air dry between uses.
  • Talk with a health care provider or pharmacist if the instructions on your device do not clearly state how to use it or if you have any questions.

For more information, visit the FDA website.

© 2017 WUSA-TV


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