Neti pots and other forms of nasal irrigation can reduce sinus symptoms from allergies, environmental irritants, and infections. The nasal passages are lined with mucous membranes and tiny hair-like structures called cilia designed to filter incoming air, trapping particles such as pollen and bacteria. The cilia move back and forth to either push the mucous forward to be blown out or to the back of the throat to be swallowed. Gently flushing the nasal passages with salt water removes allergens and excess mucous, reducing congestion and facial pain. Using a neti pot can also increase the speed and improve coordination of cilia increasing their effectiveness.
Most people find the greatest benefit when using the neti pot on a daily basis, especially after exposure to a known allergy or irritant. Neti pots come with directions for use and can be purchased for under $20 at drug stores, health food stores, and online.