How to use a Neti Poti

by on September 20, 2015

If you suffer from sinus issues, you may be one of the millions that turn to nasal irrigation – the most popular being the Neti Pot. Like many products there are pro’s and con’s. Here is everything you need to know about how to use a Neti Poti


Chronic sinus or allergy problems can leave you feeling as though your nose is perpetually stuffed. To breathe freely again, many sinus sufferers rely on nasal irrigation, a technique that flushes out clogged nasal passages using a saltwater solution.

Often it’s the first line of defense in dealing with complicated sinus problems and allergy problems, particularly if you are developing congestion or have a sinus infection it’s very helpful.

The idea behind nasal irrigation is that it helps the body get rid of irritating and infectious agents that make their way into the nose. The nasal passages come equipped with tiny, hair like structures called cilia, which beat back and forth to catch dirt, bacteria, viruses, and other unwelcome substances.

What happens with sinus problems or allergies is the consistency of the mucus changes, so that it’s harder to beat, or harder to move, or thicker. Nasal irrigation helps thin out the mucus and improve the coordination of the cilia to help them more effectively remove bacteria and other irritants from the sinus passages.

Nasal irrigation can be an effective way to relieve sinus symptoms, and a complement to traditional sinus treatments such as antibiotics and nasal steroids.


Using nasal irrigation to clear stuffed sinuses can be helpful from time to time for relieving symptoms, but a study presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in 2009 shows that it may actually be counterproductive when used regularly over the long term.

The idea behind this finding is that nasal mucus serves a beneficial function, helping to protect the body against infection. The nasal mucus we have in the nose contains very important immune elements that are the first line of respiratory defense against infections. As it helps remove the bad mucus, saline may also dilute or wash away these beneficial antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral agents.

In addition to the study, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has concerns about the risk of infection tied to the improper use of Neti Pots and other nasal rinsing devices. The agency is informing consumers, manufacturers and health care professionals about safe practices for using all nasal rinsing devices, which include bulb syringes, squeeze bottles, and battery-operated pulsed water devices.

Most important is the source of water that is used with nasal rinsing devices. Tap water that is not filtered, treated, or processed in specific ways is not safe for use as a nasal rinse.

Some tap water contains low levels of organisms, such as bacteria and protozoa, including amoebas, which may be safe to swallow because stomach acid kills them.  But these “bugs” can stay alive in nasal passages and cause potentially serious infections, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Improper use of Neti Pots may have caused two deaths in 2011 in Louisiana from a rare brain infection that the state health department linked to tap water contaminated with an amoeba called Naegleria fowleri.

BE SAFE: Water
  • Distilled or sterile water, which you can buy in stores.  The label will state “distilled” or “sterile.”
  • Boiled and cooled tap water—boiled for 3-5 minutes, then cooled until it is lukewarm. Previously boiled water can be stored in a clean, closed container for use within 24 hours.
  • Water passed through a filter with an absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller, which traps potentially infectious organisms. CDC has information on selecting these filters, which you can buy from some hardware and discount stores, or online.
 Be SAFE: Proper Use
  • Wash and dry hands.
  • Check that the device is clean and completely dry.
  • Use the appropriate water as recommended above to 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 with distilled, sterile, or boiled and cooled tap water, and then dry the inside with a paper towel or let it air dry between uses.

However, people who are using nasal saline on a regular basis, it makes them feel like it is helping them, but they are only patching the problem. If nosebleeds or headaches come as a result of your Neti Poti use, contact Dr. Mariotti immediately as these could be signs of a greater problem.

With proper use, and all things considered, in studies, people suffering from daily sinus symptoms found relief from using the Neti Pot or other nasal irrigation system daily. Three times a week was often enough once symptoms subsided.

Source: Food & Drug Administration , Web MD

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How to use a Neti Poti

How to avoid Ragweed Allergy

by on September 7, 2015

How to avoid Fall Ragweed Allergy

Back to school and back to allergy season. The sneezing and sniffling has returned and more than likely you’re suffering from pollen allergy a.k.a allergic rhinitis or hay fever. You’re not the only one – 30 million Americans do.

Hay fever stems from a glitch in the immune system. Instead of attracting harmful foreign substances such as bacteria and viruses, your immune system tries to neutralize “invaders’ that are ordinarily quite harmless – in this case pollen grains that fill the air from August through October.

What happens is when these tiny particles are inhaled – it triggers a cascade of biochemical reactions, resulting in the release of histamine, – which causes the all-too familiar symptoms such as:

– Coughing

– Sneezing

– Congestion

– Fatigue

– Post-nasal drip

– Itchy eyes nose and throat

– Dark circles around the eyes

– Asthma attacks

So what is the prime cause of these types of allergies? If your allergies act up at certain times of the year, you may be allergic to pollen. In the spring, pollinating trees are usually to blame for allergies. In summer, grasses and weeds are the main culprits. In fall, it’s weeds, especially ragweed.

 What is Ragweed?

Many plant varieties can cause hay fever, but the 17 varieties of ragweed that grow in North America pose the biggest threat. Three out of four people who are allergic to pollen have a ragweed allergy.

A hardy annual, ragweed thrives just about anywhere turf grasses and other perennials haven’t taken root — along roads and riverbanks, in vacant lots, and so on. Over the course of a single year, one ragweed plant can produce a staggering one billion grains of pollen. And it doesn’t fall harmlessly to the ground. It floats on the breeze. Pollen has been found hundreds of miles out to sea and two miles up into the atmosphere.

How Do I try and protect myself from Ragweed allergies?

In your everyday life, it’s virtually impossible to protect your self from these types of allergies. However, there are ways to fight

–        Keep your windows shut as much as possible and keep the air conditioner on Running the air conditioner will also help remove moisture from the air, which helps prevent the growth of mold, which can trigger allergies

–        HEPA air filters can be helpful, especially if your home is carpeted. One per room is best, or if you find it pricey, utilize one in the room you spend the most time

–     We know a mask it sounds strange and may look even weirder – but it really does work. Look for a facemask with an “N95” rating from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH).

–   Whenever you come in from outside, wash your face and hands. If you’ve been exposed to outdoor air for quite a while, shower and change into fresh clothes.

–   This may be a buzz kill for those that like a soothing tea before bed, but chamomile contains proteins similar to the ones in ragweed, Also stay clear of banana’s and   melons.

– Clean your nasal’s using a salt-water solution to wash pollen from your nostrils. It can be very effective at curbing hay fever symptoms. Use an over-the-counter irrigator , such as those sold under the brand names Ocean and Air.

If these pollen-avoidance strategies fail to bring relief, medical therapy may be in order. Nonprescription antihistamines, such Claritin and Zyrtec, are generally the first choice for mild to moderate symptoms (no need to pay extra for brand names, as generics cost less and work just as well).

If congestion as well as sneezing and a runny, itchy nose bother you, adding a decongestant such as Sudafed should help. There are also antihistamine-decongestant combinations available. These products generally include a “D” in the name, as in Tavist D. (If you have high blood pressure, ask Dr. Mariotti if taking a decongestant is OK. Some cause a potentially dangerous rise in blood pressure.)

For severe or persistent symptoms, a steroid nasal spray (Flonase, Nasonex, and so on.)

Ready to know more about your allergies and a proper diagnosis?

Contact Dr. Mariotti at 570-714-3434


Sourcing Web MD


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How to avoid Ragweed Allergy


by on June 15, 2015

You may be among the 45% of normal adults who snore at least occasionally or you likely know someone who does especially if you have allergic rhinitis.


Allergic rhinitis occurs when allergens in the air are breathed by someone that is allergic to them, irritating and inflaming the nasal passages.

Allergic rhinitis (allergies) may occur year-round or seasonally. When it occurs seasonally it is usually caused by airborne particles from trees, grass, ragweed, or outdoor mold. Causes of year-round allergic rhinitis include indoor substances such as pet dander, indoor mold, and dust mites in bedding, mattresses, and carpeting.

For those allergic to dust mites, pollen, molds and pet dander it can trigger the release of a chemical in the body that causes nasal congestion, sneezing, watery eyes, and runny nose. These symptoms can lead to poor sleep, which can greatly affect your life causing depression and fatigue.

It can also get very, very serious. Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA), a sleep disorder in which breathing is briefly and repeatedly interrupted during sleep, is linked with allergic rhinitis. OSA occurs when the muscles of the throat relax and fail to hold the airway open during sleep. Nasal congestion, which causes the upper airway to narrow, increases the risk of both snoring and OSA among allergic rhinitis patients.

So, how to make your bedroom a nearly allergy-free zone and get a good nights rest ?

Here are some of our tips


  • Clean regularly with natural products, as traditional cleaning supply fumes can set off an allergic reaction.
  • Wipe down your bedframe with a damp cloth weekly.
  • Cut the clutter — less stuff gives allergens fewer places to hide.
  • Don’t store things under the bed. It’s difficult to clean and dust (and dust mites!) love to hide under there.
  • Limit difficult-to-clean soft surfaces like carpets, upholstered items, and heavy draperies.
  • Houseplants are good air filters if you don’t have mold allergies.
  • Avoid Dust mites (actually, their excrement) are responsible for the majority of year-round allergy problems in the bedroom. They live in soft surfaces, and dust, and come out to eat the skin cells and oils we all shed throughout the day
  • Pillows and comforters should either be made of allergen friendly synthetics, or encased in protective covers. Down is an attractive home for dust mites, so be particularly careful to cover or remove all down bedding in your bedroom.
  • Hard floors are best for allergy sufferers, but if you have carpets, vacuum them regularly using a HEPA filtered vacuum. Traditional vacuum filters can spread allergens through the air and cause an allergic reaction.
  • Pollen loves to stick to hair and clothes when you go outside and has a tendency to follow you when you head back inside. Do not wear/bring dirty clothes or outerwear into your bedroom to avoid pollen transfer and bathe before going to bed at night.
  • Leave the windows closed. A fresh breeze is nice, but it can carry allergens in with it.
  • Houseplants should be kept outside of the bedroom. Mold can develop in the soil and on the plant itself, and might not be visible to you until after you’ve started having allergy problems.
  • We love our pets too. We recommend they sleep outside the bedroom – as they too are allergy carriers. If they do sleep with you – we recommend bathing them 2x per week.

Need additional guidance? Call Dr. Mariotti to discuss and treat your allergic rhinitis. T: 570-714-3434


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