|Here's what mine looks like, complete with picture of happy Dr. Mehta.|
My mom was at one of her gatherings of people who delight in the suffering of others (she calls it a "nurse conference"), and a nurse from an allergist's office was lauding the benefits of nasal irrigation systems. Mom then tried it to help ward off her standard post-mowing headache, and it worked. Then, because she doesn't believe in hiding her medical light under a bushel, she bought one for me. I was a little worried when she first told me about it, because instead of the above little squeeze bottle, I had previously only seen the Neti Pot, which makes it look less like you're rinsing pollen and dander and junk out of your system and more like you have a disturbing teapot fetish, like you'll stick that spout into just about any body orifice if these blasted people would go away.
To be honest, the first time I used it, it didn't go that great. I mean, I managed to get it into one side of my nose and the water did run out the other, and I had the side perk of completely freaking Caedmon out, but it gave me a thumping sinus headache for the rest of the day. It was immediately obvious what I'd done wrong: I hadn't heated the water enough. It turns out what feels lukewarm to the skin on the inside of my wrist feels pretty frigid when it's sluicing through my sinuses, akin to the feeling of getting pool water up your nose. Not pleasant.
The second time, the pollen count had been high for days, my nose itched incessantly, and I'd spent a good portion of the day sneezing. This time I made sure the water was nice and warm before squirting it into my face (there's really no getting around the fact that this whole thing is pretty weird), and sure enough: No post-rinse headache and the itching and sneezing abated for the remainder of the day. I've also found that, after each time I use Squeezy, I'm able to breathe much more easily through my nose. I have chronically swollen nasal passages (Dear lifelong allergies: I hate you), but for about thirty minutes after irrigation, I can inhale and exhale and even inhale again if I'm feeling extravagant, all through my nose, all the way I assume normal people can all the time. Such luxury!
While the packaging does say "Daily Nasal Hygiene," this isn't something I'd do every day. I don't even wash my hair every day, let alone the inside of my nose; I use it as needed, instead, when my nose is about to itch itself off my face, or after I've been breathing in mass amounts of pet dander, or when the demon ragweed is swirling through the air and making people miserable.
Have any of you tried a Neti Pot? Any kind of nasal irrigation system? On a scale of 1 to 10, just how ridiculous did you feel the first time you used it?