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Of nasal irrigation and SinuCleanse

Since I am currently recovering from a nasty cold (or possibly the flu), I thought now would be as good a time as any to finally get around to reviewing the SinuCleanse system, which I first tried out two years ago.

sinucleanse

I have had chronic sinus problems for as long as I can remember.  I am rarely able to breathe well through my nose, which consequently affects my quality of sleep and energy level.  When I get a cold, things get even worse.  I have tried a variety of allergy medications and decongestants.  Although the decongestants work wonders on the congestion, I am tremendously sensitive to the stimulants in them (namely, pseudoephedrine or similar ingredients).  Overall I would feel worse with the medicine than I did with the stuffy nose.  Yes, there is a reason why decongestants are kept under lock and key by retailers these days.  They are commonly abused by teenagers, and even used to manufacture crystal meth.  Why anyone would seek out the effects of these drugs is beyond me, as I think that even using them properly is a wholly unpleasant experience.  But I digress.

I decided to try SinuCleanse when I was pregnant and had a particularly nasty cold.  The sinus pressure was hard to bear, and my medication options were very limited.  When I saw what the system was (essentially a small teapot-looking thing), I thought it was crazy.  But after reading numerous reviews, I saw that people were overwhelmingly pleased with SinuCleanse.  People who described the same symptoms I have lived with said that SinuCleanse changed their life.  It does not involve medication and is considered safe for pregnant women.  I figured it was worth a try.

SinuCleanse is not the only product of its type.  The neti pot, an Indian invention, has been around for centuries.  It has gained popularity in the U.S. over the past 30 years or so.  What sets SinuCleanse apart is the special powder mixture they have created.  Mixed with water, it creates a gentle saline solution for irrigating your sinus passages.  There are similar products available, but SinuCleanse is one of the most popular.  If you prefer to mix your own saline solution, they will even tell you their special recipe if you call their customer service number.  The neti pot is safe for kids to use, but it is difficult to teach them how.  SinuCleanse now makes a different product geared specifically toward kids.

No, this isn't me.  Image borrowed from the SinuCleanse website.

No, this isn’t me. Image borrowed from the SinuCleanse website.

I won’t lie; using a neti pot is a bizarre experience at first.  It certainly takes some getting used to.  After filling the pot with solution, you insert the spout into one nostril and position your head so that the liquid pours back out…through the other nostril.  It might fascinate the child in you.  Breathing through your mouth ensures that little, if any, solution runs down your throat (it is not terribly unpleasant tasting anyway, just a bit salty).  The first time I used it, it felt like water went up my nose while swimming.  Certainly not the most pleasant feeling, but it wasn’t that bad.  It gets easier with repeated use, and now I don’t mind it at all.  Compared to the congestion of a cold, I would even call it a pleasant experience now.  You can view an instructional video here.

The kit I purchased came with an unbreakable, dishwasher safe, plastic neti pot and 30 packets of saline solution powder, which sells for around $13.00 on Amazon.com and is also available in many drugstores.  Initially you will use just 1/2 a packet per nostril, but once you are accustomed to the system, you can up it to 1 packet per nostril.  So, a typical user would use two packets each time they irrigate.  SinuCleanse is safe to use up to every two hours as needed.  I am currently using it in the morning and at night.  Boxes of refill packets are available (I bought an additional 60), and the powder has a shelf life of three years.

SinuCleanse really has helped me feel better.  It is not a cure for the cold, but it greatly relieves the symptoms.  I am able to breathe through my nose immediately after flushing, and the congestion is less severe throughout the day.  It greatly relieves my symptoms overnight too, helping me to sleep better.  So far I have only used SinuCleanse when I have been sick, but I plan to continue on after this cold is gone to see how much it will improve my typical sinus issues.  I am very optimistic.

If you are looking for relief from sinus problems and have tried everything else, I would certainly recommend trying a neti pot.  I recommend SinuCleanse in particular because their product is simple to use and is backed by hundreds of positive testimonials and a wonderfully helpful website.  I am certainly not “new age” or anti-medicine, but it is nice when problems, especially chronic ones, can be solved without drugs.

I had a difficult time finding SinuCleanse in stores in my area, but if it is carried near you, there is a $2.00 off printable coupon available from the SinuCleanse website here.  To learn more about SinuCleanse, visit their website.

DISCLOSURE (what’s this?):  I am not affiliated in any way with SinuCleanse.  I wrote this post indpendently based on my own experiences after purchasing the product myself.  I am affiliated with Amazon.com.  A small portion of the Amazon.com purchases made through links on this site will benefit my family. This business relationship does not influence the items I feature or my opinions of them. Thank you!

DISCLOSURE: This website is monetized with affiliate links. I earn a small percentage of the sales price when visitors make purchases through affiliate links. Thank you for your support!

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