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Pregnancy & Decongestion

Oct 1, 2009

Pregnancy can be a stressor on the nose.  The high levels of estrogen and progesterone that are produced in a pregnant woman’s body cause the lining of the nasal cavity to swell.  Normally, swelling inside the nose is caused by irritants; your nose tries to get rid of these irritants by producing extra mucous.

During pregnancy, the treatment options for allergy- or cold-related congestion are limited, however, as pregnant women can only take some medicines safely.  Although many cold and allergy medications may be considered safe during pregnancy, Dr. Roger Harms of cautions that it’s best to avoid medicine when possible.

In trying to avoid medicine, many pregnant women discover the benefits of natural remedies. Breathing steam from a bowl of hot water, for example, helps to loosen the mucous so that it is easy to blow out. Using a Betti Pot neti for nasal irrigation is another great natural treatment; by pouring a warm saline solution through your nasal passages, you can flush mucous, bacteria, and allergens out of your nose.  You’ll get relief without worrying about the effect of medicines on your unborn baby.

What is Jala Neti?

Sep 29, 2009

Jala neti is a cleansing tradition originating in India as part of the tradition of yoga.  In jala neti, known in the West as “nasal irrigation,” sterile water is used to cleanse the sinuses and flush out mucous, bacteria, and allergens lurking in the nose.  Saline solution—a salt and water mixture—is often employed since it is sterile and mimics the blood’s salt content.

In stage one of jala neti, the saline solution is poured into one nostril and cleanses a small portion of the nose before coming out the other.  As the practitioner becomes more adept at jala neti, he can progress from stage one to stages two and three, in which the water cleanses the entire nasal cavity before being expelled through the mouth.

The word ‘yoga’ means ‘breath,’ and breathing is an important part of jala neti.  Practitioners are encouraged to continue breathing through the mouth during practice, as this creates a suction to help loosen mucous.  After rinsing out the nose, the practitioner blows out through the nose to dry the nasal passages and expel any remaining mucous.

Jala neti is typically practiced with a small, spouted container such as a Betti Pot.  The angle of the spout enables the practitioner to easily cleanse the nasal passages, and the pot’s handle assists the practitioner in removing the spout effortlessly from the nose.

Mold Allergies

Aug 28, 2009

Allergies are never fun, but mold allergies can be some of the most miserable.  Unlike some allergens, mold grows year-round and often invisibly within your home.  Thriving in damp places, mold can often be found in bathrooms, kitchens, and basements.  Mold allergies cause nasal congestion, sneezing, itching, and dry skin. 

People with mold allergies can greatly decrease their symptoms by taking some precautionary measures. 

  • Keep bathrooms and kitchens well ventilated with a fan or open window.
  • Use a dehumidifier to kill mold in the basement. 
  • Clean your sinks and bathtubs at least once a month to get rid of the soap scum on which mold thrives. 
  • Use a plastic mattress cover on your bed to isolate molds growing in your mattress. 
  • Minimize your trips outside when the mold count is high.  Weather news reports often include the current local mold count.

Since mold is an inevitable part of life, it is vital to find effective ways of addressing your allergy symptoms. Speak with your doctor about allergy treatments, including antihistamines and allergy shots.  Consider nasal irrigation with a Betti Pot to get at the root of sneezing and congestion.  Irrigation with a simple saline solution will not only flush the mold and mucous out of your nasal passages, it will also flush bacteria out, thus lowering nasal inflammation and swelling over time.

What is Saline Solution?

Aug 21, 2009

Sinus Infections and Headaches

Jul 20, 2009

When mucous builds up in your sinuses, it can cause blockages that lead to infection. Mucous blockages put pressure on your sinus cavities, leading to intensely painful sinus headaches that start in the morning and can last all day. The headaches are characterized by heaviness in the forehead, a sense of weight on the eyes, and an ache in the upper jaw and teeth. 

Because the throbbing pain of sinus headaches can mimic migraine headaches, sinus headaches are often mistakenly diagnosed as migraines and vice versa. The key distinction between sinus headaches and migraines is that sinus headaches originate in the nasal cavities due to mucous buildup, while migraines are caused by changes in blood flow within the brain. 

If your headaches turn out to be sinus-related, the treatment may be easier than you think. Although many people use steroids or antibiotics to combat the problem, simple, inexpensive remedies may be just as effective as prescription drugs.

First of all, take care of your sinuses by drinking plenty of water every day to keep fluids moving through your body. If you have sinus pain, lay a warm washcloth across your nose and eyes several times a day to loosen the congestion.

Then, flush out the mucous with a Betti Pot neti or syringe. The saline solution recommended for use with the Betti Pot will not only flush out the mucous, it will also kill any bacteria it comes in contact with. With regular use, you’ll soon be breathing easier and your sinus headaches should begin to diminish and eventually disappear.

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