Saturday, December 17, 2011

Feeling stuffy? Update!

I recommended using the neti pot recently for stuffy noses, colds, preventions of infection, etc.  There has recently been a story about 2 people who died using the neti pot.  The story is that tap water can contain an amoeba which can cause a very rare infection that affects brain tissue.  This can also occur using recreational pools and lakes where the amoeba can be ingested through the nose.  30 people have died from this infection - almost all through recreational swimming sources.  If you are concerned about this possibility when using the neti pot, use sterile water (can be purchased as water safe for infants) or boil your water ahead of time.

I also recently read about this same problem occurring when using tap water to rinse contacts and contact storage devices.  A very rare infection can occur if the eye is exposed while the contact is in use.  They recommend not swimming, bathing, or showering with contacts in.  Again this is VERY rare and pre-boiled or sterile water can be used instead - as well as saline, of course.

I do not take back my recommendation to use the neti pot or the steam method.  Should we all stop swimming?  Should we all wear protective goggles and nose protection when showering or bathing?  My recommendations are for quality of life, so make your individual choice based on risk and based on how you want to live and what you want to worry about - that's what good health and wellness is all about.  Keep yourself informed, look at your sources, learn who and what source to trust, and move forward.

1 comment:

  1. I don't use contacts but here is what I read about Saline. Of course, your eye doctor should give you instructions to follow.

    "Saline solution is for rinsing and storing contact lenses, when you're using a heat or UV disinfection system. You also may need it for use with enzymatic cleaning tablets or cleaning/disinfecting devices. Never use saline products for cleaning and disinfection."