Calling all Neti Pot/Sinus Irrigation fans...am I doing something wrong? Or is there something wrong inside my nose/sinuses? I've been trying a
for the first time, with some good results, but also some bad, which includes drainage 10 or more hours after the fact. Long backstory and lots of snowflakey nasal details inside...
Back story: I first went to an ENT in 1978 (I was 17 at the time) after a lifetime of nasal stuffiness (I'd had to smear Vicks on my nose every night in order to breathe for years; I also had a history of very bad nosebleeds on occasion). The experience in that doctor's chair was hellish; without explanation of what he was doing or why, I was laid prone in a chair, told to repeat "K-K-K-K" and a nurse squirted water up my nose with what looked like a dentist's irrigation thingy. I felt like I was drowning, and they had to cut my "treatment" short, but the ENT told me that I had a deviated septum that I may want to have looked at "in the future, but nothing to worry about now" and said that I had chronic sinusitis. He gave me a prescription for Sudafed with 10 refills (it wasn't available OTC at the time).
I was diagnosed with Lupus in 1989, and a few years later it was determined that I also suffered from Sjogren's Syndrome
, which suddenly made sense of my very dry skin, history of dental cavities, nosebleeds, etc. So flash forward to current day, and my nasal passages/sinuses are ever so dry
... During previous winter months, a bottle of Ocean saline nasal spray plus Sudafed worked well enough. But this winter has been particularly brutal, for some reason. When I'm not congested and able to breathe, it burns a bit when I inhale, I guess because my nasal passages/sinuses are so dry...? Anyway, I'd read here on the green before about Neti Pots and despite my 1978 experience I bought the nasal irrigation squirt bottle thing I linked to above. I noticed that when I squirted up the left nostril (the left side is my most congested and the side where I always feel sinus pressure in my face) it drained freely out the right nostril. When I squirted up the right nostril, just a little bit drained out the left nostril and it felt like water was going into my right ear.
The overall effect of the nasal irrigation was good - the moisture was soothing, and I was able to breathe freely for a bit. But then when I laid down to sleep, eventually my nose got all stuffed up again, and sometimes when I inhaled it burned up inside my forehead (sort of like when you get water up your nose while swimming). Then about two days after the first (and only, at that time) time I irrigated, I was bending over at the waist to brush my hair and water started dripping rapidly from my left nostril. I stood upright and it continued to drip, almost run. I could only assume that some of the solution had been trapped somewhere in my head. Does that mean I'm not irrigating properly? Or could there be some sort of obstruction (the deviated septum?) trapping the rinse inside my sinuses? And why, if my left nostril is the one that's always more blocked up, does the right nostril give me trouble when I irrigate?
[I hesitate to go to the ENT again, mainly because the last one I saw, just two years ago, treated me extensively and expensively to no avail and then sent me to an allergist (who ran many tests, determined that I was allergic to everything from grass to the cat I'd owned for 14 years) for a chronic cough that ultimately ended up being a side effect of a drug I'd been prescribed by my rheumatologist (rheumy phoned me after getting an alert from the manufacturer).]
If nasal irrigation fluid is
getting trapped somewhere inside my head (as it seems to be doing), is that dangerous? Is it a possible breeding ground for infection? Or am I not turning/poising my head correctly when irrigating for proper drainage? What's up with the left nostril blocked breathing-wise but solution flows freely (but not on the right side) thing? The moistening provided by the nasal irrigation does feel good on my dry nasal passages, but I don't want to be creating some sort of festering swamp inside my head!