Nasal irrigation (also called nasal lavage or nasal washing) with a neti pot helps all kinds of sinus ailments, but many people do not know how often to use a neti pot. Depending on the type and severity of the sinus problem, or if the neti pot is used for maintenance, the frequency of use varies.


Maintenance

Using a neti pot for nasal irrigation (or lavage) is beneficial on an ongoing basis. Many neti pot users feel that nasal lavage is a meditative and healthy routine to help maintain optimimum health.

Suggested neti pot use is once daily for maintenance. While the practice of nasal lavage is completely safe, some people may experience nasal irritation. If any uncomfortable symptoms occur, simply adjust the sodium content in the solution (if homemade) or use it less frequently (e.g., every other day instead of daily).

Allergies

Such allergies as springtime allergies, hay fever (i.e., allergic rhinitis) or reactions to mold, dust or animal dander cause nasal cavities to become inflamed, which leads to a buildup of mucus. Nasal lavage with a neti pot can reduce symptoms.

The Mayo Clinic suggests using a neti pot to help clear mucus and flush allergens from the sinuses. Try washing the nasal cavities with a neti pot two to three times a day for more severe cases of allergies, adjusting the sodium content of a homemade solution or reducing frequency of use if any nasal irritation occurs.

Nonallergic Rhinitis

Nonallergic rhinitis sufferers experience many of the same symptoms as hay fever sufferers do—runny nose, congestion—but without the allergic reaction. Various triggers for nonallergic rhinitis include odors and airborne irritants, weather changes, foods, medications and chronic conditions.

Nasal lavage is, according to the Mayo Clinic, one of the best defenses against nonallergic rhinitis; the recommendation is to use a neti pot daily.

Chronic Sinusitis

Swollen, inflamed nasal passages that lead to excess mucus buildup and subsequent difficulty in breathing are a sign of chronic sinusitis. Symptoms can last eight weeks or longer or can be reoccurring.

Regularly performing nasal lavage can help sufferers of chronic sinusitis by flushing out excess mucus and keeping the nasal cavities moist. Daily use of a neti pot is suggested.

Acute Sinusitis

Similar to chronic sinusitis, the acute version inhibits breathing but does not last as long. Sufferers can benefit from daily nasal washing with a neti pot.

Try a nasal lavage two to four times per day for acute sinusitis. With more-frequent washings, it is important to monitor any irritation from the sodium in the solution. Using warm (not hot) water also aids in comfort during the nasal lavage.

References and Resources

Lifestyle and Home Remedies
Neti Pot