You know the doctors here in Egypt get high on giving a lot of prescriptions, and very few of them will actually tell you about natural alternatives or life style changes that can help you. If you live in Cairo and have sinus problems the best life style change is to move out of Cairo, jokes aside pollution is really a killer to sinuses. Now how can you reduce the effect of pollution? Look when you go out for a few hours in traffic and if you leave the window open, you usually go back home feeling dirty and take a shower. Well guess what you are actually dirty with the pollution, a lot of our pollution in Cairo will stick to the very small dust particles and they do go inside your nose and guess what they could irritate your sinuses.
Is there a way to help your nose get a shower? Well yes there is. But first let me tell you about a very nice things about the sea and sinuses. Do you know that many of the problems of sinuses are related to them not being able to discharge the yukky stuff they need to discharge or that such discharge is too much and as it gets dry it makes matters worse? Well guess what when you are close to the sea, humidity or rather healthy clean humidity helps such discharge by making it harder to dry. So tip #1 teaser clean humidity is good for you. Unclean humidity is trapped indoor humidity that has a lot of time without fresh air to start and help bacteria and other stuff grow. What most doctors will not tell you is the following:
Taking a steamy shower helps your sinuses a lot. See when you have a really hot shower the steam coming out is good humidity and that will reduce the viscosity of the yucky stuff that could be a contributing factor to your sinuses. No side effect.
Now back to the sea, the other thing about the sea is that it has salt water, duh. Salty water has a magical property, just like the prescription sprays your doctor gave you, salt water will help clear your nose and make you breathe easier. See it is not only good for sinuses but also for colds when your nose is stuffy. The only problem with salty water is that is works for a short time like 2 to 4 hours, but hey, salt is cheap so is water. The trick is how to get them into your nose far down enough to make them do their work.
Well the expensive solution is to get a prepackaged salty water spray like physiomer but at 40LE per bottle it is a bit expensive for some. And personally I like to use a lot of it to really clear things up and that ends up costing far too much. Believe me the effect is real. So I was searching for an alternative until I stumbled on a gem the Neti pot.
The neti pot is a pot that you put water in and add to it sea salt that you can get in some health stores in Egypt or normal salt if you do not have access to it. When I say water I mean boiled water that was cooled down or bottled water, tap water with its chlorine is terrible. The cleaner your water is the better remember you do not want to force bacteria deep into your nasal passages. You dissolve the salt and then you go to the sink lean a bit forward and put your head in as much or a horizontal position as you can and you use to pot to pour water in one nasal passage and it will come out of the other nasal passage after passing by many locations inside and cleaning and clearing them up.
The only thing is that you can not buy a neti pot in Egypt!
Well not really I tried a regular teapot and it worked well! The trick is to find a tea pot that does not have a sharp or pointed ending and which the pouring end can fit snugly in your nose! Yes fit in your nose.
I am serious now, really this stuff works all you need to do is find the right tea pot for you. Just so you know the above picture is a neti pot being used, neti pots come in all shapes and sizes here is a pic of another one.
As you see it looks just like a regular tea pot. There a many videos on youtube showing you how to use one here is a link for one such video. The vidoe here adds a bit of drying up your nose in the end, personally I think it is better to leave some moisture inside and I think that helps me. The real point is that a carefully selected teapot is just as effective but bear in mind the following. If you use a stainless steel tea pot, wash it afterwards with water since salt water corrodes steel too, slowly but surely and you really do not want small particles of such corrosion in your sensitive nasal passages. Also although they use normal water, in most locations in Egypt tap water has far too much chlorine, either boil some water ( which removes most of the Chlorine ) or use filter water ( RO or atleast a charcoal filter both of wich remove chlorine ) or just get some bottled water. Personally I leave a bottle of water and some salt in a small contianer with a small spoon and the tea pot close to the restroom and I try to do this like 3-5 times a day expecially before bed time and after coming from the pollution outside.
Some people do not like the sensation of water going in their nose and describe it at drowning, well to them I say get over it, you are not going to drown. Some people feel the salty water stings them, well guess what, it does and it is good, but you can always adjust the level of salt that is more comfortable for you. If you do not tilt your head right,the salt water can go down your mouth or be swallowed directly, do not be alarmed this is not bad unless you have serious hypertension. Personally I like that stinging feeling of the salt it reminds me of the sea. This treatment is not a new fashion, this has been used in India as a part of their traditional medicine for about a thousand years, so relax, it has been tried and tested. And if this works for you as it does for me then please spend some time wondering why your doctor did not tell you about it and why you can not buy a neti pot in Egypt.
Remember select a good tea pot and try while the shop clerk is bewildered why you want a tea pot with a smaller diameter spout not to tell him why you need it or may me you should tell him and see his dazzled face as you say that you want it for your nose 🙂 Below is a photo of my tea pot, note that the spout should be straght some spouts will hurt your nose or will not even allow you to pass water to your nose like the tea pot after mine.
So there you have it 2 tips to help you with your sinuses. Remeber you saw it first on Ehab Heikal’s blog.
Note: I am not a doctor do not take this as a medical advice or as a replacement from seeking professional ( well then you are seeking it out side of Egypt ) medical help.