Health tip- saline rinse for upper respiratory (and more) health

Discussion in 'Miscellaneous [BG]' started by Ant Illington, Mar 13, 2018.

  1. Ant Illington

    Ant Illington I'm Anthony but I'm only illin' Inactive

    For the Tl:dr crowd, try saline nasal rinsing.

    I thought I'd share this as I now have repeated empirical evidence that this works. I'm almost 50 and wish I learned this long ago. Please note that "empirical," as strong as it may sound, does not mean "absolutely for certain, guaranteed;" rather, it means more or less that information has been received via observation/experimentation.:thumbsup:

    Historically, I have become sick once per year (I am overall very healthy- exercise and eat right, taking vitamins here and there). Sick as in head cold. It usually occurs in winter. When I get sick, I get really sick. Taking days off of work (which means less money so I avoid missing work as much as possible) and unable to breathe sick; I never get "just" the common cold. It always starts as a regular cold of clear snot, scratchy throat, sneezing, headache for a couple of days but then it has always ended up as massive head congestion that inevitably ends up moving down to become bronchitis (and even pneumonia once), and it moves into my left ear to become an ear infection.

    Last winter I went to a new doctor when, during a "cold that wouldn't go away," I started hearing pitch wrong. I wrote about it here on TB. Given a pitch, my right ear would hear it as one pitch and my left ear would hear it about a half-step off. It's called Diplacusis- this form is diplacusis dysharmonica, I believe. It was stunning and scary, but I digress.

    This new doctor checked me all out with that scope they use in your ears, nose, mouth, took all my history and then she posited what happens: I get a common cold and, due to poor drainage due to anatomical irregularities (like a narrow, left eustatian canal for which I, indeed, had tubes put in my ears as a child) my accumulated headful of snot becomes a great, big welcoming media waiting to host a bacterial infection. And then it does just that and then I'm toast for another week, needing antibiotics to get rid of the bacterial infection, anti-inflammatories to re-widen my already small drainage passages and then weeks of residual lung phlegm coming up.

    I should also note that for the past 20+ years I was under a possibly misguided notion that I learned from proponents of natural cures- I never took cold medicines that "mask" the condition. Particularly the ones that dry up your snot. It is posited that the snot helps flush the infection out of your body so it's good to let it be. Maybe for most but since mine gets stuck.... I did go through years of Echinacea, large Vitamin C doses, Zicam, Zinc at the first signs of a cold but, nope, always ended in a very bad infection.

    So, I had a cold in October 2017 and on day 2 I remembered saline nasal rinses. I thought maybe that will kill some stuff or at least keep my snot from accumulating and getting infected with bacteria. I googled instructions, did it several times a day with a cup, salt and water and in a couple of days I was fine (make sure to boil your water first if not using distilled water). Man, I could blow my nose for an hour straight and not clear my nose. A 5 second rinse- boom, open. I then resolved to get a Neti pot or something designed to make rinsing easier.

    Four days ago, I woke up sick again... second time this season. Of course I had no Neti pot because who has time to think about such things when one is healthy?;) I went right to the saline rinsing with my cup, water and salt and this was the shortest, mildest cold I've ever had. I also used hydrogen peroxide in my left ear, as recommended by doctor last year. Also, to be sure, I took cold pills that dry up sinuses and reduce inflammation, given my drainage issues.

    I will definitely be getting a Neti pot now. As I thought about it, my old live-in girlfriend got sick for about 2 days in the entire 5 years we lived together. She was a serious, distance runner so she strived to stay healthy; she also traveled in commercial airplanes for work at least 2 round trips per month, and everybody knows what airline travel can do. She also used a Neti pot with some regularity. I never gave it a second thought but I'm sold now. I'm going to start using one at least anytime that I feel I have snot all up in my sinus area.
    And don't forget to humidify your home for not only your health but your basses' happiness. 40-55 seems to be the recommended amount.
    Oddly likes this.
  2. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    TL;DR but yup, I have a nasal irrigator attachment for my waterpik - up the nose with the rubber hose! But it works wonders. I like breathing. :D
  3. bholder

    bholder Affable Sociopath Gold Supporting Member Supporting Member

    Sep 2, 2001
    Vestal, NY
    Received a gift from Sire* (see sig)
    Also, I just use my hot tap water, I don't boil first, haven't had a problem. But then, I've got halfway decent well water (unchlorinated). If you're on town/city water, might be more important.
  4. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Ant Illington likes this.
  5. Ant Illington

    Ant Illington I'm Anthony but I'm only illin' Inactive

    It is not my intent to get in a fight here and I am far from an alarmist or germaphobe but I'd rather play it safe and science would agree. Well or city water. Each has its pros and cons by the way. Perhaps you can start a new thread for that.