Amebic meningoencephalitis – In simple language, it is referred to as the “brain-eating amoeba.” This microscopic organism is found in lakes, rivers and hot springs. People are infected when contaminated water enters the nose. But what does that have to do with nasal irrigation and sinus infection treatment? In rare cases, using contaminated tap water for nasal irrigation for sinus infection treatment –such as using a neti pot – can lead to infection.
Fortunately, this amebic disease is incredibly rare, but it has a terrifying fatality rate. The CDC states that out of 145 Americans who were infected from 1961 to 2018, only four survived.
But what lessons can we learn from this, and how does it affect, and how you should irrigate your sinuses?
Are you certain that the water you’re utilizing for your nasal irrigations is clean enough? The insignificant tap water filter doesn’t work. The suggestions from the CDC are to boil water for min one minute and then let it cool. Other suggestions are is to utilize microfiltered water, distilled water or sterile water.
Some Hygiene Tips
As mentioned earlier, keeping your irrigation system clean is vital for success and safety. If you don’t, you’ll create a hotbed of bacteria in your sinuses, which of course, will only make the situation worse.
We will provide the important information you need to help you maintain your nasal irrigation system.
Clean your equipment every day with soap and water.
Every week, sterilize your equipment using Betadine or a solution of 100 parts water to one part bleach. Remember that the device has to air dry—and do so completely —before you should use it again.
Replace the system every three months to help avoid bacterial contamination.
Clean the rinse bottle by microwaving the system for 30-60 seconds. This has proven to be very effective.
Here are a few interesting facts medical studies have uncovered.
Nasal irrigation doesn’t penetrate the sinuses as well in patients who have not undergone surgery.
The nose-to-ceiling position is the best one for rinsing the sphenoid sinuses. These are the sinuses that are located behind the nose and between the eyes.
Squeeze bottles seem to be more effective to irrigate the maxillary, frontal and sphenoid sinuses.
There is no additional benefit to heating the nasal solution before delivering it.
The benefits of nasal irrigation far outweigh the risks. Just remember to be sure your device is properly maintained and the water that you use is properly sterilized. If you use a device like a neti pot, be sure it is adequately cleaned after each use.