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Neti Pot Cause Infection?
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stacymtrout posted:
Dr. Moser,
I went to my family practice the day after I ran 102F fever and just generally felt bad. I had minor congestion and sore throat. Strep test was negative so I was instructed to treat a viral infection by using a neti pot, gargle with salt water and take OTC decongestant (Sudafed for me) and anti-inflammatory (ibuprofin for me).
I have done all these things but now my ears are completely clogged and I have ear pain/itching. I called my doctors office back to find out what I should do and they prescribed prednisone and flonase and said to call back in 3 days if no better.
As a child I had constant ear/sinus problems (had tubes at 5 years old). I have scar tissue on both of my eardrums from ruptures during childhood due to built up pressure from middle ear infection.
Currently I have no fever, no sore throat and can breathe freely through my nose. I just have pain in my face and ears. My question is: Did the neti pot cause this?I didn't have any of these problems until I started using the neti pot. Now my sinuses feel all blocked up and my ears hurt. Should I stop using the neti pot? It really makes my nose feel better and keeps it clear but I am worried it will hurt my ears. Thanks! P.S. it doesn't help that my daughter has an ear infection and thick green nasal mucous ... and we are on the 2nd round of antibiotics to make this go away and her 1st birthday is Saturday
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Rod Moser, PA, PhD responded:
Many of my patients use and like the Neti pots, and many people on this site feel they are beneficial. I am on the fence about it....namely since I really couldn't do this myself, so I tend not to recommend it to my patients. I don't think that the neti pot per se is the underlying reason for the worsening of your symptoms. I would be more concerned that you now have an infection....perhaps one that was in the process of forming the last time you were examined, hence the normal exam.

You have a past history of ear infections and physical exam findings do change over time. We hope that things improved, but sometimes, it goes the other way.

I would be more in favor of having you re-examined (or at least CALL your doctor again) to see if sinusitis or an active ear infection could be happening now.

You can do what you want about the neti pot....use it or lose it. If you have an active infection now, you are going to need some medical intervention beyond these supportive measures that were recommended.


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