A Doctor Says a Woman Died From a Brain-Eating Amoeba After Using a Neti Pot. Are They Safe?

A Seattle woman died earlier this year after becoming infected by the brain-eating amoeba Balamuthia mandrillaris, Fox Q13 reports. And doctors believe her infection started in an unusual, and seemingly innocuous, way: using a neti pot filled with tap water. Terrifying as it may be, the Seattle woman’s case is extremely rare. Worldwide, only about 200 cases of Balamuthia infection have been diagnosed since the amoeba was first discovered in 1986, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Nonetheless, the incident may spook even devoted neti pot users. So are neti pots safe? TIME asked Dr. Ben Bleier, an associate professor of otolaryngology at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts Eye and Ear. What are neti pots used for? Neti pots, which resemble tiny teapots, are used to flush mucus and debris from the nasal cavity, often when a person is suffering from allergies, sinus problems or common colds. After tilting your head sideways, you can use the pot to pour a small amount of a saline solution into your upper nostril, letting it drain through the lower nostril as you breathe through your mouth. Are neti pots safe? Neti pots are safe and effective for the vast majority of people, as long as they’re used correctly, Bleier says. “Anybody with a normal nasal cavity, or even someone who’s had sinus or nasal surgery but has a healed nasal cavity, can use these safely, as long as they’re using them within the proper guidelin...
Source: TIME: Health - Category: Consumer Health News Authors: Tags: Uncategorized healthytime medicine Source Type: news

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Source: The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice - Category: Allergy & Immunology Source Type: research
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