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Note: The popular sinus pots also known as Neti Pot can introduce a rare but deadly brain disease

Updated on December 10, 2011

Neti Pots are reportedly safe if used with distilled or boiled water just No Tap Water

The good news is that it is very rare and can be prevented by only using distilled or boiled water in a Neti Sinus Pot.

A rare single-celled living organism known as Naegleria can lead to an infection called amebic meningoencephalitis (PAM). PAM is a rapid brain-eating disease contacted through contaminated water entering the nasal passage.

The disease is not contracted by drinking tap water, but tap water coming in contact with the sensitive nasal cannel when irrigating can transfer the disease. Historically the rare disease was associated with swimming in waters harboring Naegleria. The disease is now being connected to the growing popular Neti Sinus Pots, people need to know the risk of using plain tap water in these sinus pots.

The disease is still rare, with only 32 contracting it over the past ten years, but what is concerning is two of those most recent cases were directly connected to using the Neti Sinus Pot as people try to find home relief for sinus infections.

Symptoms of (PAM) may surface within a day or just days after being infected. Symptoms may initially be confused as a worsening sinus infection, such as headache, fever, but then symptoms quickly turn into nausea and vomiting with a stiff neck. As these disease rapidly progresses patients become confused, unable to maintain attention to current events, dizziness, unable to balance, and have hallucinations. The disease can rapidly progress leading to death within days to just over a week.

You can read more about this disease by logging on to this CDC Link


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    • profile image


      6 years ago

      Great advise I use a neti pot regularly and have had great results, however I have always used distilled water. Love It and thank you for caution.

    • Ms Dee profile image

      Deidre Shelden 

      7 years ago from Texas, USA

      This is a good caution. It was suggested to me just today to try the neti pot. I prefer using Simply Saline pressure canister that shoots a mist into the sinuses.

    • lizstevens profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from Houston Texas

      The Sinus pots pour a lot more water to irrigate the nasal cavities. To get that intensity you almost have to have your head underwater such as swimming. You know when you take in a bunch of water and the nose burns?

    • Pollyannalana profile image


      7 years ago from US

      Voted up. Good info. I would think showers would be dangerous too then if inhaled into the sinuses? What would be the difference?


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