Woman cleaning out her nose

If you're a neti-pot user, you already know its many benefits: it clears congestion, eliminates allergy symptoms, helps with snoring, and much more. It's true - saline rinses are essential to nasal care as they treat sinus infections and relieve nasal blockages; however, rinses made with unclean water can be fatal.

South Florida's Dr. Aril Grobman explains why using distilled or sterilized (boiled) water is essential when administering a saline rinse. If contaminated water is used, it can lead to a rare but fatal brain infection with a flesh-eating amoeba. 

A person in Charlotte County, Florida, has died after being infected with the rare brain-eating amoeba Naegleria fowleri. Contaminated water enters the nose, and the amoeba then travels to the brain to wreak havoc. Symptoms come on quickly (vomiting, headaches, fever, hallucinations), and no known cure exists for this infection.

Luckily, there have only been 31 Naegleria fowleri cases in the last 10 years in the United States, but stay vigilant. Filtered water is not enough to kill the amoeba. You must use boiled or distilled water - always. 

If you suffer from allergies and continue to seek relief, call your local South Florida ENT office today to discuss proper neti-pot use and other treatment options. 

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