Monday, November 17, 2008

Getting on "The Pot"

Several people have come in looking for Neti-Pots in the last few days -- these are the saline nasal irrigation systems which apparently became more sought after once they appeared on "Oprah." I guess some of our doctors or NP's are starting to suggest them to people. Once the customers take a look at at, they kind of stare at you like, "Seriously?" Yep, seriously --- you stand over the sink, pour the saline solution into one nostril with the little teapot-like device till it flows out the other nostril. We also have people looking for the "NeilMed" Sinus Rinse, which is a similar deal except it uses a squeeze bottle to flush the solution through. NeilMed says theirs is better as it flushes more gunk out --- kind of like a high pressure hose versus a watering can.

If I had the magic bullet for the whole sinus thing, I'd be a gazillionaire. Once the weather starts to turn cold, it's got to be the most common complaint we hear. "I'm stuffed up but it is/isn't in my chest." "I'm coughing at night because of post-nasal drip." "My nose is running but it's not stuffed up." "I'm coughing but it's a dry cough and it's all in my head." People are confronted with an array of cough/cold OTC medications and want to know which one's the "best." I know it's hard for most people to understand that they all contain one or more of the same basic ingredients. The FDA only approves a short list of these types of medications for OTC use, and all these products are just different versions of the same thing. It's surprising to me how many people, after a few questions-and-answers, will end up with generic Sudafed and be pleased as heck with their purchase.

I've heard a few people swear by the Neti-Pot. I wouldn't discourage anyone from trying it, I guess. I have a little trouble selling regular Mucinex though -- I think that one may be a very expensive placebo.

4 comments:

The Ole' Apothecary said...

Now, just one heck of a minute--this sounds like the ole' DevilBiss Nasal Douche, a glass thing that looked like--well, if you carried one today, Customs would probably confiscate it as drug paraphernalia from the looks of it! And Oprah is trying to re-invent it.

Winn Thompson said...

There are a vaiety of neti pots available in materials ranging from plastic to ceramic to stainless steel in styles from squeeze bottles and "tea pot" shape to the horn style of the Rhino Horn www.rhinohorn.net

Shalom said...

They still sell nasal douche cups under the Alkalol brand (NDC 10029-0189-62). I bought one last year, but haven't been brave enough to try it yet... although it's plastic now, so I wouldn't advise trying to smoke anything in it. Retail is about three and a half bucks, which is a bit less than these Neti Pots.

(Re drug paraphernalia, I once was trying unsuccessfully to explain to one resident of the Bronx how to use his Aerochamber. I finally said, "Look, just think of it as a high-tech version of a bong.", and he said, "Oookay, I got it now...")

ku said...

Neti pots and pre-mixed saline solutions tend to be rather costly. Go to Walmart and buy the cheapest one of each of the following: a 1-cup liquid measure, a 1/2 teaspoon measuring spoon, a bulb syringe, a box of salt, and a box of baking soda.This shouldn't cost more than $5, tops. To use, pour lukewarm water into the measuring cup to the 1 cup line, add 1/2 teaspoon salt and a pinch of baking soda.Mix well to dissolve. To use, draw the solution into the bulb, lean over the sink, put the tip of the syringe in one nostril, then squeeze the bulb. Repeat application in the first nostril, then do the other side. Yes, it's nasty - it doesn't feel very good, but it does help alleviate/ prevent sinus symptoms. (I learned this about 10 years ago from an allergist at National Jewish Medical Center in Denver, a hospital renowned for their focus on allergies, asthma, and anything lung-related. If you aren't easily grossed out, there's a water-pik attachment for this purpose - use the recipe above. (Note: Not made or endorsed by the water-pik company)