Sick Day: Make a DIY Shot Glass Neti Pot
There is no more unpleasant feeling in the world than having a stuffed-up nose. Particularly if you get sick in the next few weeks–the middle of midterm season–you’re likely to have to suffer through the sniffles while sitting through lectures. However, cold medication can take a while to work, and can be ineffective if your nose is really and truly stopped up.
It’s these sort of problems that a neti pot is designed to solve. For those not familiar with the device, its basically a tea pot designed to (gently) shove saline solution up your nose and through your sinus cavity in order to flush out whatever grossness is in there.
However, most college students don’t own a neti pot or want to shell out for such a single-use device. Luckily, a shot glass and some patience can produce much the same effect.
The way the shot glass neti pot works is pretty simple. Fill a cereal bowl or microwaveable cup with a mixture of water and non-iodized salt. Microwave it for 20 seconds, until the salt is dissolved and the water is warm. Standing over the bathroom sink, take a shot glass full of the mixture and pour it slowly into your clear nostril. Make sure to breathe through your mouth so that you don’t feel like you’re being waterboarded, and stand over the sink so that any spilled solution doesn’t get you wet.
Once the mixture has gone in, blow the solution out of your nose and into the sink. Repeat it a few times in each nostril, and you will be feeling 100% less awful, along with having the grim satisfaction of seeing what comes out of your infected head. Though it’s gross, the shot glass neti pot is really quite effective at making you feel less horribly ill before class or sleep.
Research actually backs up claims as to the neti pot’s effectiveness. For college students, non-medical sinus clearing can be a godsend–cold medication is surprisingly expensive and may make you feel like a zombie in class. Even more worrying, most cold medications contain acetaminophen, which (because it is processed through the liver) is not recommended for heavy drinkers.
Hopefully no one in the audience is routinely drinking in the range that’s contraindicated for the drug. However, you may be up a creek if you get sick within a day or two of heavy drinking, when your liver is not at its best. If that’s the case, try the neti pot and see if you can’t at least get through the night before zombie-walking to CVS.