If you've ever used a Neti Pot to help relieve your congestion, you know that this simple little product does a great job of cleaning out your nose.
It works very simply. You just mix a little salt into your tap water and pour it through your nose over a sink. But you may be surprised to learn there's a life-threatening risk linked to this product.
The FDA has released a new warning that by using a Neti Pot you can expose yourself to Naegleria fowleria, also known as brain-eating amoebas.
These dangerous bacteria can cause an infection in your brain that kills most people who catch it. It usually affects people who swim in rivers and lakes, but Neti Pot users are at risk for a surprising reason.
If you drank water filled with these amoebas, your stomach acid would protect you. Your nose doesn't have these defenses, so they can travel through it to your brain.
Now there's no reason to panic if you own one of these. There have only been two confirmed cases and it's easy to protect yourself. The most important thing is to make sure you only use safe water. You can buy distilled water from the pharmacy, or boil water for a few minutes and let it cool down.
It's also important to wash your Neti Pot regularly. If you're still worried about using it, just buy some nasal spray from the pharmacy instead.