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Cold, stuffy nose and plugged ears. Can I use synephrine or neti Pot?

May 2014
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Answered by

Practicing since : 2002
Answered : 6506 Questions
Hi. I have a bronchial cold thing, stuffy nose and a few days ago my left ear became "plugged", started ringing and I can feel fluid behind my eardrum. There's not a lot of pain, just minor discomfort. I'd like treat this without anti-biotics and was thinking of using Neo Synephrine or a "Neti Pot" a salt water sinus cavity rinsing device to drain the fluid. I've had many ear infections as a child and perhaps 5-6 as an adult.
Will either of these work?
What do you recommend?
Posted Wed, 30 Oct 2013 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Vivek Chail 1 hour later
Brief Answer:
Please find detailed answer below.

Detailed Answer:
Thanks for writing in to us.

I have read through your query in detail.

The neti pot used with a saline solution has been reported to be an effective treatment for hay fever, sinusitis, and other nasal conditions. It may be noted that two cases of a deadly brain infection were linked to neti pots, US government health officials have issued new warnings about using them safely. This kind of infection is exceedingly rare, but it usually occurs when people get water up the nose after swimming or diving in lakes or rivers; Naegleria fowleri can travel from the nose into the brain, where it causes primary amoebic meningoencephalitis, a disease that destroys brain tissue and is almost always fatal.

Therefore caution might be used in using Neti pot.

Phenylephrine is a decongestant that shrinks blood vessels in the nasal passages. Dilated blood vessels can cause nasal congestion (stuffy nose).

Neo-Synephrine (Phenylephrine) is used to treat nasal and sinus congestion, or congestion of the tubes that drain fluid from your inner ears, called the eustachian tubes. The block in eustachian tubes can be relieved by taking phenylephrine.

I recommend Neo-Synephrine (Phenylephrine) in recommended doses (10 mg 4 hrly). May be taken with or without food. Side effects eg sleepiness/drowsiness may be reduced if taken immediately after meals.

If you do not get any observable relief even after 3 days of taking above medication, consulting a doctor and starting antibiotics might be necessary.

Wish you a speedy recovery.

Hope your query is answered.
Do write back in case of doubts.

Dr. Vivek
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