Dr. Ketan C. Mehta, M.D., is a practicing physician who specializes in pulmonary and critical care medicine. Dr. Mehta knows what if feels like to be a patient as well as a doctor; he suffered from chronic sinus disease and underwent corrective surgery on his sinuses.
"Of all the treatments tried for controlling and curing the symptoms of sinus disease, the one I found to work the best is a saline nasal rinse," says Dr. Mehta. "As a medical specialist, I saw a tremendous need for a nasal rinse for my patients."
Saline nasal irrigation has been around for a long time and is referenced in medical textbooks going back hundreds of years.
Saline, or salt water, gently cleans the nasal passages, and many sinus sufferers report benefits from simply swimming in the ocean.
"An effective nasal rinse would significantly reduce or permanently cure the symptoms of nasal allergies and sinus disease," says Dr. Mehta. "A large number of my patients who improved with initial treatment were returning with the same symptoms when they quit doing saline nasal rinses. There was a need to develop a better system that would improve patients' acceptance of the nasal rinse procedure."
Drawing upon years of experience as a doctor and as a patient, Dr. Mehta designed and developed Sinus Rinse, an easy-to-use saline nasal rinse kit. Now Dr. Mehta also offers NasaFlo, a nasal rinse kit that uses a neti pot instead of a bottle. The practice of nasal irrigation, known as Neti, has been common in India for centuries. The neti pot is a small pot that takes advantage of gravity to clean nasal passages with a saline rinse. Both Sinus Rinse and NasaFlo come with packets of a pH-balanced saline mix.
"Our goal as a medical product company is to join the health care forces already in play to help people suffering from these symptoms," explains Dr. Mehta, founder of NeilMed Pharmaceuticals, Inc. "We do not claim that our products will cure the problem, but we can certainly say that either alone or with other medical therapies they will reduce symptoms."
Allergies are a leading cause of rhinitis and sinusitis. Dr. Mehta describes allergens as "organic particles, which attach to the nasal mucosa or respiratory mucosa and lead to the development of an antibody, which creates a series of chemical reactions leading to allergic symptoms. Everybody's reaction to an allergen exposure is different. The same amount of exposure to allergy particles can cause mild, moderate, or severe reactions in different people. Some may not have any reactions at all. Those with moderate to severe reactions will have symptoms."
"Most individual allergens are not visible," continues Dr. Mehta. "Dust mites are a typical example. They are not visible to the naked eye, yet they are present in every house. Dust mites are microscopic creatures that feed on human skin flakes and are present in mattresses, pillows, carpets and upholstery."
"Other substances such as cigarette smoke, perfumes and aerosol sprays can be irritants and worsen allergy and sinus symptoms or act as allergens," adds Dr. Mehta.
If you're allergic to dust mites, Dr. Mehta suggests: "Clean all the areas where dust may be collecting. Carpets and sofa upholstery should be vacuumed on a weekly basis. Wash pillow cases, sheets, and blankets in hot water. Enclose mattress and pillows in special allergy-proof encasements."