Hi again Dr. Hasan, I have some new ENT-bacteria questions-- that are related to the previous questions that I asked you back in July. But, I will rate you again for these if you are qualified to answer.
You didn't mention your medical specialty, On that note, please let me know what your specialty is, and if you have a strong background in ENT and infectious disease. If not, I will have another M.D. respond. Thanks.
I now realize that I was asking you the "wrong" questions then.
I should have been asking you, "How long can I use a new bottle of steam distilled water for a NeilMed sinus rinse before changing to another new one?"
Actually, that question is answered by Dr. Mehta (the NeilMed sinus rinse "creator") on his website that I saw today-- He clearly states:
In order to ensure its purity, we recommend that you use distilled water within three days of breaking its seal (the same goes for previously boiled water). Once opened, bottled water is exposed to bacteria. Keep it in a cool dry place between uses, away from sunlight and heat sources, to inhibit the growth of bacteria...
Yet, although I very carefully cleaned the NeilMed bottle and cap and also kept the distilled water bottle as clean as possible when opening and closing, I very stupidly used the same large one gallon bottle of unrefrigerated, room temperature, steam distilled water for NeilMed sinus rinses until the bottle was completely empty-- which, using the 8oz NeilMed sinus rinse 3x/wk, would be for approx 4-5 WEEKS!
And, I had been doing that for at least two years (resulting in 300 apparently "contaminated" NeilMed sinus rinses) prior to my ENT appt this past June. Since then, I have only rinsed 1x/wk and changed to a new distilled water bottle after approximately TWO WEEKS! (Still terrible, bacteria-wise.)
Anyway, I'm now very upset, depressed, and worried, that instead of being of benefit, every time that I used the NeilMed sinus rinse I squirted 8oz of bacteria-laden saline throughout my nasal and sinus passages-- especially into my already chronically infected bilateral ethmoids.
My sinus-related symptoms have not seemed to become worse during that time. And, on my repeat annual sinus CT in June, it was "unchanged" since the original three years earlier. And, again, although the distilled water bottle was not refrigerated, I was very careful to keep the contents and cap very clean while quickly opening and closing it (immediately.)
On that note, is it possible that, while the "contaminated" NeilMed sinus rinses were not of any benefit, I also somehow didn't make things worse, sinus-wise (regarding my bilateral posterior ethmoiditis or other sinuses)?
And, obviously, from now on, any time that I do use the NeilMed sinus rinse, I'm going to use a fresh bottle of distilled water. But, now I'm afraid to use it at all-- especially if it can potentially do a lot more harm than good.
Again, if you are qualified to answer these ENT-infectious disease questions please let me know, ASAP. And, also please let me know, ASAP if you are not-- so that I can quickly let a more qualified expert answer them. Thanks again for you very prompt response either way.