Here is a great video of Dr. Greg Abbas showing how to properly use nasal spray:
Are nasal sprays addictive?
The definition of addition is as follows: the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma. Over-the-counter nasal sprays don’t contain habit-forming ingredients, and they don’t cause the compulsive cravings that mark an addiction. However, it is possible to develop a tolerance to nasal sprays. After a few days of using a decongestant nasal spray, your nasal membranes may become tolerant — or less responsive — to the effects of the medication. You may find yourself using more and more of the nasal spray to provide relief from the congestion. You may find that the congestion got worse after you stopped using the nasal spray. The condition you are experiencing is calls “rebound congestion”.
What is the difference between prescription nasal sprays and over-the-counter sprays?
There are nasal steroids that are available both by prescription and over-the-counter – that are recommended to be used for long-term conditions, such as seasonal rhinitis and chronic sinusitis. These types of sprays help relieve sneezing, runny nose, itchy nose and stuffiness that could be caused by common cold, seasonal allergies, and a sinus infection. It can take a couple weeks of daily use to feel the full benefit of these nasal sprays.
Other over-the-counter nasal sprays, work almost immediately, but are only supposed to be used for short-term relief. These decongestants reduce nasal swelling and ease discomfort but shouldn’t be used for more than three days. The medication basically causes the tiny blood vessels in the mucus membranes to constrict causing temporary shrinkage in the lining of the nose and therefore better breathing. After a few days however, the blood vessels become severely congested when the medication wears off. This results in the need to use a nasal spray every few hours.
What are my options for sinus medications?
Over the counter daily sinus medications:
H20 – Drink more water, at least 8-12 glasses daily will help thin out drainage and allow better sinus function. This is especially important if you are on antihistamines or nasal sprays as these will dry your nose and throat out.
Neilmed Sinus Rinses – A natural salt water solution you mix yourself with distilled water – follow instructions on the bottle. Do this over a sink twice daily, prior to bed and in the morning work well. Make sure to do this prior to using your nasal steroid or antihistamine spray so these won’t get rinsed away.