What Are the Dangers of Nasal Spray?

Many people turn to nasal sprays to relieve the congestion, stuffiness and nasal drip associated with colds and allergies. However, over the counter remedies and prescription medications come with a variety of risks and side effects caused by regular use, misuse and overuse.

  1. Function

    • Nasal sprays relieve congestion by causing the blood vessels lining the nose to constrict, opening the passages of the nose. Also, it dries the nose, relieving common allergy and cold symptoms of runny nose, stuffiness and nasal drip.

    Rebound Effect

    • The rebound effect is caused by the overuse of over the counter (OTC) nasal sprays. It is the decrease in response by the body to nasal decongestant sprays. This is caused by overuse or frequent past the recommended 3 or 4 days usage period. Another term used to describe the rebound effect is nasal spray addiction.

    Nasal Spray Addiction

    • Although nasal spray addiction is not a true form of addiction, it does cause OTC nasal sprays to become less effective. This results in the nasal passages swelling shut creating a condition for individuals where breathing becomes difficult or almost impossible. When this occurs, treatment of the condition by a physician is required.

    Nasal Steroids

    • Nasal steroids are commonly prescribed for long term use and to combat the effects caused by nasal spray addiction. They are also called corticosteroids. Used for the prevention and reversal of inflammation in the nasal passages they do not have the risks associated with OTC remedies and rebound effect.

    Side Effects

    • Some of the most common side effects of prescription sprays are excessive dryness of the nasal passages and nasal bleeding. If this occurs contact a physician immediately to adjust the type of prescription, strength and dosage levels that can treat the condition with minimal side effects.

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