How to Use a Steroid Nasal Spray During a Cold

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Nasal steroid sprays (corticosteroid sprays) are typically used to treat hay fever (allergic rhinitis) and vasomoter rhinitis (non-allergic rhinitis). The symptoms of a cold can produce the same inflammation in the nasal passages, so nasal steroid sprays can be an effective treatment for reducing the inflammation due to a cold virus. Various brands of of nasal steroid sprays include fluticasone (Flonase), mometasone (Nasonex), flunisolide (Nasarel), triamcinolone (Nasacort AQ), beclomethasone (Beconase AQ), ciclesonide (Omnaris) and budesonide (Rhinocort Aqua).

Things You'll Need

  • Prescription for a nasal steroid spray

How to Use a Nasal Steroid Spray for a Cold

  • You can use nasal steroid sprays during a cold to relieve the inflammation caused by a cold or from a sinus infection as a result of a cold. If you have cold symptoms that go untreated, chronic or recurrent sinus infections can occur. You can find relief from using a nasal steroid spray. Its anti-inflammatory effects relieve the congestion that occurs as a result of a cold or sinus infection.

  • Start using a steroid nasal spray early on in the cold to prevent congestion and blockages in your nasal passages that can lead to a sinus infection. Inhaled nasal steroids reduce tissue swelling and prevent your sinus passages from becoming blocked, allowing bacteria to pool and causing a sinus infection.

  • Use nasal steroid sprays during a cold regularly; once or twice a day for a week or more to obtain the full benefit of the medicine. Inflammation takes time to resolve, so it is important that you stick to your prescribed treatment plan when using inhaled nasal steroids. Nasal steroid sprays can be used either alone or along with antihistamines and decongestants.

  • Shaking the nasal steroid spray container; blowing your nose and clearing out mucus from your nasal passages. Then close one nostril and while inserting the nasal applicator into the other nostril, inhale the spray through your nose after pressing on the applicator to release the medicine. Repeat the same procedure in the other nostril. Be sure to spray the number of sprays your doctor recommends, and use the medication for the full length of time prescribed by your doctor.

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