Are Nasal Sprays A Good Option For Allergies?

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nasal sprays
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The most common type of nose allergy people experience is a runny nose which is very bothersome and uncomfortable when you are having a cold or flu. You even get rashes by excessively cleaning your nose with a handkerchief. Apart from this allergy, there are several other allergies like allergic rhinitis or hay fever.

Having a nose allergy makes it very uneasy to breathe. Nasal sprays for allergies can tackle this turmoil. There are various types of nasal sprays for allergies available in the market. Continue reading to discover different types of nasal sprays for allergies.   

Types of nasal sprays for allergies

1. Steroid Nasal Sprays

Steroid sprays work very well in ameliorating congestion, watery eyes, runny nose and itchiness in the nose. If your nose is extremely watery, steroid sprays might be an option for you. These types of nasal spray work by reducing the inflammation in the nose and relieving the allergy symptoms.

nasal sprays

Nasal steroid sprays for allergies should be used consistently, at least once or twice a day for weeks. Steroid sprays take time in reducing the symptoms but they are frequently considered as the first-line drug recommendations by the doctors. 

2. Decongestant Nasal Sprays

Decongestant nasal sprays dwindle the swollen or inflamed and irritated blood vessels that are accumulated in the nose which can often cause congestion and irritation. Decongestant sprays are meant to be used for a limited time (not more than 3 days).

Using decongestant nasal sprays for a long time can cause your nose to get even more blocked. You should ask the doctor before you use decongestant sprays. This type of nasal spray is not recommended for treating chronic allergies. They are not for long term use. 

3. Antihistamine sprays

Histamine is a substance that results in allergy symptoms like sneezing, itching, watery eyes and runny nose. Antihistamine nasal sprays can be used to treat histamine. This type of spray can generally cause less drowsiness than antihistamine pills, but they, however, may make some people feel sleepy. They function by halting the effects of histamine.

These are effective for sinus infections. If you experience drowsiness when using these nasal sprays, you may take this later. 

4. Anticholinergic sprays

Anticholinergic sprays affect the special receptors of your nose. Anticholinergic sprays help in drying out the mucus which is caused by cold or when you have a runny nose. Like decongestant sprays, anticholinergic sprays are also meant to be used for a short period. It is not intended to use after 3 weeks as the nasal allergy symptoms last for 3 weeks at most. 

5. Mast cell inhibitor sprays

These nasal sprays work by preventing the discharge of histamine and other chemicals that cause allergic symptoms from mast cells when an individual comes into touch with an allergen like pollen. The effect of these nasal sprays usually last for about 8 hours, so it is necessary to use them frequently. It helps in avoiding cold and cough symptoms like runny nose and watery eyes. 

How to use nasal sprays for nasal allergies?

Apart from your nasal spray, you will need soap and water or hand sanitizer to clean your hands. Clean hands are important to avoid any further infections from occurring. You will also need some tissues to blow your nose before you use any nasal spray.

nasal sprays

The usage of most nasal sprays is the same with a few minor variations depending on the way your bottle is made. If used correctly, nasal sprays can work most of the time and relieve your uneasiness.

Follow these steps to know how to use nasal sprays the right way:

  • Blow your nose to get the mucus out of your nose. 
  • Wash your hands or sanitise to get rid of any dirt or bacteria out of your hands. 
  • Use your finger and press to close down one nostril.
  • Place the tip of the nasal bottle or spray on the other opened nostril. 
  • Squeeze the bottle gently and inhale at the same time.
  • Do this again with the other nostril.

Who should not use nasal sprays?

A lot of nasal sprays like decongestants are not so favourable for children. You might want to prevent some nasal sprays if you are suffering from high blood pressure or other cardiac problems, diabetes, thyroid problems, or urinary problems. Nasal sprays can increase blood pressure and pulse rate. They can often cause dizziness and lack of sleep. Steroid nasal sprays can sometimes cause nose bleeding and change in the sense of smell, although it happens rarely.

If you taking any medication, you might want to ask your health care provider first. Overusing is not recommended, you should always use nasal spray according to the dosage prescribed by the doctor. 

Side effects of nasal sprays

Nasal sprays are mostly safe to use. Although, pills may be more effective as they work on your overall body whereas nasal spray is usually used to relieve the symptoms and are limited to only the nose area. It isn’t always safe for everyone. Steroid nasal sprays can cause nosebleeds. Other side effects include headaches, sinus pain, sore throat, nausea, vomiting and nose dryness, burning or tingling. 

Nasal spray addiction is a probable side effect of nasal sprays, especially decongestant nasal sprays. Nasal spray addiction can happen when you use a decongestant spray for more than 3 days. Rather being able to inhale and exhale easily, you may start to feel even more congested after using the nasal spray. It is not very clear why this happens, but to prevent it, you should not use decongestant nasal sprays for more than 3 days in a row. 

Summing up

Using nasal sprays is a useful way to alleviate nasal congestion from allergies, watery eyes, runny nose, colds and sinus infections. Some nasal sprays are good for short-term use while other nasal sprays work well on a long-term option.

The probability of developing any side effects is very low, however, people with health issues should ask their health care provider before they use it. If used correctly and carefully, the nasal spray is the best for quick relief.