Nasal sprays can be used to treat a variety of ailments including congestion, sneezing and a runny nose. There are a few types of nasal sprays – saline, steroid, decongestant and antihistamine.
Nasal sprays are meant to be used for a maximum of three days. That’s because users can develop a tolerance towards the spray, meaning that more and more is needed to cause the desired effect.
Saline nasal spray
According to the experts at House Call Doctor, saline nasal sprays are considered to be safe for all ages and contain salt, sterilised water and some preservatives that prevent mould and bacteria growth. Saline nasal sprays are not addictive and can be used as needed.
Decongestant nasal sprays
These sprays are available without prescription and are designed to shrink the blood vessels in the nose. Decongestant nasal sprays are addictive when used too often or for too long. Signs that you have a dependency for decongestant nasal spray include needing the spray to be able to breathe normally, using the product more than directed, using the spray but feeling as if it no longer works, and feeling congested shortly after use.
Damage caused by consistent use
Repeated use of nasal sprays has been known to harm the sensitive membranes inside the nasal passages, causing nose bleeds.
The symptoms of overusing nasal spray include using it more frequently than directed, getting congested when you try to reduce or stop using it, or using it for more than a week.
The most common symptom of nasal spray withdrawal is congestion. Whatever initially caused the congestion is also likely to return.
A runny nose, sore throat, sneezing, breathing difficulties, headache and sinus pressure can be possible symptoms of overuse.
Overuse of nasal sprays can be treated, and typically takes less than a week.