Types of Nasal Sprays Explained

By Patricia Feb 19, 2020

Types of Nasal Sprays Explained

There are many different products and solutions on the market when it comes to treating allergies and sinus infections. At Detroit Sinus Center, we recommend scheduling an appointment with Dr. Lascelles Pinnock to discuss your sinus condition before getting too carried away with different products. That being said, there are a variety of different nasal rinses and sprays that can be used to treat less severe conditions and provide short-term relief. Here is an overview of the different options available as both prescription and over-the-counter solutions to treating common congestion and more severe sinus infections. 

Types of Nasal Sprays

Nasal steroids are available as prescription and over-the-counter products, and are designed to alleviate symptoms of a variety of conditions, ranging from the common cold to a more serious sinus infection. They are also often recommended to treat more long-term conditions, such as chronic sinusitis. It should be noted that it is not ever safe to share nasal sprays between different people. Here is a brief overview of the different applications of different types of nasal sprays. 

Decongestant Sprays

Nasal decongestants can come in the form of inhalers, drops, or sprays. Decongestant sprays are over-the-counter products that work by shrinking blood vessels to allow for better breathing by opening up the airways and decreasing mucus production. These types of sprays are typically designed for short-term use, and the positive effects will often disappear after just several hours. In fact, the swelling may even become stronger if the decongestant nasal spray is continually used for more than a few days. 

Nasal Steroid Sprays

You will often see steroid nasal sprays referred to as corticosteroid sprays. Corticosteroids are used in different applications to reduce inflammation that is the result of an immune system response. It takes a few more days for the effects of steroid sprays to kick in. However, they are typically used every day until the desired results begin to manifest. Long-term use of corticosteroid sprays can have negative side effects, such as nose bleeds and harmful eye conditions.

Saline Sprays

Saline sprays are one of the more basic products designed to loosen up any mucus in your nose or sinuses. Saline sprays do not include any form of corticosteroid or medication and therefore have no side effects. They are simply composed of salt and sterilized water. If you are looking for a drug-free nasal rinse, you can always double-check the bottle to make sure that salt is the primary ingredient and there are no active ingredients. 

Can Nasal Sprays Be Addictive?

If a nasal spray is producing the desired results, it is typical for users to want to continue to use it, which isn’t necessarily a problem. Addiction occurs when someone becomes enslaved to the point that it becomes a psychological habit that can cause trauma. Over-the-counter nasal sprays are not addictive but can be difficult to stop using if someone builds up a tolerance to them. 

When To See a Sinus Doctor

Consulting with a medical professional is always a good first step in treating allergies or a sinus infection. You may be able to easily differentiate your allergies from a more serious sinus infection if you are experiencing pain in your cheeks and around your eyes, as well as dark, thick mucus. If this is the case, we recommend contacting a sinus doctor!

The team here at Detroit Sinus Center would be happy to see you in our office to diagnose your condition, and either recommend a nasal spray, prescribe a drug, perform a balloon sinus dilation, or sinus surgery in serious cases. We strive to help our patients find long-term relief for their sinus conditions. Give us a call today!

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