Allergies: Close look on nasal sprays

The nasal sprays for allergies are considered highly effective in managing the nasal allergy symptoms. In most cases, they are better compared to the oral antihistamine. The nasal sprays have their own drawbacks though – should be used routinely to achieve the best results and many do not favor the idea of applying medications via the nose.

The potential side effects of nasal sprays are limited to nose bleed or nasal irritation. Only a few variants can cause any significant bodily effects. Some individuals can experience a bad smell or taste, drainage in the throat or burning sensation but these can be reduced by applying the nasal spray correctly.

How to properly use the nasal spray

Even though it seems obvious, many do not properly use a nasal spray. Incorrect usage can lead to an increased risk for side effects and a reduced chance that the medication will not work as effectively.

  • Take out any mucus present in the nasal passageways by puffing the nose.
    Nasal sprays

    The potential side effects of nasal sprays are limited to nose bleed or nasal irritation.

  • Shake the nasal spray bottle and remove the cap.
  • Hold the bottle in the palm of the one hand and position the nozzle tip in the opposite nostril. (The nozzle will point to the exterior part of the nostril)
  • When the medication is sprayed, the individual should sniff gently as if smelling a flower or food. Do not snort the spray since this causes the medication to go into the throat.
  • Repeat the administration as needed until the prescribed amount is given into each nostril.

In case nasal irritation, bleeding or other undesirable side effects occur, discontinue the nasal spray for 3-5 days and repeat the administration. Once the side effects persist, cease the use of the nasal spray and consult a doctor.

Types of prescription nasal sprays

The prescribed nasal sprays include topical nasal antihistamines, nasal steroids, topical nasal mast cell stabilizers and topical nasal anticholinergics.

Topical nasal steroids

These are highly effective in managing nasal allergies as well as non-allergic rhinitis. This medication is only available by prescription. Some individuals noted that one variant tastes or smells better than another one, but they all work in the same manner.

Topical nasal anticholinergics

A common anticholinergic is ipratropium that works by drying up the nasal secretions and suitable for managing allergic rhinitis, non-allergic type as well as the symptoms of common cold. The possible side effects are mild such as nasal dryness and irritation.

Topical nasal antihistamines

At the present, only azelastine (Astelin) is included in this category. This medication is effective in managing both allergic and non-allergic rhinitis. It can manage all nasal symptoms and must be used routinely to achieve the best results.

The possible side effects are considered mild such as nasal irritation. In some cases, sleepiness is experienced since it is an older antihistamine.

Nasal mast cell stabilizers

Cromolyn is included in this category which works by preventing the symptoms of nasal allergies if used before exposure to potential allergens. The medication prevents the mast cells from releasing chemicals that trigger the allergy symptoms.

Just remember that this medication will not treat the allergy symptoms once they are present. In most individuals, it only has limited usefulness.


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