Long-term use of nasal sprays can even cause permanent mucosal damage.
A stuffy nose is a common problem, especially this winter, when there are viruses that cause both colds and flu. Suffocation can be relieved by using over-the-counter nasal sprays.
– Their effect is based on the fact that the sprays restrict the blood vessels of the nasal mucosa. As a result, the swelling of the mucous membrane decreases and the feeling of congestion is relieved, says the specialist pharmacist and pharmacy nurse at the pharmacy. Hannah Yla-Raudio University Pharmacy from Lahti.
Decongestant sprays are effective medications and are indicated Kaibe Hoido Recommendation for Self-MedicationInside they should be used to disturb congestion, especially at night, so that you can sleep properly.
But over-the-counter nasal sprays shouldn't be treated too carelessly. There is a clear danger associated with their careless use. Nasal sprays are for temporary use only, lasting a maximum of seven days.
A long pipe can already cause problems.
– With long-term use, the effect of the spray starts to reverse, says Ylä-Rautio.
The spray increases alpha-2 receptors in the nose, and may cause hypertrophy or inflammation of the nasal membranes. This worsens the feeling of congestion.
– The nasal spray still seems to open up the nose. But if you try to live without it, congestion is the worst of both, explains Ylä-Rautio.
At worst, overuse of nasal sprays can cause permanent mucosal damage.
How to get rid of it?
So what's the point of relying on them for so long?
– If the time is reasonable, that is, if we are not talking about months or years, it is usually enough to stop using it, says Ylä-Rautio.
– Nasal congestion lasts for a few days, after which it should subside.
During that time, you can use nasal irrigation jugs, saline sprays or drops, and moisturizing oil sprays as supportive therapy.
If self-treatment and a few days of stretching do not help the symptoms, you should see a doctor.
Nasal sprays containing cortisone are used as directed by the physician when discontinuing the hook of astringent nasal sprays. They are available with and without a prescription.
In addition to getting a possible prescription, it's a good idea to see a doctor to determine if there's a structural problem behind the persistent blockage. Congestion caused by flu usually goes away within a week.
A common problem
According to Ylä-Rauti, overuse of decongestant nasal sprays is common.
– This is one of the most common problems with over-the-counter drugs encountered at the pharmacy, he says.
So who buys decongestant nasal sprays? Ylä-Rautio says no real scientific research has been done on the subject.
– The intuition of such an experienced pharmacist is that they are bought by young people. Older people rarely hear about sprays.