Decongesting with a nasal spray? Beware of this common mistake!

Long-term use of nasal sprays can even cause permanent mucosal damage.

Congestion can be relieved by using nasal sprays. Most photos

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.

High risk

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.

Over-the-counter sprays should only be used for short periods of time. Most photos

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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.

Nasal sprays containing cortisone can be used for detoxification as directed by a doctor. Most photos

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.

You should reserve these products at home for flu season.

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