A bottle of nasal spray.

With review and feedback from Charlotte Eye Ear Nose & Throat Associates, P.A. ENT doctor Hunter Hoover, MD (SouthPark)

If you have allergies, there’s a good chance you’ve considered using nasal sprays to treat your symptoms. But even though they’re supposed to be fine for you to use, you’re still a little reluctant to use something without knowing more about it. So, can nasal sprays harm you?

What are nasal sprays?

Nasal sprays are substances – usually medicines – that are sprayed up the nose in a light mist in order to relieve allergy symptoms. Saline sprays are drug-free and help your breathing by loosening and thinning mucus in your nose. Decongestants sprays (such as oxymetazoline or phenylephrine) shrink swollen blood vessels and tissues that are causing congestion. Antihistamine sprays (like azelastine) relieve congestion, sneezing, and itchy and runny noses. Steroid sprays (including fluticasone and mometasone) help reduce congestion, sneezing, and itchy eyes.

Saline and decongestants are available over the counter, antihistamines sprays are prescription medicines, and steroid nasal sprays are both.

Can I get addicted to nasal sprays?

Hunter Hoover, MD

Most nasal sprays are not habit forming, so you can use them long-term without fear of forming an addiction. In fact, steroid sprays should be used daily, as they may take a week or so to start working.

The one exception is nasal decongestant sprays.They are habit forming and should not be used for more than 3-4 days at a time, CEENTA ENT doctor Hunter Hoover, MD, said.

Can I use nasal sprays too much?

Doctors caution against the overuse of decongestant sprays. Prolonged use can lead to rebound swelling and, ironically, long-term stuffiness. Steroid sprays, while not habit forming, don’t show any increased benefit if used more than once a day. Also, any nasal spray can irritate the tissue inside the nose and cause nosebleeds.

Can CEENTA help me with my allergies?

You don’t need to work alone to figure out which nasal spray is best for you. The allergy specialists at CEENTA will test you, determine what you’re allergic to, and come up with a treatment plan that best suits your needs. If that includes nasal sprays, they are happy to discuss how to make the right spray work best for you.

This blog is for informational purposes only. For specific medical questions, please consult your doctor. Would you like an appointment with Dr. Hoover? Call 704-295-3000. You can also schedule an appointment online or through myCEENTAchart.


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January 21, 2021

Superb post. Keep posting.
- Sinofresh

December 26, 2020

A good job is done. Thanks for sharing your
- Sinofresh

February 12, 2020

There is a lump behind my ear...n I have adenoids,can it be a cause of worry
- Mannath

February 12, 2020

Good morning. If you live in the Charlotte region and would like a CEENTA doctor to examine you, please call 704-295-3000 to schedule an appointment. Thank you.
Reply From: CEENTA

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