Best Types of Nasal Sprays

Updated
Updated

How often should you use nasal spray for allergies?

For most nasal spray brands, you should not exceed two doses in a 24-hour period. Depending on the brand, a dose could entail two to three sprays in each nostril. You should also only use nasal sprays for a few days. This should be enough to help symptoms subside.

This article is a transcript.

What kind of nasal spray should you be using? I'm Dr. Manan Shah with Wyndly Health. So if you're having allergy symptoms, and it's bothering you and your nose and you're having stuffy nose, runny nose, sneezing, a nasal spray is something you probably want to consider. We generally think of five types of nasal sprays.

The most common one that you might've heard of is just a nasal saline rinse. This is literally just saltwater, and you can sometimes have a mist or you can have a Neti pot. And the idea behind this is you literally are just washing the allergens out of your nose, so if you're breathing in pollen a saltwater rinse like a saline rinse is going to get it out of your nose. It's going to decrease the amount of irritants in your nose.

Now let's talk about the medication nasal sprays. The next most common one are topical nasal steroids. These are things like Flonase, Nasonex, Rhinocort. These can be purchased over the counter, and if you use them for a prolonged amount of time, they actually decrease the amount of swelling in your nose. This will help with symptoms like runny nose and stuffiness, but it's important to know that these nasal sprays do not work right away. You have to use them for a little bit before they start to have benefits.

The next type of medication nasal spray are things like drying agents, like Azelastine, or Atrovent. These are prescription medications and they will work relatively quickly within 15 to 20 minutes of taking them. Azelastine is actually an antihistamine, so it works really well for allergy symptoms. So you spray it in your nose and within 15 to 20 minutes, you should have less sneezing or runny nose. Atrovent is another one, it's called ipratropium bromide, and Atrovent is a nasal spray that we generally only use for basically vasomotor rhinitis or runny nose that doesn't respond to other things. It doesn't work as well for allergy symptoms.

And then the last type of medicated nasal spray is something called NasalCrom. And this you can purchase over the counter. And this is a mast cell stabilizer. It's not used as often because Flonase works really well, but it certainly works really well for some patients. When we talk about a mast cell stabilizer, what's happening is when you are exposed to allergens, there are cells in your nose called mast cells and they release histamine. And so if you use a mast cell stabilizer like NasalCrom, what it's going to do is decrease the amount of histamine that you release.

Either way, I think it's really important to consider using a nasal spray in your allergy regimen. And it's important to work with your doctor to figure out the best one for you. If you'd like to learn more subscribe. Thanks.

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