The Sniffy And Spoiled
Pug-nosed dogs are a human creation. They’re nearly square in shape, and said to have been first reared in China centuries ago as an exclusive privilege of the emperor. Later it accompanied noble ladies in paintings. People have bred pug dogs for entertainment, but the dog suffers – its respiratory organs are highly contracted, giving it its characteristic panting and leading to illness.
Can Prolonged Use Damage Nose Structures
Yes, it can.
- The nose contains air conditioning cushions with the overuse of decongesting sprays, the cushions become thickened. This is clinically called turbinate hypertrophy and it can increase the blockages in the nasal passages.
- The cilia are your nose hairs and these are important in clearing nasal and sinus secretions. Prolonged use of nasal sprays can cause the cilia to function abnormally.
- Overuse can also result in increased blood flow to the nose, therefore causing even more nasal congestion.
Nasal Spray: Too Good To Be Healthy
The winter of 2011 was a rough one for me. My little girl started going to daycare for the first time in her three years of living, and you can guess what happened. That’s right…she contracted illness after illness after illness. I can say with confidence that she was sick for pretty much three months straight. And when my daughter gets sick, it’s a domino effect. I get sick and then my husband will sometimes get sick, as well.
In the midst of having a stuffed-up nose and literally feeling as if I was suffocating, I found the miraculous nasal spray on the pharmacy shelf. A couple squirts up each nostril and WHAMI was able to breathe fully in a matter of a couple of minutes. I thought to myself, oh sweet nasal spray, where have you been all my life?
Little did I know that this breath-giving substance has an uncanny ability to hook you to itto actually create an addiction. My husband even said to me, “Babe, you know that stuff creates an addiction.” And I disagreed. No way something as simple as nasal spray could keep someone like myself craving it on a daily basis.
Alas, the truth sometimes hurts…especially when I do not want to admit it. After three days of using this majestic product that kept my nasal passages free and clear of any undesired phlegm, I started thinking that what my husband was telling me might have some truth to it. I think maybe I didn’t care too much though, as long as I could breathe out of my nose I was going to be happy.
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The Bulge Nose For Mating
The sea elephant got its name from its bulging nose, which may remind you of an elephant’s trunk. It dangles down over the animal’s muzzle. During mating season the male pumps up his mouth with blood and air and gives off a loud noise to chase away its rivals. But both males and females absorb moisture through their noses – especially when fasting during mating season.
Pumping, snorkeling, talking – the amazing talents of animal noses
Four Types Of Nasal Sprays
1. Saline Sprays
Over-the-counter saline sprays can help thin mucous and cleanse your nasal passages of pollen and other allergens.
Addictive? No, these dont cause irritation or dependency, although some preservatives or additives can cause irritation if you are sensitive to them.
What types can I use? Most over-the-counter saline nasal sprays are made of the same saline concentration thats in your body. They will specifically say saline or drug-free on the label. Look for sodium chloride and sterilized water as the main ingredients. While saline sprays can be effective, humidifiers can also be an alternative, especially in drier months.
2. Steroid Sprays
Steroid sprays are used to reduce swelling and inflammation in your nasal passages. These can be a great alternative for those who experience side effects from medications taken by mouth.
Addictive? No, steroid sprays are safe to use and a good option for seasonal and environmental allergies. If you need the nasal spray longer than 6 months, however, talk to your doctor.
What types can I use? Look for steroid sprays that contain corticosteroids. They may also appear as fluticasone propionate or triamcinolone acetonide. There are several available both over the counter and by prescription, so talk to your doctor and pharmacist about which product is best to treat your symptoms.
3. Antihistamine Sprays
Addictive? No, antihistamine sprays are not habit-forming.
4. Decongestant Sprays
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How Is Rhinitis Medicamentosa Treated
Rhinitis Medicamentosa, also known as rebound congestion, happens when you overuse a nasal decongestant. Treatment for RM includes discontinuing the use of the decongestant nasal spray to allow the nasal passage to heal, sometimes including the use of a steroid nasal spray. After recovery, a doctor can determine your underlying nasal problems and recommend a safer treatment plan.
Nasal Spray Addiction Is Very Common In The Uk
More and more people are suffering with a Nasal Spray addiction in the UK. Nasal Spray can be purchased from local supermarkets such as Asda, Tesco, Sainsburys etc and is designed to give you instant relief from a blocked nose when you have a cold or the flu. Unfortunatley, It is very easy to start relying on the nasal spray long term when used for more than 7 days.
The standard over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays are designed to shrink the blood vessels in your nose to give you instant relief from the symptoms of a blocked nose.
The active ingredient is oxymetazoline. If the nasal spray is used for a period longer than 7 days, you can develop rebound congestion. Rebound Congestion will make you want to use the nasal spray more often that advised. Everytime the decongestant spray is used, the blood vessels in the nose will narrow which causes the issue inside the nose to shrink.
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How To Recognize A Nasal Spray Addiction
You can recognise a nasal spray addiction by a prolonged period of use spanning more than two weeks. As a nasal spray dependent, you may need a squirt each night before sleep. Or you have a bottle near you throughout the day. Without the spray, your nose becomes congested and you are unable to breathe freely.
How To Break A Nasal Spray Addiction
Ways to Break the Habit
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Side Effects Of Nasal Steroids
Their side effects include
- yeast overgrowth in the nasal passages or mouth
- perforated septum
The septal perforation is more likely with prolonged use, which can also lead to other serious complications such as glaucoma, cataracts or growth suppression in children.
Some readers report that their senses of smell or taste are changed or destroyed after using such a spray, occasionally for only a short time.
How Do You Help People Who Have Overused Decongesting Sprays
Firstly, I look for the initial reason of congestion that caused my patient to seek out the nasal spray. To do this, I perform a nasal endoscopy exam. If the endoscopy identifies any of the following causes, I then place my patient on a course of treatment to relieve the blockage.
- Allergy related conditions
If none of the listed conditions are at fault, I will provide my patient with a steroid nasal spray and this does not cause rebound congestion nor is it addictive. I instruct patients to gradually lessen its use from twice a day to once a day and then to only use it at night. Ultimately, they wont be using the nasal spray at all.
I may also recommend the use of saline nasal spray and if patients experience a headache during withdrawal from the decongesting spray, I may recommend paracetamol.
Visit Mr Prince Modayils profile to learn how he can provide you with care of the highest quality for a wide range of ear, nose and throat conditions.
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Myths About Nasal Sprays
Nasal sprays may seem like a no-brainer for alleviating congestion and minor pains that come with seasonal allergies and colds. However, long-standing myths about nasal sprays effectiveness and safety cause many people to opt for tried-and-true oral medications instead.
In reality, many of these myths about nasal sprays are exaggeratedor just plain false.
Myth : You Can Get Addicted To Nasal Sprays
This one is partially true. Decongestant nasal sprays can cause rebound congestion or rhinitis medicamentosa. The rebound effect is when your congestion can worsen when you stop using the decongestant nasal spray after long-term use, and its relatively common. In one study, half of the almost 900 participants with nasal congestion used their decongestant sprays for longer than recommended .
The reason behind rhinitis medicamentosa has to do with how these sprays work. Many over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays work by constricting blood vessels that cause inflammation and increased mucus production inside the nose. When the blood vessels shrink, so does the inflammation and runny nose .
The effects of decongestant nasal sprays dont last long when the medication wears off, the vessels swell againand the runny nose returns. You have to use the nasal spray again to experience relief. Some research shows this can create an addictive pattern in some people who feel compelled to continually use more and more of the medication to get the same relief .
While scientists dont know the exact mechanism of rhinitis medicamentosa, they hypothesize that using decongestant nasal sprays long-term can lead to changes in your nasal mucosa and its blood vessels, contributing to rebound congestion. Also, some people may need a higher dose of the decongestant for it to work because the nasal mucosa gets used to it .
- Increased congestion between doses
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What Is Your Professional Advice For People Who Are Overusing Decongesting Nasal Sprays
Key points I advise are:
- Be aware of the hidden hazards .
- Do not use the spray for more than three to five days.
- Do not use the spray more frequently than the product instructions recommend.
The first week of stopping decongestion sprays is often the most difficult. However, it is possible to overcome it with determination and medical assistance.
What Happens After Long
After continuous and frequent use of nasal sprays, people can develop rebound nasal congestion . Symptoms of rebound nasal congestion and dependency on nasal spray may include:
- becoming congested again soon after using the spray
- having the sensation that the spray doesnt work anymore
- wanting to use the spray more often than the sprays guidelines recommend
- relying on the decongesting spray on a daily basis to breath normally
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Nasal Spray Addiction: Is It Real
Medically reviewed by Drugs.com. Last updated on Dec 12, 2020.
What you may be referring to is a rebound effect that can occur if you use over-the-counter nasal decongestant sprays regularly. After a few days of using this type of nasal spray, your nose may become less responsive to the effects of the medication.
As a result, you may need to use more and more of the medication to control congestion. Your congestion also may worsen if you stop using the medication. Some people may mistake this rebound effect for addiction, but it isnât.
True addiction is a compulsive physiological need for and use of a habit-forming substance known to be physically, psychologically or socially harmful. Over-the-counter nasal sprays donât cause the physiological cravings that mark an addiction.
To prevent rebound congestion, use over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays for no more than three days in a row, with as few doses as possible each day. Prescription nasal sprays containing steroids donât cause this rebound effect, so they can be used on a daily basis for years.
Is It Bad To Take A Decongestant Every Day
Decongestant sprays are recommended for short-term use, for a maximum of three to five days. When we have a cold or the flu, our nasal passages become swollen and it makes it difficult to breathe comfortably. As our nasal passages swell, theres an increase in mucus production. Decongestants address that by constricting the blood vessels and therefore, reducing the inflammation. However, if youve been using decongestant spray and your congestion persists longer than your other cold or flu symptoms, youll know the decongestant has probably started working against you.
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Ways To Break The Habit
1. Cold Turkey – If you are hardcore like me, the best option for you to break this medical addiction is to go full-on cold turkey. What do we mean when we say “cold turkey”? We mean to just plain stop what you are doing that causes the addiction. Stop using the substance that is causing your suffering…in this case – nasal spray. Yes, there are negatives to the cold turkey method. The biggest negative is that your nose will continue to feel closed and you will not be able to breathe through it for at least a couple of days. In severe cases in which people have used nasal spray for a matter of years, the feeling of nasal clogging will probably last for at least a couple of weeks. Your body has to readjust itself to not having that chemical in order to open the pathways to the respiratory system. You may feel miserable and have a tantalizing desire to just pick up the bottle , but fight it! If you have quit smoking or some other addiction in the past cold turkey, you can quit this thing the same exact way! You are strong so don’t let something as simple as an inanimate bottle of nose lube keep you down.
What Do I Do For My Nasal Congestion Issues If I Cant Use Afrin
People get started on Afrin initially because they have structural issues in their nose and sinuses. A comprehensive evaluation at our office can confirm this. Contact us today at to schedule an appointment for a comprehensive evaluation. We can help you get off Afrin and see if you have a structural issue. We can do simple in-office procedures, such as a , to correct the structural issues permanently, and also manage your allergies with allergy drops.
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What Is The Clinical Definition Of A Substance Or Behavioral Addiction
According to the American Society of Addiction Medicine, Substance addiction is a chronic, treatable medical disease that involves complex interactions among genetics, chemicals in the brain, a persons environment and a persons life experiences. People with a drug addiction engage in compulsive behaviors that continue despite the person suffering harmful consequences as a result of their drug-seeking behaviors.
The ASAM further states that treatment approaches and prevention efforts put forth by local and federal agencies are typically as successful as approaches and efforts used to treat chronic medical diseases.
The rebound effect caused by Afrin overuse is not an addiction to nasal sprays. Rebound congestion that occurs when you stop using Afrin doesnt require professional intervention by experienced addiction counselors. Nor does it require medical detoxification to rid the body of harmful drugs. Also, rebound congestion is not a medical disease involving the brain. Finally, people compelled to use Afrin on a daily basis dont engage in behaviors that severely compromise their jobs, relationships and general health.
Steroid Nasal Spray To The Rescue:
Some people also use steroid nasal sprays to overcome nose spray dependency. Here is what another reader did.
Q. I have been using Afrin Nasal Decongestant Spray for two decades. My mom started me on it when I was a kid with bad allergies and then I couldnt stop. I hated that nose spray dependence.
I finally got off Afrin by using Flonase and diluting the last bottle of Afrin with saline. It took about a week, and though I am still a little stuffy, I am so glad to be off the decongestant. I just thought others might benefit from my experience.
A. Thank you for sharing your success. Flonase is a corticosteroid nasal spray that has recently become available over the counter. It can be helpful during the process of weaning off a nose spray addiction. It is also useful in controlling nasal allergy symptoms.
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Nasal Irrigation Can Help Relieve Congestion
The purpose of nasal irrigation is to rinse out mucus and any debris from the nasal passageways. There are many ways to do this, but the simplest way is by using a Neti Pot they can be found in most drug stores and are typically used for sinus congestion, allergies, and colds. The Neti Pot works by flushing a saline solution through the nasal passageways, thinning the mucus so that it can be removed with the solution. This speeds up the process of mucus removal normally done by cilia, or small hairs, in the passageways. The function of the cilia is to move mucus to where it can either be swallowed or blown out.
I first heard about this method from both my father and my father-in-law, who have successfully used the Neti Pot to relieve their congestion. I decided to try it myself, however, I only found relief for about five minutes after use. On top of that, there is a slight burning sensation from the saline solution that I was not comfortable with. Overall, I did not find enough congestion relief from using a Neti Pot. However, it is a proven natural alternative to nasal decongestants that has worked for others. You can also try saline nasal sprays that are a little gentler and keep your nose hydrated.
Zyrtec-D combines an antihistamine with pseudoephedrine, a decongestant, to relieve sinus congestions and allergies.