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 woman putting nasal spray on her nose

It’s vital to breathe freely. Your seasonal allergies can make that a little more difficult.

When your nose is stuffed up or running, it can make your life uncomfortable, annoying, or worrisome. Treating your congestion needs to be convenient, affordable, and (most importantly) effective. When symptoms get worse, then an effective treatment will require more involved and more costly measures.

But how effective are over-the-counter nasal sprays?

Advantages of OTC Nasal Sprays

When you have to treat nasal congestion, over-the-counter (OTC) sprays help mitigate symptoms in the short-term despite not being permanent fixes.

They’re reasonably cheap; they’re easy to use; and they’re instaneous at treating minor, temporary sinus issues. “Minor” and “temporary” are the important words here. OTC nasal sprays are categorized as “intranasal steroids,” which means that they reduce inflammation inside your nasal passages.

They are topical steroids, only working after directly in contact with sinus tissue. These nasal sprays shrink congested blood vessels, which reduces histamine production. This is how your body’s immune response gets temporarily suppressed to open up your blocked nasal passages.

Non-invasive allergy sprays don’t require oversight by a medical professional, which makes acquiring them fairly easy. The amount is low-cost, both emotionally and financially. You simply stroll into your local area drug store to buy them like you would a pack of gum.

Disadvantages of OTC Nasal Sprays

As detailed above, nasal sprays are great because allergy sufferers can easily acquire them. In terms of emotional investment, OTC nasal sprays are low too. But what happens when the severity of the symptoms worsen or their duration lengthens?

Over-the-counter or prescription oral allergy medications are another way to sustain relief from your stuffed-up sinuses. Oral medicine tackles the allergy-related reaction by relieving nasal and sinus congestion, blocking histamines, or suppressing inflammation. So, there’s more variety of solutions than nasal sprays. The strength of the meds increases when you use a doctor’s prescription, so it’s important to be open with your primary care physician about any negative side effects.

With nasal sprays, they’re only shrinking the blood cells that are reacting to allergens, which means nasal sprays are not a permanent solution. Doctors might initially prescribe a nasal spray but know that there are other options in their toolbox.

Factors to Weigh

With all things related to your health, there are many factors you need to consider when deciding on a course of treatment: cost, time commitment, pain level, downtime, recovery time, negative side effects. When you’re trying to heal your body, adding a new scar or a new limitation on your day-to-day life lowers your overall quality of life (QOL). Quality of life is important since it entails the perceptions of patients about their overall well-being and happiness. When it comes to staying healthy and happy—with regards to your goals, expectations, and worries—less physical discomfort or a smaller healthcare bill matters to patients.

More and more doctors like to avoid invasive procedures, no matter how simple the procedure may be. When you’re treating a patient’s illness, you’d like to have as few variables as possible that can go wrong: threat of infection, adverse reactions to drugs, care for the point of incision, and resulting scarring. That’s why people like using nasal sprays for sinus issues. The problem is that it might be a patch for a deeper issue.

Whether it’s nasal sprays or oral medications, if you have chronic allergy issues, you might to escalate the level of care you’re receiving. “Quick and easy” should work for the minor, short-term allergy issues, but more involved care should have a trained doctor overseeing your treatment. The good thing about incorporating a trained doctor into your healthcare regimen would that they can track your progress (or decline) with any particular method and suggest an alternative. Whether it’s visiting a drug store or your doctor, don’t turn your nose up at getting help for your allergy symptoms.


Is your nose stuffed-up with seasonal allergies? We’ve got plenty of options for you. Take back your nose (so your goofy uncle can take it away again). Discuss your nasal spray options with Dr. Pasha and his team. Follow us on Facebook and Pinterest for more updates!

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