Should You Use Nasal Decongestants?

Should You Use Nasal Decongestants?

Although we recommend that you employ some self-medication and home remedies for sinus trouble, some remedies are safer and more effective than others.

Nasal decongestants including Afrin, Neo-Synephrine and others can be used to treat nasal congestion, sinus infection and allergies. In general, these sprays are safe and can offer relief when used as directed. Many of these sprays include a limitation warning – such as not to use more than twice in 24 hours, or more than 3 days in a row. Why do they include such warnings?

The answer lies in how these drugs work. The active ingredients in most nasal sprays – such as oxymetazoline hydrochloride, phenylephrine hydrochloride or xylometazoline – work by closing blood vessels in your nose. The constriction of blood flow helps to minimize the effects of congestion and lasts about 12 hours.

If you use nasal decongestants for an extended period of time, however, the continued suppression of blood flow can damage nasal tissues and lead to worse congestion.

This ongoing interference with the body’s natural function can have many negative consequences, including edema (swelling) and lasting damage. Your body may increase the production of mucous in order to increase the blood flow that’s restricted by the medicine, which actually worsens the condition you’re trying to help!

Steroid and other types of nasal decongestants (including Flonase, Nasocourt, or Rhinocort) are the ones which we prefer and recommend, because they do not have these negative potential effects. Del Rey Sinus & Allergy Institute is here for you to help you make the right decisions for the health of your sinuses. Whether it’s allergy, cold or flu season, we can help you to Breathe Better, Today!

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