Hay fever sufferers should avoid making this serious mistake with nasal spray

Woman using a nasal spray
It is very possible that you are using your nasal spray “wrongly.” (Image: Getty Images/Science Photo Libra)

Summer is supposed to be a happy time, the sun is out and the beach is calling, but if you suffer from hay fever this can really put a damper on things.

Sneezing and coughing, runny nose and watery eyes – none of the symptoms are particularly pleasant, so you’ll likely be stocking up on various medications and treatments to relieve them, such as nasal spray.

This is a common way for people to relieve their symptoms and similar products are also used to help with colds and flu. But it seems like many of us have been making a big mistake using nasal sprays, and that’s probably why you’re not feeling better.

Dr Lawrence Cunningham, former GP and UK Care Guide contributing medical expert, has explained what we are all doing wrong and what we should be doing instead.

He told Metro.co.uk: ‘In my experience, the most common mistake many people make with nasal spray is to inhale or sniff sharply when sprayed, which can cause the medication to be swallowed rather than absorbed into the nostrils. This may make the medication less effective.

Woman blowing her nose in the garden, reading in the sun
The symptoms of hay fever can be very unpleasant. (Image: Getty Images)

‘The correct approach is to tilt your head slightly forward and insert the mouthpiece into one nostril. Aim the spray toward the side of your nose, not up, and gently press the pump.

“Holding your breath for a few seconds after spraying can help ensure that the medication stays in your nostrils and doesn’t drip down your throat.”

But that’s not the only mistake you’re probably guilty of making. If you get some to spray happily with a nasal spray, you’re not doing yourself any favors either.

Overuse of nasal sprays is another big no-no according to the doctor, who claims that it can actually make you sicker longer.

“Some people think that if a little is good, more must be better, but this is not the case,” he says. ‘Overuse can lead to rebound congestion, where the nasal passages become more congested once the medication wears off.

‘Another mistake is neglecting the spray nozzle regularly. Over time, the mouthpiece can become clogged or contaminated, affecting the delivery and effectiveness of the medication.

But before you think about giving up completely, you might want to think again. When used correctly, nasal sprays can be very “effective,” according to Dr. Lawrence.

‘I have seen many patients achieve significant relief from their symptoms by correctly using these sprays. They offer targeted relief directly to the nasal passages, which may be more effective than oral medications for some people.

‘However, it is important to choose the right type of nasal spray. Different formulations, such as saline sprays, steroid sprays, and antihistamine sprays, serve different purposes.

He adds: “Consulting with your GP or pharmacist to determine the type most suitable for your symptoms can help ensure you are not wasting money on a product that does not suit your needs.”

‘For some people, a combination of treatments may provide the best relief. For example, combining a nasal spray with oral antihistamines or decongestants may offer more comprehensive symptom management.’

In addition to medications, the expert also recommends making some lifestyle modifications, such as using air purifiers, keeping windows closed during high pollen seasons, and regularly cleaning your living space, as they can also help reduce exposure. to allergens.

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