Are Nasal Sprays Always Beneficial? Know Signs And Side-Effects Of Overuse Of These Sprays

Nasal sprays are given or prescribed for short-term purpose, read to know the side-effects it can have if you overuse it.

Puru Bansal
Written by: Puru BansalPublished at: May 08, 2022Updated at: May 08, 2022
Are Nasal Sprays Always Beneficial? Know Signs And Side-Effects Of Overuse Of These Sprays

You must have had running nose once in a while and it you have, then you know how irritating it is. Usually, we often take nasal sprays to stop the running nose for at least few hours but that is not a permanent solution. Running nose can seriously affect the quality of your life and this it is important to be aware of factors that influence it. Different types of nasal sprays are available in the market, but are they all safe. Congestion can be affected because of inflammation in your nasal passage that might have been worsened or cause because of decongestant nasal sprays. Let us know about some signs of excessive use of nasal sprays on your health.  

Effect of Decongestant Nasal Sprays 

Decongestant nasal sprays are used to provide relief to the body but excessive use of it for more than advised days could be harmful. We spoke to Dr. Sumeet Nigam, General Physician at Sahara Hospital, Lucknow to know if these nasal sprays can negatively affect your body. He told that decongestant nasal sprays that you often use during running nose and congestion actually shrunken the blood vessels in your nasal passage. This makes it easier for you to breathe for some time but it could get inflamed for the worse if it is used for more than 3 days continuously. Nasal sprays are only recommended for emergency usage to give relief so that the symptoms do not get worse.  

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Types of Nasal Sprays 

There are multiple types of nasal sprays that are used for different purposes. Also, these sprays have different quality, hence their adequate usage also differs. Depending on the allergies or running nose, here are some types of nasal sprays- 

  1. Saline nasal sprays 
  2. Steroid nasal sprays 
  3. Decongestant sprays 
  4. Antihistamine nasal spray 

All of these nasal sprays can have some kind of side-effect on the body if you use it more than advised manner.  

Side-Effects of Nasal Sprays 

1. Saline Spray 

These are close to saltwater rinse that could help to clear your nasal passage. It helps to kills or eradicate the germs and irritants that enter through your nose. Saline sprays are useful in flushing out the mucus that might cause inflammation. Excess use of these sprays can cause side effects because it contains preservatives that can lead to irritation and inflammation. It can even damage the healthy cells in your nose. 

2. Steroid Sprays 

This type of nasal spray contains corticosteroids that helps to reduce swelling in the nasal passage. It contains strong decongestant that is used to cure irritants and allergies. Some of these steroid nasal sprays also need medical prescription from the doctor. Side-effects of these nasal spray can include- 

  • Throat irritation 
  • Continuous sneezing 
  • Stinging and burning effect in the nasal passage 

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3. Antihistamine Sprays 

As the name suggests, these sprays contain antihistamines that are used to reduce congestion caused by allergic immune response. This type of spray could be very safe usually and there are minimal side-effects that happen. It is also an extremely effective nasal spray, more than the oral antihistamines that are available such as Benadryl and so on.  

Some possible side-effects can include the following- 

  • Tiredness 
  • Bitter taste 
  • Weight gain 
  • Muscle pain 
  • Burning sensation in nose passage

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4. Decongestant Sprays 

Most of the decongestant sprays actually work for constricting the blood vessels in the nasal passage. So as discussed earlier, the do control the inflammation in the body but can make it worse if the decongestant is used in excessive manner. DNS are best for cold, flu and short-term problems only. If used in long-term, then it can swell your nasal passage and can block them as well. Here are some side-effects associated with decongestant spray- 

  • Nausea 
  • Stinging effect in nose 
  • Burning sensation in nasal passage 
  • Sneezing 
  • Dryness in the nose 
  • Dizziness 
  • Increased mucus in nose 
  • Headaches 
  • Difficulty in falling sleep or staying sleep in night 

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What are Symptoms of Overuse of Nasal Sprays? 

  1. If you have been using it longer than a week then it could come under overuse 
  2. Using nasal sprays more often than recommended 
  3. In case you stop using it or skip a dose and get too congested nasal passage 

As a result of this, you can experience the following symptoms- 

  • Runny nose 
  • Sore throat 
  • Continuous sneezing 
  • Difficulty in breathing 
  • Headaches  
  • Sinus pressure 

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