Every year people are plagued with the dreaded stuffy nose. It keeps you from sleeping, zaps your energy and causes horrible headaches. Over-the-counter medications eventually provide some relief, but not as quickly as an over-the-counter nasal spray. It works quickly and seems harmless, but there are dangers that are often over-looked due to the need to get rid of the nasal congestion as quickly as possible.
Nasal sprays are intended to be used for no more than three days. Continued use begins to damage the membranes inside the nasal passages and this can eventually lead to chronic nose bleeds. Long-term use can also damage the liver and other vital organs. Rarely, over use can cause the lining inside the nose to erode so badly that a hole will occur in the wall that separates the nostrils. This may require surgery to repair it. So why do people continue to use nasal sprays past the intended three days?
Nasal sprays such as Afrin work so well that the person wants to continue using more and more of it. They don’t realize that their continued congestion is actually rebound congestion and is being caused by the nasal spray and not their initial problem whether it is a cold or sinus infection. The cure becomes the cause and people are soon left with an addiction to something that was once viewed as a harmless nasal decongestant.
Rebound congestion occurs from the nasal spray causing the nasal linings to swell up again even after the cold or sinus infection has passed. This rebound congestion is referred to as Rhinitis medicamentosa, a term that was coined in 1946 to describe this type of nasal congestion that is caused by the treatment of the original problem.
Addictions to nasal sprays can last anywhere from months to years. The best way to avoid a nasal spray addiction is to not use over-the-counter sprays that are made with the chemicals Phenylephrine, Xylometazoline and Oxymetazoline. A safer and more effective alternative is Sinus Buster. It came out in 2004 and is highly recommended by physicians as an alternative to over-the-counter nasal sprays. Sinus Buster has a reputation for being the most effective natural remedy for chronic headaches and sinus conditions.
Richard Saltus, Nasal Sprays Can Bring on Vicious Cycle, The New York Times
Millions Suffer from Addiction to OTC Nasal Sprays, Medical News Today
Dr. James Thompson, Nasal Spray Addiction-Know the Facts and Avoid the Danger, Health Central