Nasal sprays treat common nasal conditions. The Department of Otolaryngology at Singapore General Hospital (SGH) explains the 3 types of nasal sprays and their benefits.
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Types of nasal sprays and their benefits
These types of nasal sprays are available for treating common nasal conditions, relieving symptoms of allergic rhinitis and chronic sinusitis, as well as nasal congestion.
- Steroid nasal sprays
A steroid nasal spray is an effective way of treating common nasal conditions. In fact in cases of persistent, moderate or severe allergic rhinitis it is the first line of treatment. A steroid nasal spray, if used as prescribed, will not cause a rebound effect or dependency. It works topically on the nasal lining and is safe even if a small amount is swallowed and enters the bloodstream.
“Of the small amount that may be swallowed, most of it is metabolised by the liver before it enters the bloodstream,” says doctors from the
Department of Otolaryngology,
Singapore General Hospital (SGH), a member of the
However, it’s important to carefully follow the doctor’s instructions when using a steroid nasal spray.
“Prescription inhalers will have detailed instructions regarding their use and patients should not go beyond the prescribed dose,” says Dr Ng.
- Saline sprays and rinses
Saline rinses and sprays are a safe and effective option for long-term relief of the symptoms of allergic rhinitis and chronic sinusitis. These rinses and sprays use a salt solution to flush out the nasal cavity, which relieves nasal congestion.
“Saline sprays have been used in Ayurvedic practices, a system of Hindu traditional medicine, as a form of personal hygiene for hundreds of years. When used in a proper manner, they are a safe and efficient way of obtaining symptom relief for allergic rhinitis and chronic sinusitis,” says Dr Ng.
Since there is a real risk of contamination when using saline sprays and rinses, it is important to carefully follow the product care and usage instructions.
These are some tips for the safe use of saline rinses and sprays:
- Keep the rinse bottle clean and follow the manufacturer’s instructions on care and replacement of the bottle.
- Keep bottle dry between uses.
- To avoid possible contamination, it is advisable to use cooled boiled tap water to dissolve the premixed salt sachet.
- Menthol nasal sprays
A nasal spray with menthol-containing compounds can also be used for the temporary relief of nasal congestion. This type of nasal spray works by acting on the menthol receptor in the nose but doesn’t actually relieve nasal congestion, even though the patient may feel better.
“Tests on the nasal cavity show no improvement in the amount of nasal obstruction or congestion,” says Dr Ng.