Also known as nasal corticosteroid sprays, nasal steroids may treat a runny nose, sneezing, nasal inflammation, and nasal congestion. While many nasal steroids like Rhinocort and Flonase can be purchased over-the-counter, some such as Dymista and Nasonex require a prescription.
As long as they're used appropriately, nasal steroids can relieve these common allergy symptoms and make it easier for you to breathe through your nose. For best results, it's a good idea to use them on a daily or regular basis.
Also, remember that these medications do not work instantly. In fact, it may take at least two weeks for your symptoms to subside so you'll need to be patient.
How to Use a Nasal Steroid Spray
Not all nasal steroid sprays are created equal. Therefore, it's your responsibility to understand the dosing instructions before you use a spray. In most cases, however, you'll begin by thoroughly washing your hands and blowing your nose to clear your passageway.
Then, you'll shake the container and keep your head upright. Next, you'll breathe out, use your finger to cover one nostril and insert the applicator into the other nostril. While you're doing this, be sure to direct the spray toward the nostril's outer wall.
The next step will be to inhale through your nose and press the applicator. Lastly, you'll breathe out and repeat all the steps until you've applied enough sprays. Don't forget to repeat this process for the other nostril and refrain from sneezing or blowing your nose after you spray.
Side Effects of Nasal Steroid Spray
Nasal steroids sprays are safe for adults, children over the age of 2, and pregnant women. However, as with any medication, there is a chance you may experience side effects if you use them. These side effects may include sneezing, an irritated throat, stinging or dryness in the nasal passage, nosebleeds, headaches, and nasal passage infections. The good news is that most of these side effects are tolerable and temporary.
When to Seek Medical Attention
In most cases, you can use a nasal steroid spray and find relief on your own without the help of a doctor. However, it's important that you contact your doctor if your allergy symptoms persist, you have questions or concerns about your side effects, or you are facing new nasal symptoms such as bleeding or nasal irritation.