How To Cure Nasal Spray Addiction Naturally

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How To Cure Nasal Spray Addiction Naturally

Nasal spray addiction (Rhinitis Medicamentosa) is the term used to describe the dependency on over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays due to them causing rebound congestion (congestion worse than before the nasal spray was used).

Nasal spray addiction causes

Over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays containing oxymetazoline, xylometazoline, phenylephrine, etc. (topical vasoconstrictors) temporarily reduce the size of the nasal turbinates, open the nasal passages and provide relief from nasal congestion, etc. However, when these are used for more than 3 consecutive days they cause rebound congestion. Rebound congestion is the result of abnormal hypertrophy (enlargement) and swelling of the nasal membranes. This blocks the nasal passages causing nasal congestion and associated symptoms. This rebound congestion is temporarily relieved by using the offending nasal spray. Therefore a vicious cycle of dependency ensues.

The delicate lining of the nasal passages can be permanently damaged.

Nasal spray addiction symptoms

  • Nasal congestion and difficulty breathing
  • Runny nose
  • Sinus/facial pain
  • Sinus/facial tenderness
  • Sinus/facial pressure,
  • Headaches
  • Pain in teeth
  • Pain in jaw
  • Pain in ears,
  • Pain through and around eyes
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Drainage of a thick yellow or green discharge from the nose or down the back of the throat (postnasal drip)
  • Reduced sense of smell and taste
  • Cough (which may be worse at night)
  • Nausea
  • Sore throat and halitosis (bad breath).
  • Irritability
  • Sleep disorders
  • Anxiety and nervousness
  • Chronic nose bleeds
  • Perforated septum
  • Dry/crusty nasal passages
  • Rapid heartbeat

Nasal spray addiction treatments

Treating nasal spray addiction to natural remedies is becoming more popular. Unfortunately millions of people worldwide suffer from this medical condition. It is important to note that nasal spray addiction is a consequence of using a decongestant nasal spray to relieve the symptoms of a previous sinus condition. Therefore once the nasal spray addiction has been dealt with it may still be necessary to treat the cause of the original sinus condition such as infection or allergies.

Discontinue use – Going ‘cold turkey’ and stopping the use of the decongestant nasal spray can eventually break the dependency. However, this can cause sleep deprivation, anxiety, extreme nasal congestion, etc., and general suffering and misery.

Natural nasal sprays –

Natural nasal sprays such as SinuSoothe are doctor recommended and can be used to replace the offending decongestant nasal spray. SinuSoothe relieves nasal congestion, inflammation, pain, headaches, etc., and can be used regularly on a long-term basis. It has no side effects, is non-addictive, and doesn’t cause rebound congestion. Since the active ingredients improve blood flow and regenerate cell production it can help heal any damaged nasal tissue. It can also treat any underlying bacterial/fungal infections and allergies that may have caused the initial sinus condition.

Gradual weaning –

It is possible to gradually wean yourself off of the offending decongestant nasal spray. Dilute it with a saline solution (a saline nasal spray would be ideal) say 90% decongestant to 10% saline for the first week reducing to an 80% decongestant to 20% saline mix the following week and so on. Eventually reducing the decongestant content to zero. This method is all about trial and error and each needs to adjust the mix to suit themselves.

Saline nasal sprays –

Saline nasal sprays such as Sterimar may be useful for moisturizing the nasal passages and relieving nasal congestion. They can be either isotonic or hypertonic solutions. These can be used long-term, have no side effects, and are non-addictive. They may help reduce inflammation.

Nasal irrigation –

A neti pot is used to irrigate the sinuses with either an isotonic or hypertonic solution. An isotonic solution has the same salt concentration as your body. A hypertonic solution has a higher salt content and may be more useful at drawing moisture and mucous from the sinuses. This may help reduce inflammation and relieve nasal congestion. It is a good practice for keeping your sinuses clean and removing irritants. It is completely safe provided you use the correct saline solution.

Natural anti-inflammatories –

Since the symptoms of sinusitis, allergies, and rhinitis are caused by inflammation it follows that by reducing inflammation you will reduce the severity of the symptoms. Omega 3,6 &9 oils, vitamin C, turmeric, and ginger are all excellent natural anti-inflammatories. There are plenty of others and your local health food store should be able to advise you on these. It usually takes about 4 weeks for these to start taking effect.

How to Wean Yourself off Nasal Spray

Afrin, Oxymetazoline, Neo-Synephrine, Phenylephrine, and other over-the-counter decongestant sprays are common short-term remedies against nasal blockages, colds, sinusitis, and allergies. Afrin and other related decongestant nasal sprays These are popular over-the-counter nasal sprays that treat nasal congestion and nasal blockages caused by sinusitis, upper respiratory tract infections, or allergies. Sources: 3, 7

Nasal spray types Nasal spray is a type of drug that is inhaled through the nose. Nasal sprays containing phenylephrine, neo-synephrine, oxymetazoline, or xylometazoline (looks like an active ingredient) are considered decongestant nasal sprays. These sprays contain an effective vasoconstricting agent that essentially reduces blood flow to a person’s nose when the spray is used, resulting in a reduction in edema of the nasal mucosa. Sources: 7, 8

Nasal sprays contain corticosteroids to reduce swelling in the nasal passages. Saline sprays act like mucus to flush out irritating substances before they cause inflammation. If the nose is irritated by dry winter air, salt sprays can add healing moisture. Sources: 8

Some patients succeed by replacing the nasal spray with an oral decongestant, and they can wean themselves off the spray in a few days or weeks. Others try weaning by reducing the strength of the spray or diluting it with a saline solution. Prescription steroid pills or sprays may be helpful in some situations but should be used under the supervision of a doctor. Sources: 9

Nasal spray with saline solution on Pinterest nasal sprays can ease congestion. If a blocked nose strikes, the right nasal spray can provide much-needed relief. Many people assume that they can use these sprays without any problems since these sprays are available over the counter. Sources: 11

Some are safe for several months while others can cause nasal spray addiction when people use them for more than a few days. The so-called “nasal spray addiction” occurs when a person uses the spray too often. Due to rebound congestion, the person may find that they need to use the spray all the time, sometimes several times a day or longer. Sources: 11

Whenever they use the spray, the blood vessels narrow in the nose, causing the nasal tissue to shrink. As the duration of action of the nasal spray decreases, it can be used again and again to achieve the same effect. Patients with such a nose become essentially addicted to the spray to get temporary relief from the worst. Sources: 3, 7, 11

If the nasal spray lasts for months or years, it can cause physical damage to the nose, including septal perforations and, worse, malformations of the saddle nose. This becomes a vicious circle, which explains why we often hear that people have become addicted to Afrin nasal spray. Sources: 0, 7

You may have heard that the use of decongestant nasal sprays can cause addiction as once they wear out users experience worse congestion, creating an endless cycle of nasal sprays. Although there are some potential side effects associated with the use of Flonase nasal spray, stopping is unlikely to cause problems. Sources: 6

You may have a so-called rebound effect that occurs when you use over-the-counter nasal sprays. As a result, you may need to use more and more types of nasal sprays to control congestion. This means you will need to use more to achieve the same effect when you stop using these sprays, and your congestion will get worse. Sources: 1, 6

While Afrin nasal spray works wonders to improve nasal constipation, it is not intended for long-term or recurrent use. Those with nasal symptoms need to understand how important it is to avoid severe Afrin nasal spray dependence. I will give some doctor-approved tips on how to use this spray safely, but let’s face it, many people use it too much. Sources: 0

Many people have heard that nasal sprays are bad and can be addictive, and that is true. Some people abuse and misuse Afrin nasal spray and other decongestant nasal sprays for months or even years. Sources: 0

Research suggests that the best way to stop excessive use of decongestant nasal sprays is to switch to nasal steroid sprays. After six months when drugs such as Afrin nasal spray are no longer tolerated, most people have no tolerance for it. Recovery usually takes less than a week, and withdrawal symptoms can be managed. Sources: 0

A rheostat is a nasal spray kit designed to help people wean themselves off topical decongestants. It was created to help patients with rebound congestion, rhinitis, and nasal spray addiction. Sources: 4

Fifty million Americans suffer from chronic sinus issues, and one in four people are addicted to over-the-counter nasal sprays, according to ENT doctors. That’s 10 million Americans who suffer from nasal spray addiction. Sources: 9

After the prolonged use of decongestant nasal sprays, it can be difficult and frustrating for patients to stop using them. The resulting rebound congestion can affect many patients and often goes undetected. Decongestants such as nasal spray and Afrin are readily available to many, but it is possible that many patients (a) do not read the label of the drug, (b) do not understand the label, or (c) simply do not know the severity and consequences of the rebound congestion. Sources: 10

What many people do not know is that nasal sprays are based on xylometazoline and can be used up to one week at a time. As a result, some nasal spray users continue to use them to get rid of the clogged feeling in their noses. Nasal spray addiction is detected if you have used a nasal spray for more than two weeks. Sources: 5

Aug 05, 2018 * Afrin is an antihistamine fluticasonflonase (flonase, flonases, afrin). There is an over-the-counter nasal spray called Afrin, and AverageFloyd believes people are stuck to it and therefore have a nasal rune every day. The trick to make Flonase work is to use it with Afrin as a vasoconstrictor and open the sinuses for 5 minutes before using it. Sources: 2

As a result, you will need to use more and more Afrin to control congestion, to break the nasal spray addiction. Tilt your head so that the Flonase enters into your sinuses and prevents it from dripping into your throat. Short-term use of Afrin is excellent, but make sure you start with Nasonex or Flixonase nasal spray to ensure long-term relief. In this way, one can breathe and clean one area after another without feeling suffocated. 


Cited Sources

  1. Janie Digh says

    How do you get the nasal spray out of the bottle to dilute it?

  2. kitty allen says

    i was wondering the same thing!

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