The Dangerous Side Effects of Nasal Spray

Like all medications, nasal sprays can be overused or abused. And with frequent abuse comes the dangers of dependency and terrible side effects.

Nasal sprays have long been used to give temporary relief from a congested nose. Some sprays are even used to treat particular respiratory problems when prescribed by a medical practitioner. Just like all medications, however, nasal sprays can be overused or abused. In such a case, the nasal spray loses its effectiveness and instead of providing relief, it turns out to be the problem itself. Some nasal sprays contain steroids while others simply bring a saline feeling to the nostrils and consequently provide relief. Most of these side effects are associated with the nasal sprays that have drug ingredients. In many cases, as in my own, nasal sprays are a gift & a curse. A gift of instant relief but with the costly price of a dreadful dependency & with frequent use over time, unwanted side effects.

Rebound effect

nasal spray side effect


This is the most common nasal spray side effects. It results from prolonged used of the nasal spray to a point where it no longer provides the relief. The patient uses more and more dosages of the drug but there is no relief realized. A psychological need for the spray arises because of the hope that it will provide relief someday.


Scars and nose bleeding

Once the rebound effect has developed, a patient tries to use the spray for a long period of time in order to find relief. Instead, the arteries in the nose shrink and this can cause light scarring. The mucous lining in the nose is supposed to be moist always but due to this scarring, drying and irritation also develop. This has been the major cause of sores and uncomfortable feelings in the nose. In the end, one may start bleeding on a frequent basis.

Chronic inflammation

The chemical compounds present in some of the nasal sprays do not actually heal a stuffy nose. They work by masking the symptoms of nasal congestion by narrowing down blood vessels in the mucous membrane. Unfortunately, these chemicals wear off after some time and the problem which had been hidden rather than treated comes back with all vengeance. This is the main cause of severe pain and chronic inflammations in the nose.


Some of the sprays can cause hypersensitivity reactions such as skin rashes, persistent coughs and changes in voice. This is because the drugs in the spray cause chemical alterations to the respiratory system after a long period of use and as a result, other body systems such as the skin may be affected.

Eye difficulties

Although it is not experienced by all victims, most people using nasal sprays may suffer these side effects. Blurred vision irritation and dryness of the eyes, cataracts and glaucoma are some of the eye problems that will be reported if nasal sprays are used for a long period of time.

Headache and swelling of the nasal area

If the rebound effect develops, one is likely to develop persistent headaches. Sometimes it is a psychological reaction that results from the discomfort, depression and nervousness of the infection. Even so, ingredients in the nasal spray also have a direct contribution and due to struggles to decongest the nasal passages, swelling develops.

Physiological changes

Some of the changes expected here include an increased appetite, a rapid heartbeat, weakness and general body fatigue as well as increased frequency of urination and thirst. Slow breathing or difficulty in breathing is also an expected reaction and it explains other changes such as the increased heart rate and body weaknesses because there will be a reduction in oxygen supply to some extent.

Alternative solutions to sinus congestion

Sprays may be good in providing instant relief but they are steroids and obviously steroids have their negative side effects to the body. There are some alternative ways which can be used to treat a clogged nasal passage and if implemented early, one will not require nasal sprays.

Simple practices such as breathing exercises can relieve nasal congestion. A healthy lifestyle is a solution to almost all of life’s problems. Taking a balanced diet and exercising regularly prevents the clogging of nasal passages.

Inhaling steam has also been proposed as an alternative solution to a sinus congestion. Take some minutes in a steam bath and the air passages will be gracefully opened. Living in a room with enough moisture is very crucial. If the home is rather too dry, use a humidifier to create favorable conditions.

The fact that nasal sprays bring instant relief does not mean they are miracle healers. Does the immediate gratification outweigh the long term dependency and dangers? Consider the long term effect and go for natural remedies which may be slow but safe and effective on a long term basis.


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