Wednesday, May 13, 2015

How to (properly) use a nasal spray

It’s spring in Minnesota, so a new allergy season. Many of us are restarting our nasal sprays - often Flonase, which just went ‘over-the-counter’. Many of us are also doing it wrong.

I know I have, and I know most physicians don’t describe proper use. Mostly because most physicians don’t know there’s a right and wrong way. I recently interrogated an allergist (they do know this stuff) and here’s what I learned:

  • Don’t snort it. Breathe normally or don’t breath.
  • Don’t jam the nozzle up the schnozzle (sorry). Just a few mm in.
  • Aim away from the septum — there’s nothing there to spray, it runs out, and it can hurt the thin mucosa there. Aim towards eye on same side of nostril.
  • If you cross-over, use right hand to spray left side and vice-versa, you get right position.
  • Don’t mix sprays or mix with nasal irrigation. Volume effect — one spray solution washes out another. Recommendation is to space 1 hour apart. (Which is a pain. I wonder how real this is, but that’s the party line.)

Now you know. Go forth and sin no more.


chrismealy said...

The damn stuff always dripped down into my throat. I feel like it burned a hole in something, and whenever I have a cough now that spot really hurts.

I have nasal polyps and haven't really ever been able to breathe through my nose, until I quit eating sugar last year (lost 25 pounds too, without dieting). I don't need the steroids anymore, not that they worked that great in the first place.

John Gordon said...

Weight loss is a great way to improve most breathing problems. For better or worse that's not an option for me -- if I lost 25 lbs my wife would hospitalize me...

chrismealy said...

Oh, the breathing cleared up after the first ten days or so. The weight loss came much later (obviously). It wasn't as if I was obese -- my BMI went from the middle of the normal range to near the bottom of the normal range.

I still have to take allegra every day, though.