HOW TO USE NASAL SPRAYS
Simply Saline, Ocean, Ayr, Neilmed Nasa Mist
Your sinuses need moisture to heal and improve. Use saline washings 3-5 times a day until your doctor instructs you to stop. This can be purchased without a prescription or in the BCENTS office. In addition to keeping your nose moist, these sprays wash your nose, loosen thick mucus, and clean out any crusts or drainage. Point the spray in all different directions in your nose, then blow it out. You cannot use this too much.
Fluticasone, Flonase, Nasonex, Nasacort, Rhinocort, Qnasl, Veramyst
These sprays decrease swelling in your nose and sinuses to help the sinuses improve their ventilation. Nasal steroid sprays must be used every day to be effective. It often takes 5-7 days before you notice improvement. They only work on the areas they touch. They must be primed before you begin using them to ensure that you get the medicine. To use them properly, point the spray toward the same eye or ear as the side of the nose you spray. Spray 2 puffs into each nostril once a day every day until your doctor instructs you to stop, even if you feel better. You can sniff in the medicine but you do not need to inhale it. The goal is to line the nasal cavity with medicine. These sprays should not burn or cause bleeding but if they do, please stop and notify your doctor. Also, if you have eye problems such as cataracts or glaucoma, please discuss using the spray with your ophthalmologist.
Astelin or Astepro spray, Patanase Spray
These medicines decrease or prevent allergy problems such as sudden nasal blockage, watery nasal drainage, sneezing, itchy eyes, nose or throat. They can be used on and off as needed like oral antihistamines. If you do not have these problems, these medicines are not necessary and will cause your nose to become drier and your drainage to become thicker. Use them only when you have allergy symptoms.
Afrin, Neosynephrine, Sinex, Dristan, Privine
These sprays are powerful medications that reduce swelling in the nose. They should be used to help you breathe during a cold or virus for a few days or prior to a plane flight or mountain descent. They should NOT be used for more than 3 days in a row, or swelling will be worse when the spray wears off which can lead to using more spray, which can lead to addiction. These sprays can also increase blood pressure or heart rate in some patients.
Sinus Irrigation (Higher Volume)
NeilMed Sinus Rinse or Nettipot
These are high volume techniques to irrigate sinuses, usually after sinus surgery and a patient with larger sinus cavities. Use only distilled or boiled water because tap water is not clean enough and feed an infection. Clean the bottle weekly with iodine, vinegar or alcohol. Always take off the cap and allow the bottle to dry out between uses. It is very important to keep this bottle meticulously clean so that a dirty bottle does not re-infect your sinuses. Irrigate 2-4 times each day with 1 pint of bottled or boiled water and a packet. Blow out the saline after each wash. You should also tilt your head in all different directions to help pour out any saline that has filled a sinus. This should not cause ear pain, pressure or blockage. If it does, you are using too much volume or pressure in an irrigation.