German researchers warn about the use of the nasal spray. While this type of product often proves effective, it is important not to overuse it. According to the researchers, there are risks of seeing side effects.
Risk of Nasal Spray addiction
When our nose is congested, using a nasal spray often means relief. Beyond its effectiveness, it should be avoided to use it too often. A study by the German Society of Oto-Rhino-Laryngology (Germany) published on November 2, 2020, recalled the positive effects of nasal spray, but also issued a warning. The researchers point out that the nasal spray acts on the blood vessels of the nasal turbinate. It helps to constrict the vessels, having the effect of reducing the swelling of the nasal turbinate. Indeed, space is freed to allow the circulation of air in the nose.
“Nasal sprays have a pleasant effect and free our minds, which we can get used to,” says Heino Stöver, lead author of the study.
Since the spray gives a pleasant feeling of release, the mucous membranes could get used to receiving their daily dose. Thus, a vicious circle can set in. The more people use the nasal spray, the faster its effect wanes and the more the nose seems to be demanding its dose. After a while, the nasal spray no longer helps and may give way to a chronic problem of nasal congestion, which means difficulty in moistening the mucous membranes.
Potentially dangerous side effects
It turns out that Heino Stöver knows what he’s talking about, as Stöver already used nasal sprays excessively in his youth. For two years, the applicant used these sprays several times a day. At the time, the potential dangers of misuse of these sprays were poorly understood. However, it is now advisable not to use it for more than two consecutive weeks. This kind of drug has no psychoactive effects like alcohol, cannabis, or cocaine. It therefore does not create any addiction. However, he advises that, on the contrary, these sprays end up losing their effect. People can then move towards massive daily use, between 3 and 8 times a day.
Dried up due to the disappearance of the effects of the nasal spray, the mucous membranes no longer assume their protective role. Indeed, the nasal mucous membranes must be regularly hydrated to protect the organism from germs. If this happens, it is possible for scabs to form and lead to infection. In some cases, it is a question of atrophic rhinitis causing a bad smell coming from the nose.
The study leaders recommend a gradual reduction in the consumption of nasal spray. Keeping some sort of daily catch diary is also a good idea. Other alternatives exist, such as sprays containing sea salt. For any problem related to a loss of effect of the sprays and a handicap in the mucous membranes, it is incumbent to consult a doctor.