Nasal sprays for sinusitis
Relief for irritating symptoms
Sinusitis is more than a stuffy nose. It's an inflammation or
infection of your sinuses that can cause a dull throb behind your
eyebrows, pain in your cheeks and teeth, and a low-grade fever.
Every year, about 37 million Americans get sinusitis. Because the
causes vary from one person to the next, effective treatments vary, too.
How it works
Sinuses are hollow air
spaces. You have four pairs of sinuses, called the paranasal sinuses,
located around your nose and eyes. each sinus has an opening into your
nose so air and mucus can be exchanged.
Colds, allergies, and weather changes can trigger sinusitis. Because
the sinuses and nostrils share the same membrane, anything that stuffs
up your nose can also stuff up your sinuses. When sinuses can't drain,
they breed bacteria, which can complicate sinusitis.
If your sinuses are infected, your doctor will probably prescribe an
antibiotic. Nasal sprays, including saline solutions, decongestants,
steroids, and antifungals, help keep the sinuses open and relieve
• saline nasal spray -- a
salt water spray you can buy a any drugstore. It loosens and rinses away
mucus and moistens dry membranes.
• decongestant spray -- an
over-the-counter spray that temporarily unblocks sinus openings and
reduces nasal congestion. Afrin and Neo-Synephrine are two of the
• steroid spray -- reduces
inflammation and mucous production in chronic sinusitis. It does not
provide immediate relief and may require several weeks of regular use to
be effective. Rhinocort, Nasacort, and Flonase are steroid sprays.
• antifungal spray -- used to
treat chronic sinusitis triggered by a fungus.
Choose the right spray for
Saline sprays are safe for
everyone, not addictive, and can be used as often and for as long as
needed. Curiously, they haven't received much attention from
researchers. Nevertheless, they receive "honorable mention" in studies
about other types of nasal sprays.
Evidence doesn't support decongestant sprays as a lasting treatment
for sinusitis. they will reduce sinus inflammation for a few hours but
shouldn't be used for more than three days at a stretch. Overuse results
in rebound -- congestion returning with a vengeance once you stop using
them. And don't be surprised if these sprays make your nose run, sting,
Steroid sprays, also called corticosteroids, are designed to treat
indoor and outdoor allergies. Since most acute sinusitis isn't caused by
allergies, it's not surprising that clinical trials on acute sinusitis
haven't found steroid sprays to be very effective. If you have chronic
sinusitis, your doctor might suggest using a steroid spray every day.
Clinical trials show that antifungal sprays might help if your immune
system overreacts to common airborne funguses. the degree to which
funguses contribute to sinusitis is still up for debate. Some researches
think most sinusitis is a reaction to funguses, while others believe
they only affect a certain group of people.
over-the-counter and prescription nasal sprays can help treat the
symptoms of sinusitis but only as complement to antibiotics,
surgery, or other treatments prescribed by your doctor.