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Colds: These nasal sprays make us addicted!

Colds: These nasal sprays make us addicted!


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Stuffy nose: do not use nasal sprays for too long

Cold time, nasal spray time. If this nose is closed, the temptation to use conventional nasal sprays is great. Sprayed twice and your nose is clear because the sprays contain decongestant ingredients. But those who use decongestant nasal sprays for too long quickly become addicted.

In the current wet and cold weather, it is not uncommon to catch a cold. When the nose is blocked, many people use nasal sprays, which can often quickly free their breath. However, such sprays should never be used for too long, otherwise there is a risk of dependency.

If you have a cold, many people use a decongestant nasal spray to help them breathe freely. But the over-the-counter sprays available in pharmacies should not be used for too long, as they can otherwise damage the mucous membrane and make it dependent.

Do not use nasal sprays for more than a week

“Many people use decongestant nasal sprays when they have a cold. However, these should only be used for about seven days. Otherwise there is a risk of dependency, ”explains Heidi Günther, a pharmacist at the Barmer Krankenkasse.

“After use, the mucous membranes swell up again. If you then spray continuously, there will be circulatory disorders, ”said the expert.

In the longer term, it is therefore advisable to avoid preparations with decongestant ingredients such as alpha-sympathomimetics and to use salt-based nasal sprays instead. These agents moistened the nasal mucous membranes, which could make pathogens more difficult to attach. In addition, sprays with a higher salt concentration would have a slightly decongestant effect without being addictive.

Homemade nose drops are also an alternative. Especially the sea salt nasal spray, which has no side effects and is quite healing for mild complaints, can be made quite quickly at home. Modifications, such as the addition of essential oils, are also possible.

Don't share sprays

According to Günther, not only the choice of the nasal spray, but also its correct use is important. “If several people have a cold in one household, you shouldn't share the nasal spray. Otherwise there is a risk that you will repeatedly infect each other with germs and that the cold will last longer, ”explains the pharmacist.

It is also important to keep the spray button pressed until you have completely pulled it out of your nose. Otherwise nasal secretions and harmful germs could be drawn into the vial. Then you could be infected again with your own germs at the next spray.

"If you don't want to take any unnecessary risk, wash the spray head of the nasal spray with warm water and then dry it off," says Günther. If the nasal spray was not completely used up, it should not be kept for the next cold, but should be disposed of.
[GList slug = ”10-home remedies for a cold”]

Inhale under the towel

But there are more measures that can be taken against a stuffy nose. For example, steam inhalations can help. These have an expectorant, secretion-promoting and anti-inflammatory effect.

For such a facial steam bath, you can, for example, mix three liters of hot chamomile tea with six tablespoons of plantain juice and then inhale the steam under a towel for at least ten minutes.

If you have a cold, it is also advisable to drink enough, preferably still water or herbal tea. The more the mucous membrane is swollen, the more fluid should be “refilled”. As a result, the mucus is liquefied, can dissolve better and the nose is free again.

Experts also recommend avoiding dry air, especially if you have a cold. The room air can be moistened, among other things, by hanging damp cloths or with a special room air humidifier. (ad)

Author and source information

This text corresponds to the requirements of the medical literature, medical guidelines and current studies and has been checked by medical doctors.

Swell:

  • Barmer: Cold time: nasal sprays can make you addicted, (access: 08.12.2019), Barmer


Video: Can I do harm by using a nasal decongestant spray? (October 2022).