Seasonal allergies can be treated with nasal sprays. But not all are alike. Decongestant nasal sprays are for short-term use only. Steroid nasal sprays can offer long-term relief for seasonal allergy sufferers.
What’s the difference between steroid nasal sprays like Nasonex and decongestant nasal sprays? This article provides the answers that tell you how to use these medications. Which type of nasal spray is better for short-term use? Which are potentially habit-forming? Here’s what you need to know.
Fighting Seasonal Allergies with Nasal Spray
Seasonal allergies are nothing to sneeze at, and millions of Americans use a nasal spray to help them get over the uncomfortable symptoms of sneezing and watery eyes. But are steroid nasal sprays or Nasonex and other over-the-counter decongestants better?
Seasonal allergies happen when the nasal passages swell, causing congestion in the nose. When the pollen count in the spring goes up, nasal passages can show their irritation with mucus, swelling, sneezing, and other allergy symptoms.
Researchers at the Cleveland Clinic have been studying the differences between Nasonex and decongestant nasal sprays to treat seasonal allergies. Decongestant nasal sprays are typically short-term and potentially habit-forming.
WebMD points out that “Nasal steroid sprays are not the anabolic steroids some athletes take to bulk up their muscles.” Since steroid nasal sprays are for longer-term use, and since they take a while to make a symptom decrease noticeable, some doctors recommend starting them a couple of weeks before the pollen count is expected to go up. Sometimes steroid nasal sprays are effective enough that other allergy meds aren’t needed.
This makes nasal sprays a good choice for fighting seasonal allergies. Since these medications are sprayed directly in the nose, there is little chance of serious side effects even with long-term use.