May 22, 2024

Nasal spray can make you dependent – effective alternatives

Tips for treating colds and stuffy nose

An annoying cold is often combated with a nasal spray so you can breathe freely again. But in the long run you have to rely on alternatives, as nasal sprays can be addictive.

Many people complain of a stuffy nose especially during the cold season – when they have a cold, nasal sprays are often used. But nasal sprays should not be used for a long time, as this can quickly lead to dependence and long-term damage to the nasal mucosa.

It is estimated that between 100,000 and 120,000 Germans depend on the nasal spray

By the way, the active ingredients “oxymetazoline” and “xylometazoline” contribute to the habituation effect. According to estimates from the health insurance company Barmer, around 100,000 to 120,000 Germans depend on the nasal spray. An overview of the alternatives you should be able to breathe freely again.



Nasal spray can be addictive – other consequences are possible

According to the Barmer Health Insurance Used for a maximum of ten days. If the use of the spray becomes a habit, the mucous membranes can become permanently irritated and dry more and more. This easily leads to the formation of nosebleeds and crusts. If at some point the nasal tissues are damaged so that bacteria can spread, they often excrete putrid substances. The result: an unpleasant odor is emitted from the nose that is not noticed by the infected person except for the environment. This clinical picture is often called a bad nose or ooze. Sufferers also complain of frequent colds and respiratory infections, as viruses and bacteria can more easily penetrate the nose. Psychological effects are also possible.

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Nasal spray: Steam baths with eucalyptus or peppermint oil are an alternative

Loosen the mucus in the nose – this can also be done with the help of inhalation steam baths. You can put hot water in a bowl and add essential oils, eucalyptus and peppermint oils, which are very suitable. Then you bend over the bowl and place a towel over your head so that the steam collects underneath. A total of ten to 20 minutes are inhaled. Important: The water should be so hot that a little steam rises, but not so hot that the heat is uncomfortable.

Nasal spray can permanently damage the nasal mucosa. (Icon picture)

Nasal spray can make you dependent on: Nasal douche as an alternative

Using a nasal douche, the nose is rinsed thoroughly to get rid of viruses and bacteria. The nose is thus freed from pathogens, while the mucous membranes are moisturized at the same time. A warm saline solution is used in nasal douche. The solution should work in one nostril and exit the other. The head is tilted to the side during this procedure, and you should also bend over a sink or container to catch the solution. By the way, nasal douche can also be used before catching a cold. Rinsing your nose regularly with saline reduces your risk of catching a cold because pathogens are simply flushed out.

Cold: Reliance on a nasal spray – seawater sprays can be used for a longer time

Another alternative to nasal sprays are seawater nebulizers, as they also have a decongestant effect and can be used for a longer time. Due to the high salt content, they loosen stubborn mucus while simultaneously supporting the lubrication and self-cleaning of the nose, according to the pharmacy. “Doc Morris”. Seawater sprays are also made without chemical agents. So it is less likely to lead to dependency.

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This article only contains general information on the relevant health topic and is therefore not intended for self-diagnosis, treatment or medication. It does not in any way replace a visit to the doctor. Unfortunately, our editors are not permitted to answer individual questions about clinical images.