India bears a significant burden of Respiratory Tract Infections (RTIs) accounting for approximately 32% of the global load. The emergence of highly contagious viruses such as COVID-19 and H3N2 has only exacerbated the situation, causing severe respiratory complications across a vast population.
Nasal sprays are a simple solution to reduce the risk of infection that can provide fast relief and alleviate symptoms. However, there is often some uncertainty surrounding the safety and effectiveness of these medications, concerns about addiction etc. which make people hesitant to use them.
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Benefits of nasal sprays
1. Nasal sprays can help relieve the symptoms. Studies suggest that topical nasal decongestants such as Oxymetazoline have been found to reduce viral load A 2019 study says nasal decongestants may offer an effective treatment.
Nasal sprays work faster than pills. Unlike pills, which can take up to 30 minutes or more to act, nasal sprays provide fast action and quick relief from a stuffy/blocked nose making breathing easier in as little as 25 seconds, restoring normal daily-life functions.
Nasal sprays are easy and safe to use, and convenient to carry anywhere and anytime. Also, these are easy to administer and require no special equipment
Nasal decongestant sprays generally do not cause addiction if used as prescribed by a doctor or as mentioned in the direction to use.
Nasal sprays can help with a dry nose too. Some nasal sprays contain moisturizers that help rehydrate irritated noses, providing relief from discomfort.
To prevent dependency on nasal sprays, do not use them for more than five days. If a longer use is required, consult a doctor. It is important to bear in mind that self-medication under any circumstance should be avoided.
Upper respiratory tract infections
Nasal congestion, sore throat, cough, headache, and fatigue are common indicators of an upper respiratory tract infection. Basically, these are infection that affects the upper respiratory tract, which broadly comprises nostrils, sinuses, nasal cavity, mouth, throat (pharynx), and voice box (larynx). It not only limits daily-life functions, making it difficult to concentrate and carry out daily tasks but also can lead to feelings of irritability, moodiness, and general malaise.
Upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs)are normally caused by viruses, allergens & pathogens and lead to a range of symptoms. The most common is nasal congestion or a stuffy nose which occurs when the tissues lining the nasal passages become inflamed and produce excess mucus, causing a feeling of blockage or obstruction in the nasal cavity. This can make it difficult to breathe, especially when lying down, badly affecting sleep quality.
Using nasal sprays for URTIs
It is therefore important to manage the symptoms of URTIs to improve overall well-being. This involves using nasal sprays, and practicing good hygiene, such as using nasal wash for maintaining nasal hygiene , and avoiding close contact with others who are sick. If symptoms persist or worsen, it is important to seek medical attention to rule out any underlying complications or conditions.
Nasal decongestant sprays are an excellent option for those looking for fast and effective relief from nasal congestion symptoms. They can help improve sleep quality, reduce daytime sleepiness, and ease the discomfort caused by respiratory diseases. So, it is vital to make a move towards better nasal health and simultaneously learn more about nasal sprays and their benefits. This Allergy Awareness Week, let us prioritize our nasal health and take advantage of the benefits that nasal sprays provide.
About the author: Dr. Vikas K Agrawal (MS ENT, FCPS) is a Mumbai-based ENT Specialist. All views/opinions expressed in the article are of the author.