Decongestant nasal sprays are usually used short-term for certain conditions, whether common cold, sinusitis, rhinitis or any type of allergy condition. Fast- acting effects of this substance create a clear nasal passage and airway and may make you feel ‘lighter’ in the head. They are not a cure for a condition but a coping mechanism, as their effects soon wear off, prompting the user to take another spray.

So when does this become a problem to your health? Nasal sprays can sometimes exacerbate the problem, which means you may consume more than is recommended. As with any drug addiction, tolerance builds and addiction can occur.

What Causes Nasal Spray to Be Addictive?

Nasal sprays contain so-called α-sympathomimetics such as oxymetazoline or xylometazoline as active ingredients. These interfere with your brain chemistry, and tolerance will soon build up. They can create a worse problem in the nose over time, which means that our body ‘needs’ this substance to clear the mucus within the nasal passage.  The mucous membranes inside the nose dry out and crack, which may lead to nosebleeds and other issues.

This addiction threatens your health in a few ways; the consumption is bad for the body and damages your nose, leading to long-term issues and worsening initial symptoms. You may likely suffer from rhinitis medicamentosa (rebound congestion) or chronic sinusitis.

Symptoms of Overuse

If you are concerned about the overuse of a nasal spray, you may want to learn the symptoms to look out for:

  • Runny nose
  • Sore throat
  • Sneezing
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Headache
  • Sinus pressure
  • A hole in the nasal septum
  • Impaired sense of smell
  • A “stinky nose” (rhinitis atrophicans)

These symptoms can have a huge impact on health. Sinus problems alone cause numerous problems that can affect daily life, which in turn can negatively affect your work and home life. As with any type of addiction, you may begin to feel anxious or depressed. You may become withdrawn, and your behaviour could shift.

This is a sign that the body needs help and that you are feeling the psychological effects of this addiction. Some of the impacts on health must be noted.

Live Chat  Get In Touch

Are you suffering from Alcohol Addiction and need help?  Ocean Recovery is a leading UK based expert in Private Drug and Alcohol Rehab. Find out how we can help by getting in touch with our friendly team today.

Contact Us

Impacts on Health

As we have already stated, nasal passages overuse can cause long-term issues. Pathogens such as bacteria, fungi or viruses thus have free reign to wreak havoc in your nasal passage. This may mean you have a permanently blocked nose, breathing issues and more. If left untreated, it may even affect your sleep. People with chronic nasal issues are more at risk of sleep apnea and snoring.

Many psychological impacts must not be overlooked. Whilst nasal spray addiction may not sound deadly; it can still create a domino effect on your mental health. Using a habit-forming substance can lead to problems such as financial issues, buying more of the same substance, anxiety, and depression. You may feel that you are losing motivation and the will to continue, and there may be tension in your home life. You may feel there is no way out and may not have considered seeking help.

However, nasal sprays are a substance, and we treat every addiction with the same sensitivity and dedication. There is no need to suffer in silence. This type of addiction is not often spoken about, and it does exist. We have a dedicated team willing to assist you with safe drug detox, tools, and tips to ensure you have the physical and mental aid you need.

This may include types of psychotherapies and counselling to remove the addiction completely. The good news is that it is very treatable.

What Help is Available?

If you are suffering from nasal spray addiction, there are people that are ready to help. We have a specialised Ocean Recovery Centre team with years of dedication and expertise. We appreciate addiction can control many aspects of life, and we will be able to tackle the issue relatively simply. We want to see you recover and find a healthier alternative to your addiction to ensure your pre-existing nasal condition is cared for.

There are many alternatives to nasal sprays. Saltwater sprays are often effective, as well as other medical solutions that do not include addictive substances. These can be discussed, and you can find an alternative that is right for you. Any mental health issues arising from this addiction can be adequately dealt with. This includes psychotherapies and counselling, which may even include your family.

We want to heal the effects of addiction simply and effectively. With many world-renowned therapies available now, you can be sure that there is light at the end of the tunnel for you.

The bottom line is nasal sprays make a cold bearable and may alleviate some symptoms, but they are only suitable for short-term use. The standard time for usage is 7 days. Anything beyond this can start to create issues. If you have been using nasal sprays for weeks or even months, then the chances are that you have an addiction; therefore, it must be attended to correctly.

The good news is we are available to help you on your journey and get you into drug rehab.

We’re Here to Help

For more information on how to remove addiction from your life and regain momentum in the areas that matter, our dedicated team is always here to help you. We tackle each case holistically and sensitively. You can rest assured that we take confidentiality and our friendly and helpful team very seriously.

You do not need to feel alone or ashamed. We are here to help, so please call us on 0800 880 7596.

John Gillen - Author - Last updated: December 22, 2023

John is one UK’s leading professionals in the addiction recovery industry. Pioneering new treatment techniques such as NAD+ and ongoing research into new therapy techniques such as systematic laser therapy, John is committed to providing the very best treatment for people throughout the UK and Europe. During his extremely busy schedule, John likes to regularly update our blog section with the latest news and trends in the industry to keep visitors to our site as well informed as possible on everything related to addiction treatment.

Dr Robert Lutaaya - Clinical Reviewer - Last reviewed: December 18, 2023

MBChB, MSc Psych

Dr Robert Lutaaya qualified in 1995 from Worclaw Medical University as MBChB, and obtained a MSc Psych from the University of Manchester in 2014. Dr Lutaaya has previously worked for the CGL Substance Misuse Service and as an on-call doctor substance misuse Doctor for 17 years before joining Ocean Recovery. Dr Robert Lutaaya is committed to helping those struggling with alcohol and drug addictions.