Richa Madaan

Richa Madaan

Avoid These Four Common Mistakes When Using Nasal Spray

  Jan 16, 2024
Reviewed by Ravinder Kaur

Nasal spray


  • Learn the correct technique to use a nasal spray for a successful treatment. 
  • Be wary of overuse or underuse or sharing expired nasal spray can negatively impact your symptoms. 
  • Ignoring potential side effects will only make your condition worse. 

Nasal sprays are commonly used to relieve nose congestion and allergies. However, using them incorrectly can lead to ineffective results and potential side effects. Correct information about the types of products for nose congestion treatment can help you recover faster. 

Consulting your doctor is relevant and can guide you about its usage. It is also helpful because every patient’s symptoms may differ. Your knowledge of the basic use of sprays will also prevent any further damage to the nostrils. 

By understanding the mistakes to avoid and following the proper techniques, you can use the nasal spray effectively and achieve the desired relief.

How to Use Nasal Sprays?

Incorrect Nasal Spray Technique

Many aim the nozzle straight up their nose and spray without following the proper instructions. This can result in the medication not reaching the desired areas of the nose passages.

To use a nasal spray correctly; gently blow your nose to clear any mucus. Ensure the spray bottle is properly primed by shaking it well and removing the cap. Then, tilt your head slightly forward and keep it upright. Insert the nozzle into one nostril, pointing it towards the outer wall of your nose. 

Avoid spraying directly on the septum (the middle part of your nose). While breathing gently through your nose, press down on the pump to release the spray. Breathe in slowly to allow the medication to reach deep into your nasal passages, then repeat the process for the other nostril. 

If you are already taking medication for any other condition, then create a fixed schedule 

Overuse or Underuse

Overusing nasal spray can lead to nose irritation and rebound congestion, where your passages of nostrils become more congested when you stop using the spray. Underuse, on the other hand, may not provide the desired relief from negatively affecting symptoms. 

It’s relevant to follow the recommended dosage guidelines provided by your healthcare professional or the instructions on the packaging to avoid these issues. These guidelines will specify the number of sprays and the frequency of use for your particular condition. 

Moreover, there are different types of nasal sprays available in the market. You should be aware of the brand and how often to use it. Some sprays may be habit-forming for which you should check the details on its package before usage. 

Consult your doctor or pharmacist if you need clarification on the proper dosage or frequency. They can guide you on the appropriate usage based on your specific needs. 

For further information, in the picture below we have mentioned the most common types of nasal sprays used according to your symptoms. 

Common Types of  Nasal Spray

Sharing or Using Expired Nasal Sprays

Sharing your nasal spray with others or using expired sprays can have serious consequences. When you share it, you introduce bacteria or viruses into the bottle, which can lead to the spread of infections. This can be particularly concerning if someone else using the spray has a contagious condition. 

Similarly, using expired nose sprays can result in reduced effectiveness or potential harm due to the degradation of active ingredients. The expired spray may not provide the desired relief, and using it beyond the expiration date could be risky for your health. 

Always remember to confirm the expiration date before using a nasal spray and discard it if it has expired. Avoid sharing it with others, as it can compromise hygiene & increase the risk of infections. Each individual should have their own product for personal use.

You do not get addicted but are dependent on nasal sprays. To break the cycle, always follow the doctor’s prescription closely without using it too frequently. 

Ignoring Potential Side Effects 

Common side effects include temporary stinging, dryness, or irritation of passages of nostrils. Some sprays may cause a bitter taste or a drip. In rare cases, nasal sprays containing steroids, such as adrenal suppression, may have a systemic impact. 

Reading the product information leaflet and being aware of possible negative reactions is necessary. If you experience persistent or severe symptoms, such as intense burning or bleeding from the nose, consult your healthcare provider immediately. They can assess your condition and recommend alternative treatments or adjustments to your treatment routine.

In rare cases, your doctor may not recommend you use a nasal spray if you have diabetes, high blood pressure, or hyperthyroidism, or if you already are taking other strong medications. 

Using a nasal spray correctly can effectively relieve nose congestion and allergies. Hence, avoid the four common mistakes discussed in this article. You will be able to maximize the benefits of nasal spray usage while minimizing the risk of side effects.