Addictions abound in our world today. However, few seem so innocuous yet in reality are as awful is addiction to over-the-counter nasal sprays. I don’t care what the Mayo Clinic says, those of us who have spend decades PHYSICALLY ADDICTED to these things can tell you that it is an addiction! I had a 20 (yes, twenty!) year addiction to the stuff and I can tell you, it is an addiction!
Most every addict of this stuff knows the drill: one in the car, one in the nightstand, one in the bathroom, one in your desk at work…and so on. You don’t use it every 12 hours (as the directions suggest), but every 4 or 2 or even 1! Without it, the rebound congestion makes you feel as if you cannot breathe. It is not just stuffiness…it is a feeling of suffocation! Addiction seems better than suffocation!
Most know of the possible damage: we are destroying our nasal cavity. Blood vessels can burst in the sinuses the mere cycle of engorgement & shrinking of tissues eventually destroy the nasal passages. “The nasal lining may become atrophied over time. Atrophy is scarring of the inside lining of the nose, which may cause irritation, bleeding and over drying.” http://www.addictioninfo.org/articles/2782/1/Nasal-Spray-Addiction----Know-The-Facts-and-Avoid-the-Danger/Page1.html
It is rare, but sometimes the erosion of the lining is so bad that septum perforation occurs. Nasal surgery may be required when the damage is this severe. I firmly believe that all the dental problems I have with (almost exclusively) my upper teeth are a result of my abuse of nasal spray.
Often the suggestion given to those of us who suffer is to use saline spray instead. Well, saline may help in some ways but it does not even come close to dealing with rebound congestion.
Another alternative that has been created is a hot pepper nasal spray!!!!!
Steroid nasal sprays are often an alternative given my doctors. That never helped me.
Then there is the “school” of detoxing one nostril at a time. That still drove me over the edge! Or, the suggestion of surgery (most often for a deviated septum) however, what you end up with after that surgery is a sinus cavity full of packing. You cannot breathe out of your nose for at least a week! !!!!!
Finally, there is an idea that jala neti, or nasal irrigation: “Nasal irrigation is a personal hygiene practice which involves flooding the nasal cavity with warm saline solution (salt water). The goal of nasal irrigation is to clear out excess mucus and particulates and moisturize the nasal cavity.” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nasal_irrigation
But, GOOD NEWS! There is way to get off nasal sprays!! It is actually pretty simple. It takes a little while but it is cheap & relatively painless. What you need is: 1) your brand of nasal spray in a “squeeze” type spray (this will not work with the fine-mist pumps because you cannot remove the top); 2) a bottle of saline nasal spray; and 3) a nail file, tweezers, or whatever you can use to take the top off the nasal spray bottle…you just have to pry it off a little.
Put away, throw away, or otherwise get out of reach any other bottles of spray, only work it one (a brand new, full one). Carry it with you. Put a mark on it, rubberband, whatever so you know which bottle you are working with.
On the first day, use it as you normally would. At the end of the day (or the beginning of the next), open the nasal spray & put about 12-15 drops of saline in the bottle of nasal spray. Return the cap. Use it as much as you normally would, or when needed the next day. At the end of the day open the nasal spray & add about 12-15 drops of the saline spray. DO NOT use any full strength sprays during this time. You can use the bottle you are using as often as you normally would or a little more. But if you use any full strength stuff it will set you back.
Do the same thing EVERY DAY and in about a month you will be using almost 100% saline, if you even need to use it at all!
This actually works!
After 20 years of almost daily use I have been off this stuff for over three years!
Stay tuned next time for a cheap & effective way to get rid of toe fungus…oh boy.
DISCLAIMER: I am not a doctor, nor do I play one on TV. Before implementing any of these suggestions see your healthcare provider. Seriously. And don’t blame me if you haven’t checked with the doctor first!