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Health Tip: Using a Nasal Spray

Last Updated: January 31, 2014.

(HealthDay News) -- Using a nasal spray can help ease congestion, but it's important to use the spray properly.

The American Academy of Family Physicians offers this advice:

  • Use the spray as directed by your doctor, and allow two weeks or more to gain the full benefit.
  • Store the spray away from direct sunlight, and keep any pressurized container clean.
  • Make sure you are able to breathe through each nostril before spraying, otherwise the spray may not be effective.
  • Point the spray toward the back of your nose. A pump spray should not drip down the back of the throat or out the nose.
  • Stop using the spray for one to two days if you have nosebleeds, pain or stinging inside the nose. Try an over-the-counter saline nasal spray before using a medicated spray.
  • If nosebleeds persist, use only a saline spray, or apply a thin layer of petroleum jelly inside the nose. Speak with your doctor if problems continue.

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