How to Use Nasal Spray the Right Way, Allergy Relief

Nasal Spray Really Works...
If you know how to use it.  

    And no one is paying me to say or write that!
    Most of us think we know how to use nasal spray. 
   I mean, how hard can it be to stick something in your nose and spray right? -At least that's what I always thought.

    It never even occurred to me to read the directions on or inside the box. And up until about a year ago I was an occasional, and poorly informed, nasal spray user.

    Then, something changed. I went to the Little Clinic (in a Kroger grocery store) for what I thought was a cold or sinus infection. The nurse practitioner was awesome. She told me I didn't have a cold or sinus infection but was rather suffering with severe allergies.  And she didn't stop there...

    She asked what I was using for my seasonal allergies and how I was using it. And she proceeded to school me on proper nasal spray usage. 

Here's What I Learned

    First off, most people just stick nasal spray in the nose and spray, up, and, that's not right.
     Here's a quick demonstration of the proper nasal-spray-usage technique:

        Now that you know how to use nasal spray correctly, don't go overboard
         Some nasal sprays are safe to use daily for up to 6 months at a time, Nasacort is a popular allergy relief spray that contains Triamcinolone Acetonide, and it's non-addictive. Personally I use the Walgreen's generic brand of Nasacort.
      Although, chemical-based nasal sprays, opposed to saline-based ones, can damage the septum, cause sinusitis, or worse. Below are links to some articles that explore these risks and conditions in depth. 

Consulting Your Doctor May Not Be Good Enough

        In most articles or blogs this is where you'd read, "It's best to always consult your doctor." -Not in this blog, and I'll tell you why.
       A month ago I took my son to an allergy specialist since he was suffering with itchy eyes, a scratchy throat, a stuffy nose... all the symptoms of severe seasonal allergies. The allergy doctor we saw happened to be, arguably, the best allergy doctor in the city (opting not to share his name here). He was extremely smart, professional, astute, and even kind. An allergy test was recommended but we opted for just switching up Sammy's allergy medicine to see how he'd do. My son was prescribed 3 different medications, one of which was a nasal spray. The prescription spray's  instructions say to, "instill 2 sprays in each nostril  once daily."  -Easy enough.
       From the get-go I felt uneasy about giving my kid that much medicine daily. So I didn't. I gave him just the one prescribed allergy pill nightly and occasionally used his nasal spray on him during the day if he seemed to be sneezing or rubbing his nose a lot. 
Sam with one of our cats

        By chance my husband, who has suffered with bad seasonal allergies since moving to Louisville, KY 4 years ago, bought himself a nasal spray to start using daily too.  He opted for the generic version of Flonase. He mentioned to me the nasal spray box said in bold letters, "THIS PRODUCT CAN STUNT A CHILD'S GROWTH." And he wondered if Sam's prescription spray contained the same ingredients.
         "Surely not, I told him. I specifically asked Dr. _______ if there were any long-term risks or side effects with the prescribed medications, and he told me there weren't." 
        And, I had even gone so far as to ask the doctor if long term clinical trials had been done on children that had taken these medicines. He said yes and that there was nothing significant to worry about. 
Our Collection of Nasal Sprays

Upon Doing My Own Research...

      I quickly discovered the primary ingredient in my husband's nasal spray (fluticasone) was the same primary ingredient in my son's nasal spray and has been linked with stunting the growth of young children.

         I don't know why our son's allergy doctor didn't mention this to us. Perhaps he didn't view the findings significant or noteworthy but, in that case he should've at least mentioned them and said that.
        I know the doctor is highly competent and a dedicated professional doing his best daily. But I also know I'm a highly competent woman and mother and must do my best daily as well. And, in this case, it meant taking a few minutes to do my own research and come to my own conclusions.

        Sam still uses his nasal spray, but quite sparingly (maybe once a week). -His father and I aren't tall by any means so, he'll be short enough as is, without the potential intervention of some nasal spray!