Nose Problems

Updated on December 21, 2008
V.K. asks from Roseville, CA
4 answers

Hello Everyone,

Ok so I have chronic allergies all year around. It seems like my nose is always stuffed, congested and runny. The membranes inside my nose swell all the time making it impossible to breath through my nose and that drives me insane. I find that I can't think or sleep when it does that. So I started using over the counter nasel sprays. The one I have found that works the best is the Vick's Sinex Fine Mist. The problem with those nasel sprays is that they are highly addictive to your nose. Your nose get's used to having that help and "forgets" how to do those things on it's own. Ok so now my nose is addicted to this stuff... and I would like to stop using it but I find that I just do not have the time to go through withdrawls of not being able to breath through my nose, think or sleep to get off of it alltogether. I have also tried the Neti Pot with Saline and although it helps clearing out the mucus it doesn't seem to help with the inflamed membranes. That's where most of my frustration seems to lie. There must be something else that can help my situation that would be safe for me to use and be effective as well. Does anyone have any ideas?

Thank You.

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answers from San Francisco on

Hi V.,
You need to consult a doctor. I used to get sinus infections a lot, and I had laser surgery to trim the part of the nasal passages that swells -- the turbinates, or something like that. You do not have to be all the way out, just in a "twilight" state. The procedure (I had it 18 years ago) made a huge difference for me. Now it takes a pretty horrible cold to completely plug up my nose. However, if you get this procedure, make sure the ENT has done a ton of them. Over trimming the turbinates can lead to a chronically dry nose. Have you ever tried prescription nose sprays (w/ corticosteroids?). You can take them every day, though it takes a week or so for them to take effect. Usually this is the first step before more invasive procedures. Also, I am assuming you have tried different allergy meds? You won't really know if they work until your nose is weaned off of those other sprays. Steam might help you as you wean yourself off of them. Put boiling hot water in a bowl in your sink, put a towel over your head, and lean over the sink. Just be careful not to touch your face to the hot water. You can also run a hot shower in a closed bathroom. At the drug store, you can find a kit by NeilMed with a specially designed spray bottle and packets for mixing with water to create correctly balanced saline solution (the salt is extremely fine so that it mixes easily with the water). Using it flushes out your nose and sinuses and also any allergens. Finally, if you can afford to do this, acupuncture is excellent for draining your nose and sinuses. It's pretty amazing. I'm guessing you would need to do it frequently (daily?) until your nasal passages return to their pre-spray state. There is no getting around the fact that these OTC nasal sprays have a rebound effect (meaning that your nasal passages compensate for your having used them by puffing up a bit more) that makes them addictive, which is why the labels say three days max. Get help from a doctor to get off of these sprays and then see what other methods help. The doctor might have some way to make getting off the sprays easier, or s/he might not. Either way, until you get off the stuff, you cannot pursue a more viable long-term solution. When people have nasal surgery (including the one I mention above), they have to have their noses packed with gauze for several days. You cannot breathe through your nose at all. It's horrible, but you make it through. You'll need some help taking care of your kids because you will be so tired, but then you can start to truly take care of yourself.

1 mom found this helpful


answers from San Francisco on

I use a neti pot with saline. It helps so much and is drug free.



answers from Sacramento on

I went thru the same thing. I got off of it by staying really busy, and I had to throw out the nose spray so I would not go try to use it. It also got to the point that it no longer worked at all for me. I now use a saline rinse for the extra mucous, but I regularly use a
perscription nose spray for my allergies year round. It helps tremendiously for all the drainage. I can tell when I forget to use it immediately also. I hope you find a solution.. W.



answers from Redding on

Hi V.,

Did you know that the cleaners you are using in your home may be causing your allergies, or making them worse?! I have a friend who's son also had asthma, and when she switched over to the safer cleaning products of Melaleuca, her son's attacks went away within a month. He still gets them when he is not home, but at least it has helped. ANy questions email me. Happy Holidays

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