How to use a nasal spray correctly for hay fever

How to use a nasal spray correctly for hay fever

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How to use a nasal spray correctly for hay fever

Lots of people use steroid nasal sprays to treat hay fever and allergic rhinitis. However, if their technique for using the nasal spray is incorrect, it can lead to poor results and uncontrolled symptoms, as the medication does not get delivered to the right place! Every manufacturer will include their own instructions, and it’s important to refer to these at the start. But here are some key points to remember, that apply to the pump type steroid nasal sprays that are commonly used to treat hay fever.

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how to use a nasal spray

How to use a nasal spray correctly- the steps

  • Blow your nose gently to clear our any excess mucus
  • Shake the nasal spray and then remove the cap. Prime it once (a spray into the air) if you haven’t used it for a few days- a fine mist should appear.
  • Hold the bottle with your thumb at the base, and your index an middle finger either side of the pump (see the picture below)
  • Lean your head forward slightly (not backwards!)
  • Block one nostril and place the nozzle of the spray in the other nostril- the nozzle should be aimed straight back towards the back of the head and away from the nasal septum (the central wall that divides your nostrils). It should not be aimed “up your nose”. It should also not be pushed too deep into the nostril.
  • When you press the spray, breathe in gently through your nose at the same time. Do not sniff it in!
  • Do not blow your nose for a while, as you’ll lose the dose of medication by doing so.
  • Repeat the process for the other nostril
  • Wipe the nozzle and put the the cap back on

Tips to avoid common mistakes

It’s important to remember the following tips:

  • blow your nose before use, but not directly afterwards
  • tilt your head forwards
  • aim the nozzle straight towards the back of your head (not up your nose)
  • breathe in gently but don’t sniff it!
  • if you can clearly feel or taste the spray trickling down the back of the throat immediately after use, then you may be pushing the nozzle too deeply into your nose- try withdrawing it slightly.
how to use a nasal spray correctly

If you have further questions or concerns about how to use a nasal spray correctly, speak to your pharmacist or doctor.

You can read more about different types of nasal sprays for hay fever here. There is also more information on the various treatment options for hay fever here.

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About the Author:

Aifric Boylan
Dr Aifric Boylan is an experienced GP based in Melbourne. She completed medical school at Trinity College Dublin, Ireland, and undertook specialist training as a General Practitioner. She has 10 years experience working in General Practice and currently works as a full time family doctor in Melbourne, with a special interest in women’s health and paediatrics. She is a medical writer, covering common health issues in General Practice, as well as publications and opinion pieces in the medical press.

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