Article ID: 12
Vicious rebound effect of over-the-counter nasal sprays
Dr. Beth Miller
Beth Miller, M.D., is an associate professor and chief of the Division of Allergy and Immunology at the University of Kentucky in Lexington. She has been the director of the Asthma, Allergy and Sinus Clinics there since 1998.
Dr. Miller learned firsthand about the vicious rebound effect of over-the-counter nasal sprays from her allergy to dust mites as a child. "I grew up on a farm and we didn't have air conditioning, and I used to sleep with Neo-Synephrine by my bed for my dust mite allergy, and I'm positive I was addicted to it," she says. Now she recommends that her patients use saline nasal sprays or nasal washes like the neti pot. These gently cleanse away foreign particles and mucus out of the nose as well as mucus, but they don't chemically have an effect on the blood vessels or the nerves in the nose and cause rebound congestion, she says.
Her other piece of advice: If over-the-counter medicines don't fix your symptoms, go see a doctor. "I'm always amazed when patients come in and they don't even know how horribly miserable they are until you make them better with the proper treatment over several months," she says.
Thanks Doctor Miller
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