Nasal Spray

It might be obvious, but I can’t really breathe through my nose that well. I never have been able to. I remember being a kid and some Korean ladies saying to my mother, “she would be pretty if her nose would just stop running…”

It’s so weird what sticks in your head forever. So much I cannot remember, but these tiny fragments of memory get lodged in there and I know I will take them to my grave. For this, I have always tried to hide my allergic tendencies from all, lest it mar my beauty further. I am sincerely unashamed of my vanity.

I want my nose to stop running. I want control over my mucous membranes. This is what has led me to my fate, where I am now, slave to – nasal spray. I have been good for years, not relying on the drugs that really only make things worse. Neti pots and saline solutions filled my days, air purifiers – not just one but two pointed directly at my face – running all night long. I did yoga and let my face be cradled in the toilet seat like contraptions that punctuate massage tables. My face would drain with the seasons and I was happy to let nature take its course with my nose. Nasal destiny was not in my hands.

I wanted control, and I thought Afrin would give it to me, and it worked for a time, but now, I can’t do without it. It started in earnest in London, where I broke down at the chemists and asked for a bottle from behind the counter. Since then, I have used it every day, in both nostrils, whether I need it or not. It’s crazy, and it hurts, and I have to get off it, but is there a rehab for that? How stupid – when people have serious issues with drugs, alcohol, gambling, food – addiction is ruinous and cruel and plays unfairly with us all, but my jones, my monkey on my back – it’s so dumb – how could I go to treatment for something that silly? Nasal spray. I am an addict. I want a dry nose. I want to breathe through it. It costs me about $3.00 a month. It’s so lame, but it’s still pain, right?

11 Comments. Add To The Mix…

  1. i have heard this actually has happened to others with this product… the membranes get inflamed and its a losing battle. drs. have placed people on steroids to combat this battle for a short time..
    i do the neti pot 3 x’s a day with a health food store saline product/ (no well water)…took a long time but it eventually worked for me

  2. Margaret you are not alone in your endless, annoying, nasaly struggle! I am a huge fan of Xylitol Xlear Sinus Nasal Spray and acupuncture helps me out a ton, as well as Chinese herbs.
    It would be better to not have to even deal with it all and breathe freely, but then that would mean one less awesome blog post! Spray ON!!

  3. Oh no! I also can’t really breathe through my nose, it’s terrible! Try Breathe Right strips. I swear by them, especially at night but even during bad weekends, particularly during allergy season!

  4. That stuff is addictive. My Mom used to have Dristan bottles stuffed everywhere in our house. She was a Dristan junky!

  5. Afrin is not the same as regular nose spray(rx)!!! It makes things worse! It causes your nosal passages to swell more in reaction and then your stuck on afrin so you can breathe!! I only used it a couple times in a month and now it’s so bad that I’m not responding to any rx nasal sprays or allergy meds and we’re discussing surgery to bring the swelling down!!

  6. I feel you, MC!

    Allergies plague me too, but not to the severity you describe. I used to have to carry tissues with me everywhere or risk wiping my nose like a cat. That while bundled in more scarves and sweaters than anyone around me.

    Drinking a drop of 1:1 oregano oil each day and shooting saline up my nose every couple of days has eliminated sniffles for me.
    I am left with what my friends and lovers have called “the cutest snore” -a slightly swollen nasal passage only audible in silent studios and bedrooms. Nothing like the constant runny nose before. Def no more sniffles!
    Working on my whistling nose with daily shots now.

    Thanks for listening, “Dr. Cho & Co.”!
    Much love & revolution.

  7. I also have sinus problems … they were driving me mad till I found Claritin Sinus 24 Hr … I take it daily and now only have a dripping nose in October which is when the Melaleuca trees are in Bloom here in Florida… but at least it is only then! 🙂

  8. Margaret
    It’s like reading my own story. Nasal sprays are like serious drugs- you addicted in a minute.
    They temporarily decongest your nose and then your mucosa gets terribly swollen if you stop using them. The real problem is that they also destroy your mucosa so it gets more prone to bleedings. First of all- take care of the humidity of the air at your house and especially at your bedroom. Buy a humidifier (ultrasound are the best as they consume less energy). If you are not at home and have no humidifier at least put a moist towel on the heater. Well, not on the electric heater of course!!!!
    Number two- moisturize your mucosa- buy the nasal saline spray and use it as often as needed. Number three- use some neutral ointment to protect your mucosa from drying- put a pea-sized amount of ointment into both of the nostrils. They should advice you at the drugstore what is the best brand for that purpose, pure paraffin ointment should be ok or the one with vitamin A.
    And last and most difficult- stop using the afrin-type nasal sprays. I know how difficult it is, you will have a few sleepless nights but then day by day you will realize that your addiction is gone. You know what works the best? Discard your afrin bottle right now. Not into the recycle bin, because you will wake in the middle of the night and you will get it back from the bin. Just get rid of it and don’t buy a new one. I had to go through this when I realized how addicted to nose drops I was. And people think that marijuana is dangerous!
    BTW did you know that some therapists blame child abuse for later allergies? They say that the immune system gets confused when a child is being abused by those who should provide them with security and starts attacking everything around in response. Well, I don’t know anything about me being abused in my childhood, but who knows….
    I am an MD so if you have questions feel free to e-mail me.
    Oh well.. hugs from the very snowy Lodz in Poland (did you expect to have fans that far? 🙂

  9. go vegan. i had the same problem and then i went vegan. it all went away within 6 months. u cld probably still eat meat just stay away from the stuff with all the hormones in it. but cut the dairy completely. you are awesome by the way.

  10. Dear Margaret, You are so right! Sinusitis is a very real problem and the so called solutions are highly addictive. I suffered for years, had sinus polyps removed, that later returned and still could not breath. I was taking Sudafed during the day, Benedrl at night, like I was on uppers and downers. Then it all affected my blood pressure and I fainted and landed on my front teeth, and I’m a dentist. That was my wake up call to stop it all. The other comments are correct. You’ll be miserable for a few days, spend it by the ocean for clean air, but stop it all. Work on boosting your immune system with vitamins and ginger/ lemon tea. And cut down on sweets/ carbs, they also zap your immune system. Good luck! Love your work!

  11. Margaret: non-addictive nasal sprays for people with hayfever have been available for years. It’s called flunisolide. Get it from your doctor. It works REALLY WELL, but takes a week or two to kick in. Flunisolide is a corticosteroid, but that is NOT the same as the troublesome and sometimes dangerous steroids that people sometimes get for serious health problems. I’ve used Flunisolide for over a decade and have not experienced any bad effects; it’s certainly not destroying my mucous membranes.

    That Afrin stuff is crap. I stopped using it long ago. You’ll probably have to go through some miserable “cold turkey” for several weeks if you discontinue it. But it’ll be worth it if you can switch to Flunisolide.


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