Nasal Inhaler: Effects on human health. Is it a bad remedy for colds?

Are Nasal Inhalers Bad

We have all had to experience a very stubborn cold or catarrh that doesn’t seem to go away no matter how hard we try. In an attempt to find a quick fix, many use a nasal inhaler, especially in this rainy season.

The question here is, is it good or bad? and how much is too much? In order to come to a conclusion, this article seeks to delve into facts and experiences and connect the dots needed to answer these important question questions.

Use of a Nasal Inhaler

The active ingredients commonly found in nasal inhalers are; menthol, eucalyptus oil, camphor, or other decongestants.

When you inhale through the nasal inhaler, the active ingredients are released into the air and inhaled into your nasal passages. The properties of the above-listed ingredients help your nasal passage to be decongested and provide a cooling sensation, a feeling only inhaler users can relate to.

Ingredients of Nsaal Inhalers and their effects.

Each ingredient in the nasal inhaler serves a specific purpose to relieve you of discomfort and allow your nasal pathway to be cleared. The following are active ingredients in an inhaler and the specific role each of them plays are as follows:

I. Camphor: Camphor has a cooling effect and can help relieve nasal congestion. it stimulates the nerve endings in the nasal passages, producing a cooling sensation and temporarily reducing swelling and congestion.

ii. Menthol: Menthol also acts as an anaesthetic and provides a cooling sensation. When inhaled, menthol stimulates the cold-sensitive receptors in the nasal passages, leading to a sensation of improved airflow and reduced congestion. It also helps soothe irritated nasal tissues.

iii. Eucalyptus Oil: Eucalyptus oil has been used to relieve cold and catarrh for many years. It contains compounds called cineole or eucalyptol, which have mucolytic properties. This means they help thin and loosen mucus, making it clear from the airways easier. Eucalyptus oil also has a pleasant aroma that can provide a sense of relief.

iv. Oxymetazoline: Oxymetazoline is a synthetic decongestant found in some nasal inhalers or nasal sprays. It works by constricting the blood vessels in the nasal passages, reducing inflammation and congestion. This constriction helps open up the nasal airways and provides temporary relief from nasal congestion.

v. Phenylephrine: Phenylephrine is another decongestant commonly used in nasal inhalers. It works in a similar way to oxymetazoline.

Are Nasal Inhalers Bad for Your Health?

Just like every drug that we use, they often come with benefits and side effects. A drug will only be harmful to your health when taken in quantities that exceed the recommended dosage and just like nasal inhalers, overusing it can harm you.

Side Effects of Overusing Nasal Inhaler

Overusing nasal inhalers can have negative effects and potential side effects.

Rebound congestion: One of the main concerns with overusing nasal decongestant inhalers is the risk of developing rebound congestion. Repeated or prolonged use of these inhalers can lead to a condition known as rhinitis medicamentosa.

This occurs when the nasal passages become dependent on the decongestant medication, causing worsening congestion when the drug is discontinued. Rebound congestion can be more severe than the original congestion and may require a longer time to resolve.

Drug Tolerance: This is where your body becomes tolerant to drag meaning the drug becomes less effective and hence it may require more to function or at worst it will stop working completely with your body.

Alternatively, to using a nasal inhaler, there are some natural remedies that one can explore to relieve nasal congestion. These options are much safer and more sustainable

Some natural remedies include staying hydrated, using saline nasal sprays or rinses to moisturize the nasal passages, steam inhalation, using a humidifier, drinking warm fluids like herbal teas, and getting plenty of rest.

These methods can help alleviate symptoms and support the body’s natural healing process without the potential risks and side effects associated with overusing nasal inhalers.