Nasal Sprays for Hay Fever

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Nasal sprays are just one of the many different treatment options available to hay fever sufferers worldwide. Upon application, they can immediately start to relieve the irritating symptoms of the itchy, runny nose and watery eyes.

The nose acts as a first line of defence for filtering out any airborne irritants that are breathed in through the nasal passage.  In most cases, the nasal passage is lined with a nice sticky layer of mucus. This mucus plays a key role in filtering out any possible allergens such as dust or pollen. This filtering action prevents the entry of allergens into the respiratory system, thus preventing an immunological response from being initiated.    

For individuals who suffer from hay fever, it is often found that the mucus layer in their nose is not adequate enough to be a proper filter for airborne allergens. The nasal passage is often dry. This can be a result of being in a constantly dry atmosphere such as a centrally heated house or a hot, dry climate.  As the dry, mucus deficient conditions in the nose persist, the ability to provide clean, allergen free air to the lungs becomes less and less efficient.

The nose is able to provide a two tier filter system in order to provide allergen free, clean air to the respiratory system. The first line of defence is the part of the nose we can see on our face. The nostrils make up the outer nasal passage and are responsible for filtering out the bigger particles that are present in the air we breathe. The inner part of the nose has a much finer filter in place and screens out the smallest particles. After once air is passed through these two filtering systems it is then passed on to the lungs free of allergens and irritants.  

Nasal sprays can be used to supplement the natural defence mechanisms in our nose in two ways. It can boost filtration abilities by helping to secure a larger number of allergens than perhaps our natural system might be able to cope with. Sprays can also increase or enhance the mucus levels that are present, which provides a larger surface area for the filtration system.

Types of Nasal Sprays

  • Mucus boosters can be applied via a nasal spray to help increase the amount of mucus present in both the inner and outer nasal passages. This intensifies the filtration ability of the nose and allows for a much greater rate of allergen removal from the air before it gets into the respiratory system.          
  • Corticosteroid based nasal sprays mimic the properties of natural hormones released by the body to help control inflammatory reactions.  Upon application, the corticosteroids released by the spray are absorbed by the cells in the nose and interfere with the cells ability to release the chemicals needed to initiate an immune response.  It is an effective way to relieve symptoms associated with hay fever, such as runny nose and eyes, itching and nasal inflammation.
  • Antihistamine and decongestant nasal sprays work in combination to prevent the release of the allergic response causing histamines and constrict the vessels in the nose and eyes to greatly reduce the symptoms of runny nose and watery eyes.

A few things need to be remembered when taking nasal sprays to ensure their effective use. Most sprays need a few days to start working at an optimal level. Try and start taking them a few days before you suspect you might start suffering from hay fever. When applying them, try not to sniff too hard as this will collect all the spray in the back of the throat and will greatly reduce their effectiveness.

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