How do I Choose the Best Sinus Relief Spray?

wiseGEEK Writer

Choosing the best sinus relief spray could be a matter of a minute’s thought or might involved consultation with a physician. Chronic sinus symptoms from allergies or other factors tend not to be relieved well by many over the counter products. Those suffering from a short-term problem, like a cold, could simply evaluate the sinus relief spray options available at a local pharmacy, but they should do so with some provisos in mind.

A nasal spray may be effective at providing sinus relief.
A nasal spray may be effective at providing sinus relief.

Some people have trouble with dry sinuses, and they might look for products like a saline spray, which can help moisten the nasal passages. Others find relief for this problem not with a spray but by doing daily nasal rinses or washes. These can clear pollen and dust out of the nose and could relieve minor congestion. The one type of product that people should possibly avoid in a sinus relief spray is any over the counter decongestant sprays.

Saline nasal sprays, which consist mostly of a salt-water solution, may be effective in easing allergy symptoms.
Saline nasal sprays, which consist mostly of a salt-water solution, may be effective in easing allergy symptoms.

The reason these pose an issue is because they first work very well, but after a few days’ use, they have a rebound effect and may start to make congestion worse. Some people respond by using the spray more often. This creates a dynamic where it’s possible to become addicted to nasal spray, and even if the original symptoms for which it was purchased no longer exist, the nose is constantly congested and use of the spray increases. To avoid this, if people choose to use a decongestant sinus nasal spray, they should limit use to the recommended number of days on the packaging. Should congestion still exist or worsen after recommended days of use, it’s time to see a doctor.

A cross section of the head, including the sinuses.
A cross section of the head, including the sinuses.

Many people with chronic congestion are better treated by using a prescription nasal spray. There are a number of these, which typically contain some form of steroid and can reduce inflammation so that congestion lessens. Full effects of these products usually aren’t felt immediately but symptoms can improve greatly in a few weeks.

Many people prefer using a prescription sinus relief spray to treat allergies, since they don’t cause sleepiness like some antihistamines do. Choice of which spray to use is usually best decided by a doctor, in consideration of any other health issues or conditions patients can have or medications a patient might take. If one type of spray doesn’t work, another may be better suited, and sometimes a trial and error process ensues until the most effective medication is found.

Most sinus relief spray products that are prescribed are compatible with saline spray or saline rinses. However, doctors may instruct patients to wait a set period after using a spray before rinsing or using a saline spray too. In most cases, though, use of saline rinses is advocated with the use of sinus nasal spray and may help promote greater comfort in the person with chronic congestion.

There are a number of “natural” over the counter sprays. They may not be subject to the same of level of testing as are standard over the counter medicines. Claims for these products should be regarded carefully, since they are not always accurate. Doctors, especially those familiar with complementary or alternative medicine, can offer useful advice on which natural products appear safe, reliable, and/or effective.

Nasal spray.
Nasal spray.

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Discussion Comments


When all else fails, try Nicotine-Free Vaping (ecig) using a 30% PG / 70% VG formula with your favorite flavor. Inhale through the mouth, exhale through each nostril individually 2 or 3 times. Repeat as often as needed (usually every 6 hours). PG / VG Vapor has antimicrobial properties, plus moisturizes as it disinfects and cleans the sinuses. It literally keeps your nose clean. Only problem is, this is a permanent lifestyle change. People with sinusitis can't quit vaping any longer than 3 weeks.


I have tried every sinus spray imaginable. The best was saline spray. But now I have tried something else recommended by a friend. It's called Spray Away. I love it and now recommend it as well. Try it; you won't be sorry.


I think that anyone who is considering a nasal wash should talk to his or her doctor first. Though these treatments can be helpful with sinus congestion relief, they can also cause more problems if they aren't used the right way.


I have used different types of nasal sprays over the years, and I have usually had side effects to them. That is why I started to use a saline nasal spray for sinus pressure relief.

Though this type of nasal spray doesn't contain medicine, it does help my sinus congestion and irritation by moisturizing my nasal passages. Sometimes I think that natural sinus relief is the best kind, especially for people who are prone to having side effects.

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