There's nothing quite like the misery of severe congestion that a bad cold can bring. There are plenty of suggested ways to ease congestion, like pills and warm compresses on the face, but their benefits are moderate, at best. Thankfully, one option that provides immediate major relief is available at most drug stores and no longer requires a prescription. Read on to learn how steroid nasal sprays can help drastically reduce your congestion and even help to keep you from getting sicker.
When you have a bad cold, your nose becomes blocked due to swelling in your sinuses. As the walls of the sinuses come closer together, it becomes more difficult for air to pass through, which manifests as sniffles, snoring, or as difficulty breathing. Steroids have been used for decades to keep swelling and tissue inflammation down, which is why they're often prescribed after surgery. Nasal steroid sprays act locally, bringing the swelling down with whatever they come in contact with, and provide immediate relief.
When you're sick and the nasal passages become swollen, it hurts! The flesh in your sinuses is being stretched and pulled out of proportion, which can cause crippling sinus headaches. Pills like ibuprofen can help to reduce the inflammation somewhat and thus reduce the pain the headache is causing you, but they need time to dissolve in your stomach and get into your bloodstream. Reaching for a steroid spray will help stop your headache immediately and can work with the pills to keep the headache at bay.
Help Prevent Ear Infections
If your sinuses become infected while you have a cold, there's a good chance that you may develop an ear infection, too. This is because the ears need to drain excess fluid out through the eustachian tubes, which share an exit with the sinuses and drain out through the throat. Unfortunately, if your sinuses are blocked or swollen, the ears may not be able to drain effectively. When fluid builds up, the ears can't clean themselves out, and infection can occur. Keeping your sinuses open and flowing will help to prevent you from developing a secondary infection in your ears.
Although steroid sprays used to only be available with a prescription, many of them are now available over-the-counter in drugstores. If you're struggling to get relief from your cold symptoms, ask a pharmacist to help you pick a steroid nasal spray or click for more information.
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