Side Effects of Nasal Spray

By Jason Medina

Nasal sprays come in a variety of formulations and strengths. For the most part, nasal sprays are used to treat nasal allergies and nasal congestion, both of which can severely impact a person's ability to breathe through his nose. There are a few most-common side effects associated with nasal spray use.

Rebound Nasal Congestion

A common side effect of nasal spray use, especially among chronic users, is a phenomenon called rebound nasal congestion. This is a type of nasal congestion that reoccurs much more intensely after repeated nasal spray applications.

Dry Nasal Membranes

Healthy nasal membranes have a certain amount of moistness that helps to prevent membrane cracking and chafing. It is common for chronic users of nasal sprays to experience dried, irritated nasal membranes.


Nosebleeds often occur in people who are chronic users of nasal sprays due to the drying, irritating effects that prolonged nasal spray use has on nasal membranes. Dry, irritated nasal membranes are more easily ruptured and caused to bleed by sneezing, coughing or blowing of the nose.

Vasomotor Rhinitis

Vasomotor rhinitis, a type of non-allergic nasal congestion, is caused by constriction of small blood vessels within the nasal membranes. Long-term, chronic nasal spray use can irritate these small nasal blood vessels and lead to vasomotor rhinitis.


Nasal sprays can be used and/or abused to the point where they lose effectiveness. Depending on the individual user and the health of his nasal membranes, nasal sprays may fail to provide any measurable results.

© Demand Media 2011