How to properly use your nasal steroid spray
Dr. Lamperti discusses how to best administer your steroid nasal spray medication. He also reviews the optimal frequency of use along with tips on how to apply the spray to avoid unwanted side effects.
"I'm here today to talk a little bit about the optimal ways to use your nasal steroid spray. In my career as a nose specialist and rhinoplasty surgeon I also find people who have functional issues with their nose. Certainly allergies and the like -- often patients are placed on nasal steroid sprays to help with these symptoms. There are often some ideal ways of using the spray that often we as doctors fail to mention or bring up to patients.
First, you really have to use it daily. It doesn't work well every third day, every other day, once a week. It really takes a consistent use and finding it as part of your routine. Doing it after you brush your teeth after you shower. Those are ways that I find that help with patients remembering to use their spray. Additionally, patients need to realize that the spray doesn't work very fast. I takes a good month or so until the medicine starts working. And so after a week or two if you don't find much effect, well that's because it hasn't really started working yet. So really keep with it. I tell patients to use it for 2 or 3 months to really give it a fair shot to see if it improves your symptoms at all. A few other tips that I give patients that I prescribe the medications to is how to hold the medicine and to really apply it. So I'll show you. The first is to use your right hand when spraying your left nostril and then switch hands and use your left hand to spray your right. And naturally what happens when you hold it that way is that you angle the nozzle a little bit off center so it doesn't hit your septum and that is really what often causes nose bleeds and irritation and is another reason patient often stop using the medicine. The last trick that I have is to hold the bottle upright facing the ceiling and then tilt your head forward and downward like that and that gives a natural trajectory where the medicine will get to the back of the nose, really apply the medicine ideally versus using it like this which patients often will do. And the spray will hit the top of the nose and dribble back out and really just end up irritating the top of your nose.
And lastly a lot of patients say "You know what Dr. Lamperti I'm using the spray just like you said and I don't really like the taste or smell of the medication. It doesn't agree with me." There are various medications available and they do have different scents. Some people don't really care, they're just happy that it works for them and others are really bothered by it. And that's fine. It's really something that you should talk to your doctor about. And there are different alternatives. They don't all smell the same or work the same -- with regard to irritating perhaps. Most people tolerate them fine if used right, really talk to your doctor about switching to an alternative medication if you don't tolerate the initial choice."