Saline nasal spray: application, dosage, precautions.


The saline nasal spray is a simple saline solution that can be used by both children and adults. It can help relieve a dry nose (helps prevent nosebleeds), nasal congestion associated with colds or allergies, or even snoring . It can also be a helpful add-on treatment if you have obstructive sleep apnea . They are generally available as syringes or pump bottles for direct nasal use and are sold without a prescription. The saline nasal spray has a small risk of side effects and can be used as often as needed.

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What is nasal saline spray?

Most saline nasal sprays contain sterile water, salt (sodium chloride), and sometimes preservatives to extend their shelf life. The usual delivery system is a syringe or pump bottle. Similarly, there are saline nasal drops for babies that use a dropper.

Saline nasal sprays are available over the counter at most drugstores or even at the grocery store down the medicine aisle. There are many stores and brands, including variations on various themes: Ocean Mist, Ocean Spray, Ocean, Simply Saline Nasal Mist, etc. These products are inexpensive, often available for as little as a few dollars, but always less than $ 10.

You can also make your own saline nasal spray and use it with a small syringe bottle.


There are a number of conditions that can be improved with a nasal saline spray. This includes:

  • Dry nose
  • Nasal congestion from a cold or sinus infection.
  • Allergies
  • Prevention of nosebleeds (nosebleeds)
  • Snore
  • After nasal drops

If you have a condition for which steroid nasal sprays are prescribed, your healthcare provider may recommend using a saline nasal spray before each use.

Some people with obstructive sleep apnea can also use a nasal saline solution to relieve nasal congestion at night while using CPAP . Because it can remove particles called allergens, it can reduce the swelling of the nasal mucosa. This can improve airflow through the nose and prevent mouth breathing (which can also contribute to snoring).

The advantage of the saline nasal spray is that there is no risk of nasal congestion (when the congestion becomes chronic as the effect of the drug wears off). This problem can occur with long-term use of decongestant nasal sprays such as Afrin (oxymetazoline).


The saline spray can be applied through the nostrils as often as symptoms require. It can be used daily without causing potential damage. The effects can be relatively brief and require repeated use per day. With overuse, you may just notice a runny nose as the excess water drains out.


The saline nasal spray is safe for children and adults. For babies, saline nasal drops are preferred .

It does not interact with other medications, but if you are using a saline nasal spray along with medicated nasal sprays (such as a steroid nasal spray), you should use it first. If you use it after applying the medicated nasal spray, it can wash out the medicine and thus reduce its effectiveness.

How to take the nasal saline spray

Read the product instructions to determine the best way to use the spray.

For a general guide, follow these steps :

  1. You can stand upright without having to tilt your head back.
  2. Clean your nostrils by gently blowing your nose.
  3. Close the nostril where you are not going to spray by applying pressure with your finger.
  4. Place the spray can under the nostril you are applying it to, pointing away from the septum (middle of the nose) so as not to damage it.
  5. Close your mouth and inhale lightly through your nostril while gently squeezing or pumping the applicator. The usual instructions are to apply two compressions.

Do your thing

You can make your own saline nasal spray from table salt and tap water. Simple recipe: Mix 1 teaspoon of salt with 1 liter of tap water. To be safe, boil the salty water for 20 minutes, then refrigerate until lukewarm using a clean bottle to drain.

Side effects

If you notice any tingling sensations, it may be due to the preservatives in the saline nasal spray you are using. In this case, look for preservative-free foods or make your own saline solution.


There may be other effective treatment options depending on your symptoms. For example, some people find it helpful to use neti-pot with saline to relieve allergies or a stuffy nose.

If you have persistent sinus or nasal congestion problems, see your doctor so that your problem can be properly diagnosed and resolved.

Even other allergy treatments or surgery, including turbinate reduction , may be possible, depending on the nature of the problem. Talk to your doctor about which one is best for you, but starting with a nasal saline spray is a safe and effective option.

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