Good To Nose Baraka Blog

Can Nasal Sprays Make You Prone To Sinus Infections?

Written By: Sue
February 26, 2013


sinus infectionQuick Fixes: Too Good to be True.

While traveling in South America, I landed in Lima, Peru where I picked up the worst sinus infection I’ve had in a decade. Initially, it started out as nasal inflammation possibly because of the high pollution and mold in the city. Unfortunately, I was without my neti pot or sinus oil. In desperation to get a good night’s sleep, I grabbed an OTC nasal spray. What a mistake that was!  While I did sleep better for a few days, a sinus infection crept in and soon my nasal cavities were a mess.

After writing last week’s blog, I began to wonder if that nasal spray could have lowered the biodiversity in my nose; in other words, had the nasal spray reduced the good bacteria? Could that have made me vulnerable to an infection? After all, many of these sprays contain preservatives such as benzalkonium chloride or phenylcarbinol whose only purpose is to destroy or slow the growth of microorganisms that could potentially enter the nasal spray bottle after it’s opened. While these preservatives aren’t strong enough to eliminate a sinus infection, they could disrupt the balance of bacteria in the nose and leave it prone to infection.

I did some research to see if there was anything written on the subject but I found nothing. Still I wondered. While it’s hard to say why I got a sinus infection, it makes sense that these preservatives would act like an antimicrobial in my nose lowering the biodiversity. It’s well known that overusing nasal sprays can cause a rebound effect (i.e. worsening congestion), but no one talks about the potential for increased infections.

The kind of experience I had in Lima always reinforce my belief in the importance of finding remedies that work with the body to address the root cause of disease, not just for a bandaid or quick fix. Sometimes we’re in situations where we have no choice but to use what is available, but maybe I could have been more creative. Diet, for example, plays a role in sinus congestion. I might have eliminated all inflammatory foods including alcohol or I could have walked down by the ocean to get some fresh air. Sometimes what we think is going to be a quick fix isn’t!

The more knowledge we can collect about the ways the body is interconnected, the more we’re able to take preventative measures and to boost the areas that need extra support. The longer I work with ˜natural medicines” plants, herbs and naturally occurring substances, the more I see they are the keys to our health. They support the body without pushing it. And they don’t result in worsened symptoms.

Above all, I wish I had travelled with my neti pot and Sinus Rejuvenation Oil. Lesson learned!

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