Are you waking up at night with nasal congestion that is causing you to snore? Is this a temporary situation or is it a recurring thing? Nasal sprays such as Flonase and also saline sprays may help to alleviate the symptoms and help you breathe better.
There are a variety of reasons why people snore. Nasal congestion due to allergies or colds is one of the significant causes of snoring. We normally breathe through our noses when we sleep and when this passage is blocked we will switch to mouth breathing which can provoke terrible snoring.
Let’s take a look at the different types of decongestants or nasal sprays and if they can help you reduce snoring and get a better night’s sleep.
Reasons for Nasal Congestion
The causes of nasal congestion vary and they can be physical or environmental. Chances that you will snore up a storm are greatly increased when your nasal passages are partially or even completely blocked by inflammation.
Your mouth will automatically open if you can’t breathe through your nose while you are sleeping. This may cause your tongue to relax and slip back into your throat. When air tries to pass through the partially obstructed airway it will vibrate and cause snoring. This can be a soft whistling sound or a deafening rumble that can wake you up and also keep your partner from sleeping. This can be a temporary occurrence due to an illness or a more permanent event due to the structure of your nose.
The main causes of nasal obstruction and congestion are:
- Cold and flu - Snoring due to a cold or flu is normally temporary and as you experience less cold or flu symptoms the snoring can decrease or cease. This can last a few days or up to several weeks. Mucus build-up that you experience with colds can block airflow through the nose and make it difficult to breathe.
- Allergies - Allergies are one of the main causes of nasal congestion and are a major culprit for nighttime snoring. Allergies can be seasonal due to environmental factors like pollen, typically called hay fever, or dust. The nasal passages become inflamed and irritated and prevent proper airflow through the nose. Allergies can recur several times during the year and the symptoms can last several weeks to several months.
- Non-allergic rhinitis( inflammation) - Non-allergic rhinitis, or vasomotor rhinitis, is a chronic condition that causes nasal congestion, sneezing, and a runny nose. It is not caused by external factors like regular allergies and the immune system is not compromised. This can happen anytime and without any warning.
- Deviated septum - Another main cause of snoring is a deviated septum or partially blocked nose due to the structure of the nose. This is a more permanent problem and unless a surgical procedure is performed you will be prone to snoring. Nasal sprays don’t typically perform well for those with a deviated septums. Anti-snoring devices like nasal dilators or nasal strips can be more helpful if you have a deviated septum.
What Are Nasal Sprays?
Nasal sprays are meant to alleviate the symptoms of the blocked air passage. They can temporarily decrease inflammation, help decongest mucus build-up, or even clean the nostrils in order to help you breathe better through your nose while you sleep.
They can help you sleep better and prevent snoring if you use them before bedtime. Some can be used temporarily while you go through an illness like a cold. Others may be used more regularly and help you get better sleep through allergy season.
Using a nasal spray is a short-term and temporary relief of the symptoms of congestion and do not heal any illness or stop allergies. The virus is still running its course in your body or your immune system is still combatting the allergen. The nasal spray will help alleviate one symptom that is keeping you from breathing well and that is causing you to snore.
Types of Nasal Sprays
There are different types of medicated and non-medicated nasal sprays and it’s essential that you determine the reason why your nasal passages are blocked in order to use the proper nasal spray for your condition. Consult your doctor if you are not sure why you are experiencing nasal congestion.
- Steroid and Antihistamine Nasal Sprays - Steroid and antihistamine nasal sprays work by helping reduce the inflammation inside your nose. They help prevent the release of certain substances like histamine in your body that cause inflammation, usually in the nose and throat. Histamine, for example, is naturally released in your body as an immune response to non-infectious allergens.
Antihistamine and steroid nasal sprays are used effectively for seasonal allergy sufferers or occasional allergies due to dust or other elements. They are commonly recommended as an anti-snoring remedy as they do not provoke insomnia.
They can be obtained over-the-counter or by prescription. Over-the-counter nasal sprays like Flonase can help if you are suffering from seasonal allergies or non-allergic rhinitis. They attack the source of the problem to alleviate the unpleasant symptoms like congestion and a runny nose. These types of nasal sprays can be used every day with little to no side effects or risks.
- Decongestant Nasal Sprays - Unlike steroid or antihistamine nasal sprays, decongestant nasal sprays work by constricting the inflamed blood vessels in your nose causing the congestion.
Decongestant nasal sprays are useful for temporary and short-term relief of congestion when you have a cold or flu. They are easily obtained over-the-counter and should not be used for an extended period of time because they can produce rebound congestion if overused.
- Saline Nasal Sprays - Saline nasal sprays are non-medicated liquids that are made of water and salt. They are used to moisturize the inside of your nose and to break down excess mucus when you have a cold.
Saline nasal sprays can be used in combination with the other types of nasal sprays to help reduce mucus so that the other sprays work better.
How to Use Nasal Sprays?
Nasal sprays come in different types of containers but all essentially provide a nozzle that you insert into your nose to spray the liquid either by squeezing or pumping.
Always follow the instructions that come with the nasal spray that you purchase.
There are numerous benefits of using nasal sprays to stop your snoring.
- You experience better restorative deep sleep.
- No sniffling, sneezing or feeling pressure in the nose.
- You wake up well-rested and ready for the day.
- Your partner also gets better sleep.
- You feel less of the symptoms which give you time to recover.
- You can have a more productive day.
While nasal sprays are effective and safe to use for most adults, they may have some side effects. Common side effects include minor nosebleeds, sores or white patches in the nose area, cough, and headache.
Decongestant Nasal sprays are known to cause rebound congestion if used over extended periods of time. There is also a chance to build up a drug tolerance to decongestant nasal sprays meaning that you will require more of the medicated spray to remain effective over time.
So do nasal sprays work for snoring? The answer is yes if your snoring is caused by nasal congestion.
Nasal sprays do work to help diminish or cease snoring when used correctly. The most important thing to do is to figure out what is causing your nasal congestion so that you can get the best type of nasal spray for your condition.
When used correctly, nasal sprays can help you and your partner get a better night's sleep.