Allergies and nasal congestion can be a nuisance, especially when they affect your breathing. Whether it's because of allergies, a cold, or sinus, not being able to breathe freely throughout your day can be exasperating . Thankfully, a popular and effective way to combat this problem is by using nasal sprays. However, with so many types of nasal sprays available, how do we know which spray best suits our needs? Where can you find the best nasal spray in Singapore? In fact, is there even such a thing as “the best spray”?
Before we dive into discovering “the best nasal spray in Singapore”, it is important for us to understand the applications of nasal sprays.
So, what is a nasal spray? A nasal spray is a medicated device administered to your nostrils via a squeeze bottle. They provide a targeted and localised way to administer directly to the nasal area, thereby relieving a wide range of nasal issues.
Understanding Nasal Sprays
Nasal sprays have a well-established history of use in the field of medicine, primarily for their local impact on the mucous membrane. Traditionally, conditions such as sinusitis and nasal congestion, often resulting from flu or exposure to allergens, have been treated with prescription or Over-The-Counter (OTC) nasal sprays. 
It is only recently that the well-known nasal sprays, including decongestants, saline rinses, and antihistamines, have gained recognition for their ability to deliver therapeutic substances systematically and directly into our nostrils. So, before the advent of modern nasal sprays we have today, various methods and remedies such as steam inhalation and herb extracts with anti-inflammatory properties were used to clear the airways and thus clear nasal congestion.
However, it is important to note that the use of remedies is only based on traditional knowledge and cultural practices rather than modern scientific evidence. With advancements in medical science and technology, modern nasal sprays have largely replaced traditional remedies as they offer more precise dosing, better sterility, and a controlled delivery mechanism of medications and treatments.
The Types of Nasal Sprays
There are several types of nasal sprays, each designed to address specific nasal issues, but not all of them are effective at relieving nasal congestion. One could be ideal in providing relief from congestion, while the other is effective at stopping a runny nose. Therefore, it is important to be aware of the common local nasal sprays we have in Singapore and their uses.
1. Corticosteroid Nasal Sprays
Corticosteroid nasal sprays commonly treat allergic rhinitis by reducing mucus and swelling in the nasal passageway. They consist of active ingredients such as Fluticasone furoate (Avamys 27.5mcg), Budesonide, and Mometasone Furoate (Mometasone Nasal Spray 0.05%) aids in reducing inflammation of nasal passages.
Do you ever recall being dispensed a white and blue spray bottle by a pharmacist? That would be the commonly prescribed medication (Avamys 27.5mcg) given by your doctor when you are down with a blocked nose. To get a steroid nasal spray, it is important to see a doctor as they usually require a prescription. It works best when used every day as it may take 2 weeks for your symptoms to improve.
Decongestants provide relief for blocked or stuffy noses. How does congestion even start, then? Well, when your body senses an invader such as a cold or a flu, blood vessels tend to swell up, and thus, your nose feels stuffed up. Decongestants aid in easing these symptoms by reducing the inflammation of blood vessels in your nose and opening the airways in order to help you breathe better.
 When you are down with a flu, you may even be given oral medications, which contain pseudoephedrine (Zyrtec-D), which acts as temporary relief of stuffy nose and sinus pressure. Similar to these oral tablets, you may also be given decongestant nasal sprays that work similarly, but nasal sprays tend to be more localised and provide rapid relief, too. Examples would be oxymetazoline (Nazolin 0.05% nasal spray), phenylephrine (Clariclear nasal congestion relief spray), and pseudoephedrine (Sudafed 12/24 nasal decongestant spray). 
However, you might want to avoid them if you have high blood pressure or any existing heart condition. Decongestants tend to raise blood pressure and pulse rate, cause you to feel nervous and dizzy and may make it difficult for you to sleep.
3. Saline Nasal Sprays
Saline nasal sprays treat blocked noses by providing moisture to nasal passages and helping to clear mucus with non-medicated ingredients such as saline solution (salt water), thus, it is usually regarded as a ‘natural’ remedy. Doctors would even prescribe this with corticosteroid nasal sprays in order to eliminate mucus before administering the steroid sprays to reduce the thickness of your mucus.
 Does it taste salty? Maybe a little. The salt solution is streamed into the affected nostril(s), and the nasal cavity flushes out and expels irritants and blockage, thereby relieving nasal congestion. If you are a person who struggles with a blocked nose, you should check these saline sprays out: NeilMed Sinus Rinse by Dr Mehta and Fess Saline Spray.
Not only do saline nasal sprays aid in sinus, cold, or allergy symptoms, they are great for children. Because they consist of a natural solution that does not contain any medication, they can be used as often as needed. In fact, they are popular among infants and children as they can help relieve congestion in children who are unable to blow their noses and clear mucus. Flo Baby saline nasal spray and Flo Kids Saline nasal spray might even be essentials for new mummies out there to make breathing easier for your little one when nasal congestion comes knocking on your door. 
As this is a salt solution, it rarely causes side effects. However, if your throat feels irritated or has a weird (usually salty) taste, rinse or gargle your mouth.
With that being said, let's address the topic of nasal issues. Nasal issues refer to a range of problems that affect the nose and its functions. The two most common nasal issues faced by Singaporeans are allergic rhinitis and sinusitis. Both of these conditions share common symptoms of sneezing, runny or stuffy nose, itching in the nose, and nasal congestion. The nasal passage can be blocked and lead to difficulty breathing through the nose.
Do you notice that some of us tend to go crazy with our sneezes when encountering a dusty environment (dust mites), animal fur, or flowers (pollen)? That’s because the immune system is reacting to harmful allergens. In fact, a patient with allergic rhinitis (also known as hay fever) already has a hypersensitive nose lining. It is a very common allergic condition that causes the nasal passages and sinuses to be inflamed and irritated. When uncontrolled, it can obstruct the sinuses, leading to sinus congestion, sinus pain, and sinus infection.
When you are down with allergies, it is advisable to seek the following guidelines:
- Stay indoors
- Use a portable air purifier
- Clean the air-conditioner filter regularly
- Drink plenty of fluids
- Rinse your nasal passages using saline nasal sprays. (e.g. NeilMed Sinus Rinse by Dr Mehta)
Nasal Sprays for Allergies
When allergies strike, you can consider using the following:
1. NeilMed Sinus Rinse by Dr Mehta: Saline nasal spray to rinse the insides of the nose.
2. Nasal corticosteroids: They are the most effective in treating allergic rhinitis as they focus on the anti-inflammatory action of your nasal passages(e.g.Avamys 27.5mcg and Mometasone Sandoz Nasal Spray 0.05%).
3. Decongestants: These Over-The-Counter (OTC) medications (Nazolin 0.05% nasal spray) can be easily accessible in times of a sinus crisis. Decongestants, such as Nazolin, focuses on reducing congestion of blood vessels and help in relieving facial pain and sinus congestion. However, their use should be cautious and limited as they are not a long-term solution and can lead to rebound congestion.
These nasal sprays work faster and are targeted compared to pills; therefore, they are the best choice for rapid allergy relief.
Do consult a doctor if your allergic rhinitis becomes uncontrolled and you are symptomatic, especially when it affects your work, sleep, and concentration. It is advisable to see an Ear, Nose, and Throat (ENT) specialist if you have frequent (> 4 hours/day) and severe allergic rhinitis. 
B. Nasal Sinusitis
Ever heard “My morning sinus is so bad!” from any of your peers? Well, that may be sinusitis for you. It means the sinuses (air-filled cavities in the facial bones) are inflamed or infected. The common “morning sinus” we hear happens due to mucus accumulation in the sinus and nasal cavity when we sleep, leading to morning congestion and pressure. Bacterial and viral infections can also irritate them, causing them to get blocked and filled with fluid. This can cause pressure and pain in your face, and nasal congestion.
But first of all, let's talk about sinuses. What are they? They are the 4 paired cavities in your head. They make mucus that drains out of the narrow passages in your nose. So, when the drainage is working perfectly fine, your nostrils are kept clean and free of bacteria and mucuses. But if those harmful particles and mucus get stuck in those narrow passages, it can get painful and congested.
The common symptoms you will experience range from runny nose, facial and ear pressure, fever, stuffy nose and even postnasal drip. At times, because of the postnasal drip, it might even experience bad breath. 
Nasal Sprays for Sinusitis
Typically self-care is usually all that is needed to ease symptoms of sinusitis. The following might be of help to ease symptoms:
1. Saline nasal spray: The salt solution that can be used multiple times a day will greatly help in rinsing the insides of the nose and prevent a dry nasal passage. (E.g. NeilMed Sinus Rinse by Dr Mehta)
3. Decongestants: This Over-The-Counter (OTC) medication (Nazolin 0.05% nasal spray) is easily accessible in times of a sinus crisis. Decongestants such as Nazolin focus on reducing congestion of blood vessels they help in relieving facial pain and sinus congestion.
There are also some home treatments for sinusitis that focus on the cleanliness of your nasal passages. It is advisable to:
- Use a humidifier to keep the nasal passage moist
- Drink lots of water to thin out your mucus and prevent congestion
- Place a warm, wet towel on your face to relieve discomfort and open your nasal passages
- Avoid chlorinated pools as they can cause irritation
- Keep your head elevated when you lie down. 
Do consult a doctor if your sinusitis becomes uncontrolled and you are symptomatic, especially when it affects your work, sleep, and concentration. It is advisable to see a doctor if you have nasal congestion and sinus pressure for more than 7 days.
So, Is There Such a Thing As The “Best Nasal Spray in Singapore”?
There is no “best nasal spray”, as each of them has its special mechanisms of action according to your symptoms and conditions. It is thus crucial to understand how they work in order to be familiar with which local nasal spray works best for you.
Head over to Glovida-Rx Pharmacy to check out the different types of nasal sprays available, ranging from safe infant use to adult use. Find it a hassle to constantly make your way down to your nearby pharmacy or polyclinic to get a new spray every time you run out? Glovida-Rx Pharmacy is here to serve you at our fullest with our e-pharmacy, where we are able to dispense you not only Over-The-Counter medications but also Pharmacy-Only and Prescription-Only Medications (POM) medications.
We seek to enable individuals to make well-informed healthcare decisions tailored to their preferences and safety. We provide both medications and expert guidance conveniently to our customers. Our approachable pharmacists are readily available for assistance, reachable via Whatsapp at 81015555 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. With Glovida-Rx Pharmacy, you can confidently navigate healthcare choices for yourself and your loved ones without hesitation.
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