Blocked Nasal /sinus: For some time now my... - Pain Concern

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Blocked Nasal /sinus

Darkin profile image
Darkin

For some time now my nasal passages block regularly. At the time I was referred to ENT they found nothing untoward.

The only way i can unblock my nose is using a nasal spray, metazoline hydrochloride, which certainly works. The only problem is dependancy factor. I wish to wean myself off this drug but find it difficult as I cannot get a decent nights sleep with both passages completely blocked.

Any techniques alternative solutions ? Thank you.

44 Replies

Hi, There are no easy solutions but I have found Sterimar Breathe Easy spray helpful . .It is basically like sluicing out your nostrils etc which helps to unblock. I also burn peppermint and bergamot essential oils in an oil diffuser.

I wish you well with coming off the spray. Your GP needs to advise you on this, but additionally you could have a private chat with your pharmacist- they often have a better overview of medications.

Good luck

Have you tried getting a bowl of steaming hot water and put some Vic in and when it's melted get a towel and put it over your head and lean over the bowl as near as you can and breathe in for a while it should help as it as helped me in the past . Clive

Darkin profile image
Darkin in reply to Littleboy

Tried all these but the problem is that the nasal blood vessels are dilated (inflamed) which causes complete blockage, so far nothing but the drug mentioned above constricts these blood vessels providing relief. Unfortunately one becomes dependent oh this drug and the symptoms return after a few hours.

Hi I have had sinus problems in the past, I ended up having surgery but salt water rinses are really good, you can buy cans of salt water or isatonic sprays in most pharmacists. Also steam baths, I used to use oils which I had to buy from the pharmacist, my gp in France used to prescribe it, some were very good.

Darkin profile image
Darkin in reply to salamander160

I also use a saline and sodium bicarb. spray but as above this had no effect on the dilated nasal passages.

I was referred to the ENT for the same problem and I was told that I had a deviated septum too. I was also diagnosed with sleep apnea and now use a CPAP machine which greatly aids my sleep. I would push for the test for sleep apnea, as it only involves wearing a small device on your finger for one night.

Darkin profile image
Darkin in reply to Neckback

If I dont clear my nasal inflammation with the metazoline spray, I generally dont sleep at all ( try sleeping with a peg on your nose, not kidding !)

Neckback profile image
Neckback in reply to Darkin

I’ve tried it all Darkin, from nose clips to sprays and even nasal inserts!The CPAP gives you a constant positive air pressure and has massively improved my quality and length of uninterrupted sleep, it’s been a life changer!

Darkin profile image
Darkin in reply to Neckback

Never heard of CPAP. Ill check it out thank you.

Neckback profile image
Neckback in reply to Darkin

You will need a referral by your GP to your ENT consultant and then his referral to a sleep department. Good luck

Hey Darkin, I have exactly the same problem and only the said nasal spray works for me. I've been buying and using it for years. I too don't want to rely on this but everything the GP has ever given me doesn't work. I'm just going to keep using it as it is the only thing that works. Maybe we should speak to our pharmacist and they might know. I notice my nose is worse with cold air. Best wishes and good luck.

I was told by my ENT consultant that continued use of some nasal sprays can further damage you nasal linings, I would check with them to be on the safe side.

Darkin profile image
Darkin in reply to Neckback

True, but how does one sleep with in effect a peg nipping ones nostrils ?

Neckback profile image
Neckback in reply to Darkin

I didn’t breathe through my mouth and would wake up not breathing, plus turning over on your pillow knocks it off...

Darkin profile image
Darkin in reply to Neckback

But if i don't breath through my mouth and my nose is completely blocked, i' d have trouble waking up, period !

Neckback profile image
Neckback in reply to Darkin

Yes, I was awakened because I wasn’t breathing, your brain kicks in and wakes you up, either that or I would get very little sleep as a consequence of worrying about not waking up , that’s why I ended up using a CPAP machine...

Last night i cleared one nostril only with the spray, this allowed me to breath through my nose and give me a few hours sleep.Ill keep this routine up until hopefully the other nostril will wean itself off the drug and swelling will reduce of its own accord.

When it does, stop using the spray completely. In theory both nostrils should return to normal.

I would have thought a topical steriod spray would also reduce the inmfammation as it does for the likes of PMR which i also suffered some time ago....

Yes, I know the problem. I've been using a nasal spray for the past 20 years. My nose is dependant. If I try to stop then I can't breath. I had a camera put up my nose and it was clear. So nothing actually causing the stuffiness. I have been told that you get nasty withdrawal, like having an awful cold for a couple of weeks when you stop using, so please don't use a spray for as long as I have. My son uses a Vicks inhaler and these are a lot less addictive for your nose. Try swapping for one of those and then try stopping gradually.

Darkin profile image
Darkin in reply to Carlettejaque

Exactly, you reckon it takes a couple of weeks for symptoms to relieve them selves ?

Carlettejaque profile image
Carlettejaque in reply to Darkin

That's what my GP said. As a result of using a nasal spray for 20 years, I now have trouble with mucus sticking around my vocal cords making it difficult to speak. I am continually clearing my throat and I often can't speak at all because my voice comes out strangled and warbely.

Darkin profile image
Darkin in reply to Carlettejaque

Is there not now an operation to your sinuses which will reduce the lining of the nasal passages ?

Carlettejaque profile image
Carlettejaque in reply to Darkin

No, my GP was quite dismissive. He just said stop using the nasal spray and put up with the withdrawal symptoms. He said after that he could prescribe a steroid spray which would stop the mucus. I'm already on steroids for an over active immune system. If I stop with the nasal spray I can't breath through my nose at all and I can't breath through my mouth becsuse the steroids have made my teeth really sensitive and air going in through my mouth makes my teeth hurt. Its a very annoying situation.

Darkin profile image
Darkin in reply to Carlettejaque

Somebody mentioned a CPAP machine ? You could get the steroids online .I think it is Mometasone spray .I'm weaning my self off the metazoline spray by treating one nostril only which allows me to breath through the nose and hopefully the other nostril will gradually wean itself off the drug at which point i stop using the spray, at least in theory . Are you on preds ?

Carlettejaque profile image
Carlettejaque in reply to Darkin

Yes. My GP said you can't use a steroid spray while on nasal decongestant sprays. I'm not sure weaning one nostril at a time works? I will have to try switching to a Vicks sniffer, perhaps one up each nostril and see if that works. It will look mad but if it works I don't care.

Darkin profile image
Darkin in reply to Carlettejaque

I meant the steriod spray as a substitute to the metazoline as steriods lower inflammation and fluid secretion I think.Checked out the vicks products one of which contains menthol and the like but does not lessen the dilation of the nasal linings.

The other, vicks sinex, is in fact metazoline. So back to square one .

Spraying up just one nostril clears it but the other remains unaffected.

So i think it should work as the spray is topical, provided the cause is dependance, rather like a steriod cream...

Hi Darkin. I've had issues with a blocked nose almost all of my life. They've told me I've got non-allergic rhinitis, which means nothing really. It simply says that I have all the symptoms of having an allergy but respond negative to all the tests. It seems that my nose is better when I cut down on wheat products and anything too processed or containing yeast (you need to double-check the labels for many food products) seems to make things worse. I don't have any dairy products. I fare better in drier climates, like the south of France.

As yourself, using saline sprays to rinse my nose make things worse as it dilates all the vessels and my nose gets swollen. Same with cortisone sprays or steam. What helps me a fair bit is Olbas. Exercise can get my nose to swell as well.

I think you may need to check with different foods if it gets better, try different vitamins, herbal remedies, and check that you are not surrounded in your house by indoor pollutants.

All the best.

Darkin profile image
Darkin in reply to Chleo11

Cortisone spray is a steriod ? I understood steriods reduce inflammation in general.

Hi Darkin- I have exactly the same issue as you and use nasal decongestant sprays constantly. My nose issues are very common to opioid users - whether prescribed opiates or ‘recreational’. My issues started when my GP put me on OxyContin for chronic pain.

I’ve tried everything. Spoken to Dr, tried steroid sprays, nasal washes etc but nothing works other than Sudafed. I’m resigned to being on that for the rest of my days.

Darkin profile image
Darkin in reply to JerryR

I'm treating just one nostril now which allows me to breath through my nose whilst hopefully weaning the other off the drug and eventually clearing itself, hopefully. After that stop using the metazoline.

Ditto! I have other illness such as a bad spinal injury/pain so I just resign myself to taking Sudafed because I just can't breathe through my nose otherwise.

Darkin profile image
Darkin in reply to JerryR

Looks like the only remedy is to stop using this drug.Last night I managed not to use the spray so i'll persevere .

I have had the same problem for years. I think it was started by a deviated nasal septum but I could breathe OK when younger and playing sport. Metazoline spray works well for me and it is correcting a chemical deficiency in the nasal mucosa so can be used indefinitely. Steroid sprays should only be used short term and I have had them in the past. I am a health professional and had my nasal septum finally operated on, 10 yrs ago. I say we should look upon our bodies like classical cars. They need regular maintenance and extra lubricants to keep going as we get older. Just use the minimum to help clear the nasal passages. I use the spray before I go to bed and still do not sleep through, but that is mainly old age, I think. I can sniff up OK. Keep going. All the best

Darkin profile image
Darkin in reply to ExCarer

But why do you use the metazoline spray if your nose is not blocked. There is no question and according to the pharma. advice it should not be used for more than a few days blocked or not, to stop dependance. Just read some of the previous posts. You don' t need to be a professional to figure that out.I' d advise you to stop taking it.

Hi Darkin,

I too have had this problem for years and ended up using industrial quantities of Beconase !

Sometime last year during 'lockdown' we found ourselves short of milk and decided to to buy some local unpasteurised milk from a local dairy farm where it is sold via a milk dispensing machine. Having used it for a day or two I was amazed to find it completely cleared my nostrils and could breathe freely...absolute bliss !

The downside is that it caused me to put on weight, so I now only use it as a pre bedtime drink.

Whether this works just for me, I do not know but it could well be worth a try.

Darkin profile image
Darkin in reply to Alex3

Don 't take dairy products. Thanks anyway.

If I don't use the spray at night my nose is blocked, so it is not a question of dependence

Darkin profile image
Darkin in reply to ExCarer

Same here. But a couple of days ago I tried stopping the drug spray , had little sleep and sustained myself with a saline spray and a bedside humidifier and little sleep, So far, would you believe, although I have the effects of a cold, running nose etc. the sinus dilation seems to be on the wane. The metazoline spray I have not touched since Saturday night.During the day, although I have the sniffles, my nose is mostly unblocked.

Ps. I have only had this problem of dependence for a couple of months so I cannot imagine the difficulty for the people relying on metazoline drug for years on end.

Darkin profile image
Darkin in reply to ExCarer

So far I have not reverted to the spray . My nasal passages are somewhat blocked but i still get a couple of hours of sleep . The problem reduces after rising and sitting upright. Also the Doctor has prescribed Mometasone Fuoate spray which is a cortisone steriod and will reduce any swelling/ inflammation, topically. I can be used for a much longer time than one should use the metazoline. So i'll let you know how i get on, but things are already looking better and I am determined to stop the metazoline spray.

Neckback profile image
Neckback in reply to Darkin

How’s the humidifier working for you Darkin? I have a humidifier attachment on my CPAP and that has made a world of difference as opposed to using it without one.

Darkin profile image
Darkin in reply to Neckback

I'm not sure but it wont be doing any harm esp. given how dry my bedroom is. However, wait for it, after a couple days of using the spray on the left nostril/ sinus , i stopped it all together. For about 4 nights still the nostril blocked and large mucus production but i resisted using the spray indeed put it out of sight. It definitly helped to sit up and on occasion got up and retired to the living room. I also made use of a saline spray to help clean thr sinuses and had the use of a steroid spray spray twice a day. So for the first time in about 3 months , i have woken up with little or no blockage, after about 10 days. So now mucus production is dwindling also so it does look good.Looks like the medical " two week" advice is bang on,

that being the time scale to lower the dependence on this insidious Jekyll and Hyde metazoline drug.

So good luck but if you are still using it ,you will always be dependent on it .

Neckback profile image
Neckback in reply to Darkin

Good to hear you’re having some success! I totally agree about the sitting upright helping to elevate the blockage, but I’m so happy that the CPAP and humidifier attachment are allowing me to lie down without using any spray. Good luck

I have blocked sinuses also, I do sinuses rinses. It helps for a few hours but this is a continuous thing. I use a sinus machine fill it with warm water and do it that way. There are also sinus rinse bottles you can buy. You buy saline rinse packets to go with it.

Darkin profile image
Darkin in reply to Cat622

I managed to wean my self off the metazoline completly. It took about a fortnight but the swelling had gone and i wake up with no nasal blockage for the first time in months. So problem solved.

Cat622 profile image
Cat622 in reply to Darkin

Happy to hear that. I even had surgery and take Lyrica because I have headaches which I believe are my sinuses. Still trying to solve the problem lol but glad to hear things worked out for you and wish you continued success! 😊

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