Nasal-Delivery Decongestants . Nasal-delivery decongestants are applied directly into the nasal passages with a spray, gel, drops, or vapors. Nasal decongestants come in long-acting or short-acting forms. The effects of short-acting decongestants last about 4 hours; long-acting decongestants last 6 - 12 hours. The active ingredients in nasal decongestants include oxymetazoline, xylometazoline, and phenylephrine. Nasal forms work faster than oral decongestants and may not cause as much drowsiness. However, they can cause dependency and rebound.
Nasal polyps are soft, fleshy growths appearing in the inner lining of the nasal passage or along the sinuses. They usually occur in older people above the age of 40 but when present in children, they could be symptoms of other illnesses such as cystic fibrosis. Nasal polyps are non-cancerous and harmless in themselves. However, if they are too numerous or large, they can block nasal drainage, cause breathing problems, infections, allergies, sleeplessness, pain, headaches, vision disturbances. Symptoms are commonly confused with cold/congestion. Few known causes exist for their occurrence. Treatment: non-invasive topical cortico-steroid sprays, home remedies and surgery in severe cases.
General measures that allow mucus secretions to pass more easily may be recommended when it is not possible to determine the cause. Many people, especially older persons, need more fluids to thin out secretions. Drinking more water, eliminating caffeine, and avoiding diuretics (medications that increase urination) will help. Mucous-thinning agents such as guaifenesin (Humibid®, Robitussin®) may also thin secretions. Nasal irrigations may alleviate thickened secretions. These can be performed two to four times a day either with a nasal douche device or a Water Pik® with a nasal irrigation nozzle. Warm water with baking soda or salt (½ to 1 tsp. to the pint) or Alkalol®, a nonprescription irrigating solution (full strength or diluted by half warm water), may be helpful. Finally, use of simple saline (salt) nonprescription nasal sprays (., Ocean®, Ayr®, or Nasal®) to moisten the nose is often very beneficial.