When winter is in full swing, I have to brace myself for the dry air. Beyond bundling up and applying lots of lotion, I gently swab my nostrils with petroleum jelly before leaving the house. This cotton swab trick might sound odd, but it helps keep my nostrils moisturized to avoid nosebleeds. Although this takes less than a minute to do, I recently found out that using oxymetazoline nasal spray is a much simpler, less invasive way to avoid nosebleeds.
What is oxymetazoline nasal spray used for?
Oxymetazoline spray is most commonly used as an over-the-counter decongestant to relieve nasal discomfort caused by colds, allergies, and fever. To make it even better, this spray can also be used to hamper nosebleeds, according to a recent research article published in Otolaryngology–Head and Neck Surgery.
The authors noted that this spray causes vasoconstriction, which is when the blood vessels in the nasal passages shrink and become narrow. This slows down blood flow to the blood vessels and ultimately stops nosebleeds. Researchers highlighted previous studies that confirm this amazing advantage, such as this one published in Hawai’i Medical Journal that found a 75 percent decrease in nosebleeds among 36 adults treated with this spray. Similar findings in Annals of Otology, Rhinology & Laryngology mentioned that this nasal spray caused a 65 percent reduction in nosebleeds even without other treatments.
These two studies contributed to the authors acknowledging this nasal spray to be an effective way to stop nosebleeds. But there are a few things you should keep in mind beforehand so that you can safely use this spray.
Can I use oxymetazoline nasal spray everyday?
Luckily, you can find oxymetazoline nasal spray in stores and online. (One to try: Afrin Original 12 Hour Nasal Congestion Relief Spray Buy from Walmart, $5.08) For the best results, spray two to three spritzes (one dose) in each nostril every 10 to 12 hours. But be sure to avoid taking more two doses within a 24-hour period. Otherwise, it can cause a reverse effect and worsen nasal and congestion symptoms. Call your doctor if you’re still experiencing frequent nosebleeds after three days of using this spray.
To me, spray that can pull double duty to avoid nosebleeds and clear a stuffy nose is a godsend. I’m honestly looking forward to ditching the cotton swabs and switching to this spray to protect my nasal airways all winter long!
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This article originally appeared on our sister site, Woman’s World.