Respiratory: Allergies & Sinus Problems/Nasal Spray Addiction


I'm hoping that this is the right place to ask this question. I have recently beaten a nasal spray addiction that lasted almost two years. At its very worst I was having to use the pray every three hours in order to prevent my nose from completely blocking up. It all stemmed from a common cold where I used an over the counter brand named spay to ease the congestion so that I could sleep and it went on from there.

However, Although I no longer use the spray, I still wake up in the night every night with at least one blocked nostril. The one that is blocked will be which ever one is lowest. IE if I am sleeping on my left side it will be the left one. This has been going on for the last four months since I stopped using the spray. It is disturbing my sleep, waking me up and attributing to me snoring which wakes up my partner and is effecting our relationship.

Today I went to the DR's to ask his opinion on what I should do and he has prescribed me 'Sterimar' which is a NASAL SPRAY!! I am understably I feel scared of taking this (even though it claims to just be sterilized sea water?!) - as I don't want to get addicted again. He has said I should try this out for a couple of weeks and go back if it does not work??

What I would like to know is;

1. Am i likely to get addicted to this as well
2. Is there any method you know to stop my nostrils blocking up
3. When I go back to the DR's what should I ask and what should I expect to be done to help me??

Thank you so much for your time, I shall not be using the spray until I find out more about it,



Your issue is common. I would not look for the symptoms to leave any faster that the length of time that you used the sprays. It may subside faster depending on the damage done.

In the meantime these saline sprays are your only recourse. The Sterimar is composed of Normal Saline 96.5% and the following
The other main components are :
Magnesium chloride (~ 3.8 g/l)
Magnesium sulfate (~ 1.7 g/l)
Calcium sulfate (~ 1.3 g/l)
Potassium sulfate (~ 0.9 g/l)
Other less abundant components include :
and trace amounts of minerals :
All of which are advertized as the basic elements of sea water.

Your choice is to go to any CVS and buy Normal Saline Nasal douche and try it first, but if it doesn't work I would not hesitate to try the Sterimar.

Hope this helps. Also make sure that you pillows are protected by non-permeable covers and that you do not use any laundry detergent with odor, or ANY fabric softeners either in the washer or the dryer.

Cheers, Gene

Respiratory: Allergies & Sinus Problems

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Gene Sperling


I can answer questions about indoor air quality, respiratory medications, home toxins, allergies and VOC's (volatile organic compounds). Home and office environmental issues and general medication questions regarding side effects and interactions.


I have been a pharmacist for 30 years. I have been director of pharmacy services for a large teaching hospital, and have served as a consultant pharmacist to various out-patient programs. I have organized and managed various infusion programs treating infectious disease, immunologic diseases, and metabolic disorders. For the past 15 years I have operated a national respiratory pharmacy and devoted my time to assessing asthma, COPD, and emphysema patients and their problems. I know how to set-up and maintain a 'clean room' environment and I know how to resourcefully remediate environmental issues that cause health problems.

I am a current or past member of IAQA, IESO, CA Pharmacists Assoc., NCPA, Consultant Pharmacists Assoc., Calcerts, and many others. I have licensing from the GSA (Government Services Organization). I have served on the California Task Force for Disaster Preparedness under the Department of Health Services.

I am in the process of researching the application of Building Science as it relates to the Healthcare Industry. The purpose is to show the relationship(s) between 'sealed environments', poor construction, and improper equipment installations in modern homes and offices. The building boom of the 90's and 00's accelerated at a pace that did not allow proper oversight or adequate research of new techniques in construction design and the trades that applied them.

I have a degree in Pharmacy from the University of Oklahoma. I have upper division courses in bio-pharmaceutics, medicinal chemistry, organic chemistry, pharmacokinetics, toxicology, immunology, microbiology,etc. I have taken numerous post-graduate courses on respiratory disorders, mold, environmental issues, indoor air quality, building science, HVAC, clean room set-ups, womens health, and medication therapy management.

Awards and Honors
I have received a distinguished achievement award from the County of Los Angeles for work with the Asthma Reading & Education Program sponsered by the UCLA clinics and Martin Luther King Medical Center. I have sponsored winter ski retreats for children with asthma. I have served on the Boards of several home health agencies. My highest honor comes when I can help someone understand how their personal environment influences their health, and how their own awareness positively impacts their quality of living. There is no greater award than helping others.

Past/Present Clients
My past and current clients have been the thousands of patients and physicians that I have consulted for and with to assess alternative approaches to disease management through common sense treatment, and how our personal environment influences our overall health.

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