Nasal sprays are commonly used for self-treatment of seasonal bouts of rhinitis or sinusitis and other, allergic reactions that don’t present any grave danger. All nasal sprays use a basic method of distributing the drug or the medication through the nasal passage. This is very useful for decongesting clogged nasal passages and hence, many nasal sprays are also retailed as decongestants. The delivery method is essentially the same in all nasal sprays wherein upon pressing upon the pumping system, a fine, mist-like spray of the drug/medication is delivered internally, i.e. into the nasal cavity.
This form of direct, hand-operated medication delivery systems renders quick results and that is the major reason for the widespread popularity of nasal sprays among OTC medications. Among the many type of nasal sprays available in the market, there are four main types. These four categories are-corticosteroid-based nasal sprays, topical-application decongestants, homeopathic nasal sprays and antihistamine sprays. Among these four types of nasal sprays, the most widely-used are the antihistamine sprays like the Astelin nasal spray.
Understanding Antihistamine Nasal Sprays
Most allergic reactions are precipitated when the chemical-histamine, is produced in more-than-normal amounts in the body. This is the core theory of every allergic reaction and the typical symptoms like watery eyes or swollen nostrils that are attributed to allergic reactions. Histamine isn’t harmful and is produced by the body when it faces the threat of an external agent or an allergen. However, the presence of heightened levels of histamines in the body creates the typical symptoms described above that are commonly referred to as ‘inflammatory reactions’. The over-production of histamines is actually a part of the body’s immune system to filter out the allergens that have seeped into the body. For example, pollen grains are often suspended in the air and get stuck in the nasal chambers when they are inhaled by an individual. Histamine production means that the excessive amount of nasal discharge would help to remove the pollen grains that have stimulated the body’s immune system. However, the presence of excessive nasal discharge can be very uncomforting for the individual. Thus, antihistamines, like Astelin nasal spray, are used. These chemicals are quick to compete for the receptor sites that help in raising the histamine levels, thereby impairing the overall inflammatory action that is associated with allergic reactions.