Sinus Issues - Long Term Afrin Use

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Hello,

A long time ago I went through a period where I was using prescription medication through insufflation. It was for about a year and I started to use Afrin regularly to help clear my sinuses. Thankfully I got my life together with medical intervention but I never dealt with the sinus issues that have affected me ever since. I use Afrin still a few times a day and I've been doing it for years. I'm afraid of the damage I've done to my sinuses both through insufflation and through mt chronic use of Afrin. I've avoided seeking medical attention because of the anxiety of what damage I might find. It's a self-perpetuating cycle as I know I'm only doing further damage with my Afrin use. Are there medical solutions that could help me deal with the sinus damage/afrin use or have I probably done irreversible damage? This is obviously a lingering issue that I never went back to address and I'm finally working my courage up to face this issue so to whoever can help, your knowledge and care will help me immensely. Thank you in advance!

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    I'd never heard of Afrin (I'm in the UK) but a quick search tells me it's only intended for short term use and there's a danger of 'rebound congestion' if you use it long-term.

    It says: "Because vasoconstrictors constantly starve the nose of nutrients and oxygen, the body will compensate by enlarging the veins in the nose, which creates a daily cycle of congestion and dependence on the spray. As the individual uses the spray more often to gain relief, it begins to build a tolerance, requiring more applications to achieve the same relief".

    Looks like you're hooked then. I have no idea what medical interventions there might be to help you. What happens if you just stop using it? Do you feel 'blocked' and start to panic? Do you just feel you 'need' it, even when you don't? I have no answers but curious to know what symptoms you have as you don't mention blocked sinuses or the usual things mentioned in this forum.

    Although not an expert, what I have just read about long term Afrin use makes me suggest that you stop using it. Take a 1000mg capsule of evening primrose daily - after a few weeks this should make your sinuses feel improved. If you feel you are blocked try dissolving one or two menthol crystals in boiling water and inhale the vapour (be careful not to scald your nose on the steam!).

    It will probably take a while but, if you don't want to go to the docs and risk surgery you must start to do something and these two ideas may help.

    Good luck!

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