I refuse to use a medicated nasal spray, even when it’s the most effective nasal spray to use. These days, I rarely use any kind of nasal spray but when I do, it’s a saline nasal spray.
I was once addicted to medicated nasal sprays, the kind you get over the counter without a prescription. It got so bad that my sinuses wouldn’t open up without them. One addiction was more than enough - it took me months to wean myself off of them.
If you live near the ocean, or you spend time swimming in it, you know your sinuses will clear right up while you’re swimming. That’s because of the salt, a key part of the human body (which comes out in our tears and perspiration).
If you look hard enough, you can find drug-free saline nasal spray in just about any drug store. Unfortunately, it costs about the same amount as the medicated kind.
Since saline is just another word that means salt water, it makes sense that saline nasal spray would clear up most sinus congestion problems (but not all). There is an easy way to prepare it for yourself and save a ton of money in the process, if you consider how often you’ll be using it.
The only problem is that you need an empty spray bottle. You can use an old nasal spray bottle or you can find empty ones in certain drug stores. I use old, empty spray bottles after I’ve rinsed them well.
There are only three things you need to prepare saline nasal spray: A spray bottle, table salt, and bottled water. You don’t want to use tap water because tap water has things in it that may actually cause your sinus condition to get worse.
This is what I do: I use an 8-ounce glass filled with bottled water and add a teaspoon of table salt. I stir the water until all the salt dissolves into it. Then I take the top off the empty spray bottle and fill it with the water. There is always leftover water, but I’m not going to drink it. It’s way too salty.
Whether you choose to make it yourself or get it at a drug store, it’s entirely your choice. I recommend using it instead of a medicated nasal spray and you don’t have to worry about becoming addicted to salt water.
With the medicated nasal sprays, you have to be extremely careful how much you use. Use too much for a congested nose and you automatically develop post-nasal drip, going from one extreme to the other. I can vouch for that because it happened to me.
With a saline nasal spray, you don’t have to worry about it. Once your sinuses are clear, you’re good to go. The extra salt water will drip from your sinuses automatically and you can breathe easy. The only disadvantage, that I’ve found, is that you need to use it quite often when you’re sick.
Originally published in February of 2014. Updated for readability and minor corrections.