Top 10 Best Nasal Sprays for Allergies | Buoy (2024)

Nasal sprays are an effective solution for alleviating allergy symptoms by reducing swelling and clearing mucus directly in the nasal passages where irritation from allergens often occurs. Some of them work within 15 minutes after use. Their localized treatment minimizes side effects compared to oral medications and provides fast, effective relief at the source of the problem.

This article will discuss the 10 best nasal sprays to help relieve allergy symptoms. We’ll also discuss what makes each suitable and how they can help you feel better.

Types of Nasal Sprays for Allergies

Nasal sprays are liquid medications squirted into the nasal passages to alleviate nasal congestion commonly caused by colds or allergies. They work by relieving stuffiness and reducing nasal discharge. These sprays deliver the medication in a fine mist, released from a pressurized container with a valve for adequate symptom relief.

​​There are a variety of nasal sprays on the market with different mechanisms of action. Knowing the differences is essential in making an informed choice on allergy relief. Here are the different types of nasal sprays that combat allergy symptoms.

1. Antihistamine Sprays

These sprays target nasal allergy symptoms by blocking histamine. Common side effects of antihistamine nasal sprays include the following:

  • Bitter taste
  • Dizziness
  • Drowsiness
  • Dry mouth and nose

You can get these with a prescription; some are also available over the counter. Prescription options include the following medications:

  • Patanase (Olopatadine)
  • Astelin (Azelastine)

An example of an OTC antihistamine is Astepro (the OTC version of Astelin)

2. Steroid Nasal Sprays

These are preferred for various allergy symptoms, especially for reducing inflammation and congestion. They work best when used regularly, typically once daily for a few weeks.

Common side effects of using steroid nasal sprays include the following:

  • Headaches
  • Nosebleeds
  • Nasal irritation
  • Cough

If you've had nose surgery, an untreated sinus infection, tuberculosis, or if you're pregnant or breastfeeding, talk to a doctor before using steroid nasal sprays.

Examples of steroid nasal sprays in the market are:

  • Rhinocort (Budesonide)
  • Flonase (Fluticasone)
  • Nasonex (Mometasone)
  • Nasacort (Triamcinolone)
  • Veramyst (Fluticasone furoate)

3. Mast Cell Inhibitor Sprays

Mast cell inhibitor nasal sprays work by helping prevent the release of histamine, reducing allergy symptoms when used consistently. They help control allergic reactions over time but don't provide quick relief. Still, they're essential for long-term allergy management.

Typical side effects are the following:

  • Sneezing
  • Nasal burning or irritation
  • Unpleasant taste

Given their safety profile, mast cell inhibitor sprays suit many users, including children and adults.

An example of a mast cell inhibitor nasal spray available OTC is Cromolyn sodium (Nasalcrom).

4. Decongestant Sprays

Decongestant nasal sprays provide immediate relief for nasal congestion but should be used short-term to avoid rebound congestion. It is generally advisable to avoid use beyond 3-4 consecutive days before taking a break from use.

These sprays shrink blood vessels in the nose to lessen congestion, but they don't stop sneezing or a runny nose. They give quick relief and are often used for sudden nasal blockage.

Common side effects associated with decongestant sprays are the following:

  • Sneezing
  • Nausea
  • Sinus pains
  • Vomiting
  • Dryness or burning in the nose
  • Rebound congestion with prolonged use, which can be difficult to treat

Contraindications for decongestant sprays include individuals who have the following conditions:

  • Cardiovascular conditions, such as high blood pressure or heart disease
  • Overactive thyroid or enlarged prostate
  • Pregnant women should consult a doctor before use

Some of the decongestant nasal sprays found on the market are the following:

  • Afrin (Oxymetazoline)
  • Zicam (Oxymetazoline)
  • Sinex (Oxymetazoline)
  • Dristan (Phenylephrine)
  • Neo-Synephrine (Phenylephrine)

5. Saline Sprays

Saline nasal sprays moisturize the nasal passages, which helps to thin mucus and moisturize the nasal lining. They can be used without side effects except for possible mild irritation.

Common side effects are minimal but can include the following:

  • Mild nasal irritation
  • A brief stinging sensation if the nasal passages are very dry

Examples of saline nasal spray products include the following:

  • Arm & Hammer Simply Saline (Sodium chloride, sodium bicarbonate)
  • Ayr (Sodium chloride 0.65%)
  • Amazon Basic Care Premium Saline Nasal Moisturizing Spray
  • Ocean nasal

6. Anticholinergic Sprays

Anticholinergic nasal sprays help dry up a runny nose by blocking acetylcholine, making them effective for allergic and nonallergic rhinitis.

Side effects associated with anticholinergic sprays can include the following:

  • Dryness of the nasal mucosa
  • Irritation or burning sensation in the nose
  • Headache
  • Dry mouth

People with narrow-angle glaucoma or trouble urinating should be careful with anticholinergics, and they're recommended for children.

The market offers Atrovent (Ipratropium bromide, 0.03%) as a prescription anticholinergic nasal spray. There are no OTC anticholinergic nasal sprays available.

Top 10 Best Nasal Sprays for Allergies

We understand the importance of effective allergy relief, especially in wanting to feel comfortable doing daily tasks without allergy symptoms. That's why we have meticulously researched and compiled a list of the top 10 best nasal sprays for allergies.

Our selection is based on carefully evaluating factors such as the following:

  • Efficacy
  • Active Ingredient
  • Potency
  • Each of administration
  • Potential side effects

Whether you're seeking immediate relief from acute symptoms or a long-term solution for managing your allergies, our top recommendations are detailed below.

Top 10 Best Nasal Sprays for Allergies | Buoy (2024)
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