Decongestants or nasal sprays may help relieve a stuffy
Decongestants shrink swollen tissues in the space behind the
eardrum (middle ear). This may relieve pressure and pain. They
can be taken by mouth (oral) or in nose drops or sprays. Oral decongestants are
probably more effective and provide longer relief than drops or sprays, but
they cause more side effects.
Sprays and drops provide rapid but
temporary relief. Sprays and drops are less likely to interact with other
medicines, which can be a problem with oral decongestants.
For more information about medicine safety, see the topics Over-the-Counter Medicine Precautions and Quick Tips: Giving Over-the-Counter Medicines to Children.
You also can make a saline solution nasal spray or use a humidifier to help thick or dried mucus to drain. These will not cause
July 9, 2012
E. Gregory Thompson, MD - Internal Medicine
& Christine Hahn, MD - Epidemiology
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