Seasonal allergies may be worse this year in some areas. For those who suffer from severe allergies, nasal steroids may relieve symptoms such as itchy eyes, sneezing, congestion, runny nose, and postnasal drip.

Allergies cause the body to produce histamines and other chemicals that can cause swelling in the nasal canal. That swelling is  experienced by you as nasal congestion. Nasal steroids, in the form of nasal sprays, work to reduce the swelling.

Nasal steroids aren’t the steroids that athletes use to increase muscle mass (sometimes illegally). Nasal steroids are corticosteroids, which mimic a chemical that the body makes called cortisol.

Follow instructions on the package of the steroids and ask your doctor or the pharmacist for instructions for how to use the medication. With nasal spray, generally try to spray away from the wall that separates the nostrils. Breathe slowly through your nose to encourage the medication to stay in your nose and not run down your throat.

Nasal steroids may be able to be taken alongside other allergy medications, but talk with your ear, nose, and throat doctor to be sure it’s ok. You should start to feel allergy relief within a couple of hours and full relief in a few days.

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