Nasal steroids are important medicines to help treat allergic rhinitis or hay fever. They are helpful in reducing nasal inflammation, nasal congestion, runny nose and sneezing. Other medicines available to treat hay fever include oral antihistamines, nasal antihistamines, anti-leukotriene modifiers and nasal saline. Recently, the FDA approved nasal triamcinolone for over-the-counter use which means that consumers will soon be able to purchase a nasal steroid spray without a prescription. Although these nasal steroids are safe under a medical provider’s care, they do have some potential risks and concerns:
- Symptoms of hay fever can be similar to other ailments like sinus infections, viral colds, and chronic sinus inflammation. If you have cold-like symptoms outside of those normal to your hay fever, please see your health care provider.
- Nasal steroids can lead to nose bleeds that can be very concerning to patients, which is why proper usage and technique are important. Your health care provider can examine the nasal tissues to make sure no damage is occurring.
- Side effects involving the eyes, which include glaucoma and cataracts, are potential yet uncommon risk factors of topical steroids. Those at risk for these conditions should talk with their physician.
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