September 05, 2018

Dr. Chang Quoted in Refinery29 Article About Nasal Spray Addiction

Dr. Chang was quoted in a Refinery29 article regarding risks of using decongestant nasal sprays such as Afrin. The risk mainly being that a person's nose may become addicted to such nasal sprays, a medical condition called rhinitis medicamentosa.

Check out the article which was published in Aug 2, 2018! Dr. Chang is quoted as follows:
I wanted to ask an expert what the verdict really is on nose spray, so I turned to Christopher Chang, MD, an otolaryngologist in Warrenton, VA.
"It's totally safe and fine to use a nasal decongestant spray as it does work VERY well and quickly to alleviate nasal congestion/obstruction due to illness and/or allergies," Dr. Chang says via email. Take that, haters. But he typically recommends that people only use nose spray for three days. "If an individual uses such sprays for more than three days, that's when the nose may start to risk becoming 'addicted' to it," he says.
You can tell when you're dependent upon nose spray because you'll feel like you have to use it several times a day, Dr. Chang says. "One may initially start off using it once a day, but than over time, you now need to use it two times a day, then three times a day," he says. And if you continue to "need" to use the nose spray daily even after your cold or allergies have subsided, then it's usually a sign that you've used it too much, he says. Ultimately, if you become dependent upon nasal spray to breathe, then it'll take longer to resolve the underlying issue. In some cases, people may need to use other medication to treat it, or have surgery to correct the problem.
Read more about afrin and other decongestant nasal spray addiction here.

Please keep in mind that such nasal spray addiction concerns ONLY apply to decongestant nasal sprays. This issue does NOT happen with other forms of nasal sprays including steroid (ie, flonase) and anti-histamine (ie, astelin) nasal sprays.

Fauquier blog
Fauquier ENT

Dr. Christopher Chang is a private practice otolaryngology, head & neck surgeon specializing in the treatment of problems related to the ear, nose, and throat. Located in Warrenton, VA about 45 minutes west of Washington DC, he also provides inhalant allergy testing/treatment, hearing tests, and dispenses hearing aids.

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