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How Do I Properly Use My Nasal Spray?

How Do I Properly Use My Nasal Spray?

Medically Reviewed By:
Dr. Shuba Iyengar, MD, MPH
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Dr. Shuba Iyengar, MD, MPH
After graduating from UC Berkeley, Shuba completed medical school at Duke University, earning her MPH in tandem at UNC. After a research fellowship at the NIH, Shuba completed her residency at Stanford, then fellowship in allergy-immunology at Boston Childrens/Harvard.

Shuba returned to the Bay Area to join Dr. Bocian at a large multi-speciality health system where she helped lead an allergy practice. She cofounded Allermi to make expert allergy care more accessible for all.
Written by:
Katelyn Johnson, B.S., M.B.A, CMA
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Katelyn Johnson, B.S., M.B.A, CMA
Katelyn Johnson is a freelance writer, Certified Medical Assistant, and Nationally Registered EMT with 8+ years of clinical experience across multiple specialties. She has a Bachelor’s in Biology, Master’s in Healthcare Administration, and is currently obtaining a Bachelor’s in Nursing. Katelyn is an advocate for providing patient education in an approachable way through online resources.

When using a nasal spray for allergies, it is important to use the proper technique to avoid accidentally making your nose sore. 

First, you want to stand up straight, then bend at the hips to look down towards your feet. This is called the “nose-to-toes” position. Insert the nozzle into your nose about a centimeter and point it straight up. You want to avoid touching the middle of your nose, which is very sensitive and can sometimes bleed. Holding down one nostril, squeeze the bottle firmly and quickly into the other, sniffing up at the same time. Repeat for the other nostril. Stay in nose-to-toes and sniff up with tiny little sniffs (like a bunny!) for 10 seconds. 

When using nasal sprays, most allergists recommend using a nasal saline spray first to wash out allergens and moisten your nasal passages. Most saline nasal sprays mainly consist of salt and sterile water. You can then follow this with a medicated spray. For more information on nasal sprays, see our section on nasal allergies.