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How to use your nasal spray

Why has my child been prescribed a nasal spray?

Nasal sprays are used to deliver antihistamines and steroids directly to the nasal passages. Nasal antihistamines help with symptoms of itching and sneezing, while steroids are used to control the inflammation in the nasal lining. Some nasal sprays should be used every day to keep symptoms at bay. A lack of symptoms means that the treatment is working and should be continued.

How to use a nasal spray

  • Always ensure hands are clean before applying a nasal spray.
  • Always ensure the spray device is working and primed.
  • Shake the bottle before use.
  • A spray can be applied either in the morning, evening, or both.

Step 1

Clear the nose by gently blowing. This prepares the nasal area by removing mucous that otherwise would trap the medicated spray, preventing it from reaching the nasal lining.

Illustration of person blowing nose into a tissue

Step 2

Bend the head forward, bringing your chin to your chest. This position closes off the back of the throat and allows the spray to reach the correct area inside the nose.

Illustration of person with their head tilted slightly forward

Step 3

Hold the spray in the opposite hand to the nostril in which you are about to apply the spray. This makes sure you aim the spray away from the septum which has only a thin layer of membrane and can be easily damaged.

Please note, how to hold and activate the spray depends on the device being used. Please follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Step 4

Using the opposite hand to the nostril, place the end of the spray bottle just inside the nostril pointing away from the septum. This will ensure the spray is aimed toward the fleshy turbinate inside the nose.

Person holding spray bottle in one handIllustration of person holding spray bottle in one hand and inserting it into their opposite nostril

Illustration of person holding spray bottle in other handIllustration of person holding spray bottle in one hand and inserting it into their opposite nostril

Step 5

Activate the spray. Do not sniff.

Each spray will release a metered dose of the medication. Sniffing hard causes the medication to pass straight through the nasal cavity and swallowed.

Step 6

Change hands and repeat this action in the other nostril. Using the opposite hand ensures that the spray bottle continues to be angled away from the septum.

For further information, please contact:

Allergy nurses on 0114 226 7872

Respiratory nurses on 0114 271 7414

The Anaphylaxis Campaign on 01252 542029 or visit www.anaphylaxis.or.uk

The British Allergy Foundation on 0208 303 8525 or visit www.allergyuk.org

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Please note: this is a generic information sheet relating to care at Sheffield Children’s NHS FT. These details may not reflect treatment at other hospitals. This information is not intended as a substitute for professional medical care. Always follow your healthcare professionals’ instructions. If this resource relates to medicines, please read it alongside the medicine manufacturer’s patient information leaflet. If this information has been translated into another language from English, efforts have been made to maintain accuracy, but there may still be some translation errors. If you are unsure about any of the guidance in this resource or have specific questions about how it relates to your child, always ask your healthcare professional for further advice.

Resource number: ALG9

Resource Type: Article


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