From the Addiction to nasal spray (Privinism) at least 100,000 people are affected in Germany, many experts even assume 1 million addicts.
Effect of addictive nasal sprays
At the beginning of the addiction is first of all the pleasant and fast-acting The effects of decongestant nasal sprays. Anyone suffering from a severe cold can quickly find relief with such a nasal spray. Within minutes of application, the effect begins: the blood vessels in the nasal passages contract, the mucous membranes swell and free nasal breathing is possible again.
However, the effect is as liberating as it is short-term. When the effect wears off after a few hours, the blood rushes back into the vessels, the mucous membranes swell again and the symptoms return. Addictive nasal sprays do not combat the cause of the blocked nose, but merely mask the symptoms. The actual cause remains untreated.
Once the effect has worn off, it is natural to reach for the nasal spray again. The promise of a clear nose is great and the side effects secondary or unknown. Many, in fact, overlook the warnings in the package insert about a danger that quickly sets in: addiction to nasal spray (privinism).
Privinism: Habituation turns into addiction
Once the use of nasal sprays has become a habit, it can be difficult to after 2 weeks of regular use difficult to get away from it again. To make matters worse, the initial doses soon become insufficient to clear the nose. Nasal spray addicts therefore quickly find themselves in a pre-programmed vicious circle: in order to bring about the desired effect, one has to spray more and more often in ever larger doses.
The Signs of an emerging dependency increase rapidly: the fear of not being able to breathe without the spray gradually increases. Sufferers of nasal spray addiction don’t go to sleep without taking another dose of. You no longer dare leave the house without a spray and only feel safe with a vial in your pocket. When trying to abstain, choking anxiety and heart palpitations occur.
Side effects of nasal spray addiction
Those who are addicted to nasal spray have to cope with long-term use harmful consequences calculate: The substances contained in the sprays (such as xylometazoline or oxymetazoline) exert their effect by paralyzing the natural function of the mucous membranes. This has a short-term decongestant and relieving effect on a blocked nose, but in the long term it damages the cleaning system of the nose.
The Mucous membranes are permanently undersupplied with nutrients, they dry out, become thinner and thinner, and can no longer perform their task as a filter for penetrating pollutants. At the same time cilia, which remove the mucus, are permanently destroyed and the susceptibility to invading viruses and bacteria increases.
In case of chronic dependence on nasal sprays, the worst case scenario is the threat of a so-called "Stinky nose". It occurs when the mucous membrane of the nose is largely destroyed and a greenish coating, studded with pathogens, forms in the nose. The phenomenon is called "stinky nose" because the coating gives off an unpleasant foul odor. Not least for this reason, the question for those affected by the nasal spray addiction is how to withdraw as quickly and easily as possible.