Which nasal spray is best for seasonal allergies?

Ears, Nose & Throat

Seasonal allergies are caused by many things and vary by person. Trees usually cause spring allergies, summer allergies are caused by grasses and fall allergies are typically caused by ragweed.

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Choosing the best nasal spray for seasonal allergies

The changing of seasons is often accompanied by undesirable side effects known as seasonal allergies. Seasonal allergies plague many people due to the sudden presence of specific plant pollen that only appears during certain times of the year.

Allergies can make us feel under the weather, but you don’t have to let irritating allergies ruin your fun plans. Nasal sprays are an effective way to relieve common allergy symptoms like congestion, sneezing and runny nose. We’ve included our top nasal spray picks for seasonal allergies so you can decide which one is best for you.

Types of nasal sprays

There are many different types of nasal sprays, all with different pros and cons. Figuring out which type of nasal spray is best for you will help you narrow down your choices.

Decongestant nasal sprays

Decongestant nasal sprays work by temporarily shrinking the blood vessels inside your nasal passages, which often cause allergy symptoms and sinus pressure. Common decongestant nasal sprays include Afrin, Dristan and Sinex. While these tend to work quickly, you should not use them longer than three to five days, as prolonged use is not recommended.

Steroid nasal sprays

The most common type is a steroid nasal spray. These nasal sprays contain corticosteroids which work to reduce inflammation. Some well-known steroid nasal sprays are Nasacort and Flonase. These aren’t fast-acting and instead work better after consistent use.

Saline nasal sprays

Saline sprays are great for those who want a natural approach to relieving their allergy symptoms. They contain no medication and are just a simple saline solution that works by flushing out your nasal passages. Because they are non-medicated, they may not reduce all allergy symptoms.

Antihistamine nasal sprays

When you have an allergic reaction, your body produces histamines to get rid of the foreign invader, which could be pet dander, dust mites or seasonal allergens. The histamines cause typical allergy symptoms like sneezing, itching and runny nose. An antihistamine blocks the effects of histamine. These are only available by prescription.

How to use nasal sprays

While most nasal sprays have similar instructions, it’s vital to check the instructions on your nasal spray for specific instructions before following any other advice.

  1. Wash your hands.
  2. Clear your nasal passages by gently blowing your nose. 
  3. Check your instructions to see if priming the bottle is necessary.
  4. Close the opposite nostril you plan on spraying. 
  5. Breathe in deeply while spraying. 
  6. Check instructions for the number of sprays necessary and if it needs to be repeated.

Best nasal spray for seasonal allergies

Afrin Original Maximum Strength Nasal Congestion Relief

Afrin Original Maximum Strength Nasal Congestion Relief

Afrin uses oxymetazoline in its formula, which is also present in many over-the-counter cold remedies. Afrin works by stimulating the constriction of blood vessels in your nasal passages. Sold by Amazon

Nasacort Allergy 24HR Nasal Spray

Nasacort Allergy 24HR Nasal Spray

Nasacort takes a few hours to start working but will provide relief for up to 24 hours. It is an intranasal corticosteroid, which works best for nasal congestion. Sold by Amazon

Kid's Xlear Saline Nasal Spray

Kid’s Xlear Saline Nasal Spray

If your little one is suffering from seasonal allergies, this nasal spray is a great choice. It’s all-natural and non-medicated, working by flushing bacteria, airborne allergens and pollutants in your nasal passages. Sold by iHerb and Amazon

Xlear Xylitol Saline Nasal Spray

Xlear Xylitol Saline Nasal Spray

The same non-medicated formula for kids is also available for adults. The main ingredient is xylitol, a natural substance found in fruits and vegetables. Sold by iHerb and Amazon

Vicks Sinex Severe Nasal Spray

Vicks Sinex Severe Nasal Spray

Sinex uses oxymetazoline which relieves sinus pressure and shrinks swollen nasal membranes. It offers relief for up to 12 hours.

Sold by Amazon

Vicks Sinex Saline Nasal Spray

Vicks Sinex Saline Nasal Spray

This version of Sinex is a drug-free saline nasal spray for those who prefer a more natural route to relieve seasonal allergies. The saline spray will clear your nasal passages from allergens, irritants and congestion. Sold by Amazon

Bayer Neo-Synephrine Nasal Spray

Bayer Neo-Synephrine Nasal Spray

Allergy symptoms are often caused by dilated blood vessels in your nasal passages. Bayer works by shrinking those blood vessels to relieve congestion and sinus pressure. Sold by Amazon

Rhinocort Allergy Nasal Spray

Rhinocort Allergy Nasal Spray

In addition to treating your existing allergies, Rhinocort also blocks what causes your allergies. It’s an anti-inflammatory glucocorticoid containing the active ingredient budesonide. Sold by Amazon 

Flonase Allergy Relief Nasal Spray

Flonase Allergy Relief Nasal Spray

This non-drowsy nasal spray relieves your seasonal allergy symptoms for up to 24 hours. It uses the active ingredient fluticasone. Sold by Amazon

Dristan 12-Hour Nasal Spray

Dristan 12-Hour Nasal Spray

Dristan narrows the blood vessels in your nasal passages. This reduces swelling and congestion caused by allergies, offering relief for 12 hours. Sold by Amazon

NasalCrom Nasal Spray

NasalCrom Nasal Spray

Instead of focusing on damage control after experiencing allergy symptoms, NasalCrom works by preventing your nasal allergy symptoms before they even start. It is not an antihistamine nor a steroid. Sold by Amazon

Arm & Hammer Simply Saline Nasal Mist

Arm & Hammer Simply Saline Nasal Mist

This saline nasal mist is a natural way to experience allergy relief by flushing nasal passages without medication or steroids. It also moisturizes your nasal passages. Sold by Amazon

Mucinex Sinus-Max Severe Nasal Congestion Relief Sinus & Allergy Nasal Spray

Mucinex Sinus-Max Severe Nasal Congestion Relief Sinus & Allergy Nasal Spray

Mucinex is a fast-acting nasal spray and relieves allergy symptoms for up to 12 hours. It promotes nasal & sinus drainage to clear nasal passages. Sold by Amazon

NutriBiotic Nasal Spray Plus

NutriBiotic Nasal Spray Plus

This nasal spray is a natural and non-medicated way to relieve allergy symptoms using grapefruit seed extract and peppermint. It’s also vegan and made without gluten and GMOs. Sold by iHerb 

FlutiCare Nasal Spray

FlutiCare Nasal Spray

FlutiCare is a glucocorticoid, which fights congestion, sneezing and runny nose. It’s non-drowsy and works for up to 24 hours. Sold by Amazon

 

Bre Richey is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.

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