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  • Category: ENT

    Is it recommended to use inhalers during cold or blocked nose?

    Having a cold or blocked nose? Wondering if inhalers can be used? Find answers to your query on this page.

    I would like to know if I can use inhaler during severe cold or blocked nose. I have seen many people using it during extreme cold continuously to get relief. I am not sure about benefits / effects of using it. Some people have even got addicted to it and use it even when there is no cold. So, request the doctors and health care specialists in ISC to clarify my doubts regarding inhaler.
  • Answers

    5 Answers found.
  • Hi,
    Inhalers/ Nebulizers are devices which are recommended by doctors for patients who experience shortness of breath ( breathlessness ). These devices usually deliver either a Brocho-dilator or steroid into the airways, reduce the inflammation in the airways and thereby eases the patient's breathing.
    Whereas cold or blocked nose usually do not require such inhalers unless there is associated breathlessness and cough .

    A doctor prescribes these inhalers after examining the patient's chest with a stethoscope.

    These inhalers should not be used routinely without doctor's advise. Because steroids/ brocho-dilators have serious side effects unless judiciously used.

    For a common cold, it will be helpful to drink plenty of fluids and vitamin- C rich foods.
    Consult your doctor . After examination, he/she may prescribe you an anti-allergic medication or a nasal decongestant to relieve the nose block. But do not use these inhalers without advise.

  • Some inhalers contain steroids to reduce inflammation in asthmatics and their repeated use can cause you to gain weight and even cause Cushing's disorder. So, frequent use of inhalers must be avoided.

    "If you are killed in action, you go to Heaven. If you win, you rule this Earth (as beautiful as Heaven). That is why, O son of Kunti, take a firm resolve and fight!"-- Shrimad Bhagwad Gita

  • What I personally felt that by using inhaler often to clear the blocked nose or stop the running nose, the nostrils get irritation sensation and feel like more sneezing. What I recommend that instead of using inhalers have the eucalyptus oil rubbed on the nose and inhale for a while. Surely the relief is great and the results are instant. If you are not having the eucalyptus oil at home, make the camphor to powder and mix with little water and inhale the same , the relief would be instant. My elders used to tell that cold and cough comes on its own and goes on its own even if we wont apply any medicine ?

    K Mohan @ Moga
    'Idhuvum Kadandhu Pogum "
    Even this challenging situation would ease

  • Inhalation is one of the methods to dispense medicine to the affected parts. This is used when the affected parts are the upper respiratory system . While the oral medicines take time to get into the blood stream and start their action, the medicines inhaled directly reach the nose, throat and lungs and start working immediately.
    This has enabled the use of nebulisers and sprays and atomisers.
    For the normal seasonal cold and related nose blocking the common inhalers( like Vicks, Amrutanjan or Emami) are helpful, in severe conditions one may need the nasal sprays with chemicals and even steroids.
    The above named common cold inhalers contain aromatic essential oils of eucalypus, pepper, and other easily volatile essential oils. The inhaled vapour of the oils make their way through the blocked mucous and thus clear for air passage. They then reach the throat and lungs when taken in sufficient quantum and work better as they have medicinal effects in cold and minor infection conditions.
    The chemical sprays and nasal drops on the other hand work differently. When they touch the surface of the inside nose and lugs, the body reacts by shrinking the blood vessels of the area and thus making way for air passage. Hence such chemical inhalers and sprays should be taken only under medical supervision and a qualified and experienced doctor's advice. Long-term use can become ineffective and may need increase of dose and potency of the drug and thus may cause harmful effects .

    Even the normal aromatic oil based vaporisers and inhalers can cause minor bleeding and swelling of the external nose tips for persons who are sensitive and have not much exposure to such oils. So they should use them gradually and in small frequencies first.
    Inhalers give effect for some very short time and may need repetition.

    The most harmless method is steam inhalation or inhaling hot water vapours.
    Here one should be very careful, because steam can cause burn if carelessly inhaled and exposed to sensitive skin and eyes. Nowadays there are steam inhalation apparatus , It is always better to take a test dose first and then adapt posture and quantum for exposure of inhalation.

  • Please don't use inhaler.Instead i suggest you to follow the below

    1.Take a bowl of hot water and add little bit of eucalyptus oil or vicks vapor rub.Breath in the hot steam and cover it with towel so that steam doesn't escape easily.Do this for 10 - 15 Minutes , 2 times a day.

    2.Take head bath with warm water and also consume hot water.

    Using hot water will actually help to melt the coughs and relieve you from nose blockage, sore throat, headaches.

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