Mr William Flannery BM BS FRCS(ORL-HNS)

Using a nasal spray

Medication in the nose

Nasal steroids come in drop and spray forms. The spray form is more common and consists of a bottle with nozzle. When the base of the bottle and the nozzle are squeezed together (activated), a metered dose of medication comes out as a plume.

Most patients are given a nasal spray without any real instruction on how to use it. Intuitively you might think pointing the nozzle down the nasal airway, activating it and then snorting is the obvious thing to do. However this technique medicates the throat beautifully but misses the inside of the nose!

The video below demonstrates the best way to use a nasal spray.

Check list

  • Blow your nose gently
  • Wash your hands
  • Shake the bottle
  • Remove the top
  • Holding the spray in your right hand, cross your arms like an 'Egyptian mummy'
  • Lean forward
  • Insert nozzle into left nostril aiming for the outer corner of your left eye
  • Squeeze twice and gently sniff up any excess
  • Change hands and insert nozzle into right nostril, aiming for the outer corner of the right eye
  • Squeeze twice and gently sniff up any excess
  • Replace the cap
  • Wash your hands