Would You Pepper Spray Your Nose?
The world of sinus treatments is forever expelling new ideas, from balloon sinuplasty to those Provent apnea plugs. Today we examine the story of one man’s lonely quest to make capsaicin – the chemical that gives hot peppers their fire – into a nasal spray. His big idea is that the same foods which can “clear your sinuses” when you eat them might do an even better job when introduced directly into the nostrils.
This idea is actually not new, but the latest product is, as it contains a mixture of wintergreen and horseradish above the pepper oil base. And it offers a chance to discuss the phenomenon of fiery nasal sprays generally. Is it worth your time to spray an essentially corrosive chemical up your nose in the name of nasal relief?
The short answer is that we don’t know. Enough people use these sprays that it can be anecdotally stated that they probably don’t cause any immediate harm, but the larger question is whether consistent use of a powerful chemical such as capsaicin should even be necessary?
Many sinus ailments that benefit in the short term from sprays come roaring back once the use of those sprays stops. Unfortunately many of the most painful conditions may require sinus surgery, especially the patient suffers from frequent sinusitis or other chronic sinus symptoms.
So if you have long-lasting sinus distress and do not relish the thought of carrying around a vial of weaponized habañeros around all day, do yourself a favor and contact a Los Angeles sinus doctor today.