It may take up to 4 weeks for the ears to start feeling normal. One must also try to pop the ears immediately after nasal spray use and every hour while awake throughout this period of time. When one tries to pop the ears, try to blow out your nose with your nose pinched shut with your fingers. Popping the ears in this manner, esp after nasal spray use helps to squeeze some of the medication into the eustachian tube. Do not exceed the pressure one uses as if you have mild constipation. Swallowing or yawning does not work as well in this situation.
If the steroid sprays don’t provide enough relief for you, considering adding an antihistamine spray (such as azelastine or olopatadine). Those are available by prescription, but studies show the combination can provide more relief than the steroid spray alone. Another option is an antihistamine pill , like fexofenadine (Allegra and generic), loratadine (Claritin and generic), or cetirizine (Zyrtec and generic). And if you’re already taking one of those and it’s working to relieve your symptoms, our medical advisers say there’s no need to switch or add a steroid or antihistamine spray.
The use of the steroid nasal sprays in treating rhinitis medicamentosa was studied by Drs. Graf, Hallen, Enerdal and Juto in 1997. Their landmark study published in the Journal of Clinical and Experimental Allergy forms the basis of the use of steroid nasal sprays in treating rhinitis medicamentosa. A copy of this study is available on our medical research page. From the perspective of the rhinitis medicamentosa patient, the single most important aspect of treatment is the ability to continue to move air (breathe) during the withdrawal process. The 1997 RM study (see Figure 3 – Inspiratory Flow vs. Placebo) concluded that the use of the steroid nasal sprays offered no improvement in air movement when compared to placebo during the first 4-7 days.