June 28, 2011 7:49 AM   Subscribe

Anyone ever had a "bad reaction" to saline nasal spray? I took some this morning (about 4 hours ago) and my head has felt like crap ever since. I've felt really dehydrated and have been guzzling water. Now my whole body feels weird.

My boyfriend told me to rinse out with clear water, which I did. My sinuses now don't feel as much as "on fire" as they did earlier.

But I now feel "Weird" kind of like, I don't know, in my blood. Similar to how I feel when I get severely hungry but I have been eating all day.

I'm at work and I don't know when I'll be able to go home.

I took the nasal spray in the first place to try to help with this "patulous Eustacian tube" that I get sometimes.

What's going on?
posted by bleep to Health & Fitness (7 answers total)
First of all, rinsing your sinuses with pure water hurts like a sunnuvabitch. Saline is actually what you want to use, as it's got the same concentration of salt as your blood.*

Second, I highly doubt that all of this is being caused by the saline as such. It's just salt water and shouldn't have any systemic effects on you whatsoever. Why were you using it in the first place? Do you have a cold or something? Because that seems a far more likely explanation for what's going on.

However, sticking anything up your head can make you feel weird if you do it wrong.** Are you sure that everything you put up there is out? The sinuses are weird little cavities, and it's entirely possible to have excess liquid in there which will only drain if you tilt your head at a certain angle, etc. If you've got problems with your Eustacian tubes, it's possible that some of that made its way up into your inner ear, which will screw with your equilibrium six ways from Sunday. Again, not the saline per se, just the presence of liquid where it ain't supposed to be.

*Which, incidentally, is why seawater can feel better up your nose and on cuts than pure water, as the salt concentration is about the same, oddly enough.

**I speak from experience. Recovering from sinus surgery results in one doing things one would never otherwise think to do. Like permitting someone to stick a nine-inch steel spike up one's nose. *Shudder*.
posted by valkyryn at 7:59 AM on June 28, 2011

It is very very likely that you are getting sick, which is why you feel bad and also why you sprayed. It's really unlikely that you did anything with the spraying that is causing the feeling you have now.

That almost shaky feeling you describe is what I call my "oh shit here it comes" feeling, which happens a few hours before the virus I've caught days before makes itself known.
posted by Lyn Never at 7:59 AM on June 28, 2011 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: Okay I just ate a candybar, and feel a lot better. The red alert was called off in my blood (as I was typing this I was getting all kind of alarms going off). My (amateur unsubstantiated) theory is that the spray made the chemistry in my blood go all out of whack (the salt, the dehydration, all the water I drank to fix that, leading to a blood sugar problem?) I wouldn't expect this to happen either because I know that saline is supposed to be the same salt/water concentration as your blood but who knows. I still feel dehydrated but my head and my blood feel better. STRANGE TALES.
posted by bleep at 8:36 AM on June 28, 2011

It's possible that all your water guzzling knocked your electrolytes out of balance. It would also explain why your body was craving food.

The saline solution that you sprayed up your nose probably trickled down into your stomach. I bet you it had absolutely nothing to do with how you were feeling.
posted by royalsong at 9:19 AM on June 28, 2011

The saline could have been contaminated with bacteria or something. By spraying it up your nose, you would have forced it into your sinuses and kickstarted an infection.
posted by MexicanYenta at 9:34 AM on June 28, 2011

As someone who has regular blood sugar problems AND uses saline spray sometimes, my theory is that you used the spray but also needed to eat. Everyone experiences hypoglycemia. Sometimes it happens at the same time as something else.
posted by katillathehun at 9:51 AM on June 28, 2011

The likelihood that you knocked your electrolytes out of whack with the trivial amount of saline in a nasal spray is near zero. Have you ever eaten potato chips? Compare and contrast the volume of sodium.

It is far more likely that you stimulated a nerve and then overreacted and had a panic attack.
posted by rr at 11:49 AM on June 28, 2011

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