Rebound Congestion

Rebound Congestion

Rebound Congestion

What is Rebound Congestion?

Rebound congestion is a worsening of your nasal congestion due to nasal decongestant sprays such as Afrin (oxymetazoline). Rebound congestion is also known as rhinitis medicamentosa, chemical rhinitis, nasal spray addiction.

Your nasal passages can develop a dependence to these medications in as little as three days; for this reason, the boxes and your healthcare providers will tell you to only take these medications for no more than three days

Causes of Rebound Congestion

The reasons why rebound congestion occurs are complicated and not well understood. You may again begin to feel severe congestion, which is only relieved by the additional use of a nasal decongestant spray. Thus, a vicious cycle is set up. This is thought to be related to two possible causes:

Use of nasal decongestant causes inadequate blood supply (because of the constriction of blood vessels) which causes swelling to occur in your nasal passages.

Use of nasal decongestants causes nasal receptors that respond to decongestants to down-regulate (reduce in numbers) which leads to congestion.


When evaluating you for rebound congestion, your healthcare provider will take a thorough medication usage history as well as perform a nasal exam. Typically with rebound congestion, your nasal passages will appear to be red with a thicker than the normal nasal mucous membrane.

How Decongestants Work

A common belief is that congestion is caused by mucus blocking your nasal passages. This is only partially true. The underlying cause of congestion lies in the blood vessels that line your nose. Certain conditions can cause these vessels to become swollen or constrict.

When the blood vessels in your nasal passages become swollen due to a cold, allergies, sinusitis, exercise, or hormonal changes, congestion occurs. However, when the blood vessels constrict, there is more space in the airways and your symptoms subside.

Medications used to treat congestion, called decongestants, help alleviate the symptoms by causing the blood vessels in your nose to shrink (a process called vasoconstriction). They are available both in oral and nasal spray formulations.


If you are already addicted to a nasal spray, talk to your healthcare provider. Some healthcare provider may recommend a gradual decrease in the use of the medication until you are completely weaned off it. This may be preferable than trying to quit the medication outright, which may result in severe congestion for a number of days.

One of the best ways to wean you off nasal sprays is with a Rhinostat kit, a metered-dose delivery system that dilutes the nasal spray dose by 10% to 15% every day until your nasal turbinates return to their normal state.

For example, if your rebound congestion was caused by Afrin and your healthcare provider gave you a prescription for "Rhinostat" you would essentially receive Afrin in a special bottle that allows you to very gradually decrease the dose because of the way it is dispensed.

Another class of medications, called nasal corticosteroids, may also be helpful during the process of weaning off of nasal decongestants. Oral steroids are also sometimes used but only as a last resort. The first week is usually the most difficult and you may experience severe congestion and headaches which then begin to subside.

Treating the underlying condition for which nasal decongestants were originally used is also an important part of the treatment process.

About Iranian Surgery

Iranian surgery is an online medical tourism platform where you can find the best doctors in Iran. The price of Rebound Congestion Treatment in Iran can vary according to each individual’s case and will be determined based on photos and an in-person assessment with the doctor.

For more information about the cost of Rebound Congestion Treatment in Iran and to schedule an appointment in advance, you can contact Iranian Surgery consultants via WhatsApp number 0098 901 929 0946. This service is completely free.



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Online Consultation