Friday, August 14, 2009

The Answer is Always Fire.

PRODUCT REVIEW - Allergy Buster Capsaicin Nasal Spray
Manufactured and developed by SiCap, a subsidiary of Dynova Laboratories

Let me start by saying that I have a terrible dust mite allergy. It developed several years ago while I was in law school and living in my parents' basement. Don't ever live in a basement that is too... basementy. You will develop respiratory issues. You may become shorter and more surly.

My allergy manifests itself in severe congestion. I don't get itchy eyes; I don't get the sniffles; I get get my nostrils blocked by gigantic chunks of hard, angry mucus. Of course, this is uncomfortable. Not to mention the fact that nothing grosses me out more than snot. I swear to you. I have seen a million gory photos and movies in the years, and while overexposure tends to make me a bit queasy, snot is the worst. I have seen Dead Alive, Peter Jackson's directorial debut and "The Goriest Fright Film of All Time", and all the blood and lawnmower mutilations and leaky monkey bite wounds did not get to me, but there's a scene where some pus glops into porridge and gets eaten, and I want to die when I see it. I'm gagging right now.

So I've tried many things to help me out with this problem - saline sprays, nasal steroids, pseudoephedrine allergy medication, hot water on washcloths. I have a friend who is an acupuncturist and she poked my face all up. It worked for a day, but not longer. Apparently it requires repeated treatments... maybe someday.

For now, I continue to take pseudoephedrine, despite the fact that it can be used to make meth. Only a certain formulation works, which starts with a Z and ends with yrtec-D. But it makes me drowsy. Nasal steroids work, but they're expensive. What to do?

I saw Allergy Buster at Rite Aid recently when there was no CVS in sight. I decided to try it, despite the fact that it contains capsaicin, which is the substance in hot peppers that makes them burn your tongue. Naturally I figured this would be a fine thing to spray up my nose.

The instructions are easy - 1 to 3 sprays in each nostril and snork it up. The package goes on to state that "you may experience a powerful sensation which lasts a few seconds."

Jesus H. Christ(Pardon my Aramaic). The "powerful sensation" is a horrid burning pain that shoots behind your eyeballs and makes you cough and wheeze. It's true that it only lasts a few seconds, but calling it a "powerful sensation" is like calling Hitler misguided. Shit in your hat and wear it backwards, SiCap - your description is "misleading".

You may be thinking, "What did she expect, spraying pepper juice up her nose? What kind of person does this?" A desperate person. Poor breathing does things to you. It makes it difficult to sleep. It makes it hard to eat with your mouth closed. It makes you shoot pepper spray up your nose.

Truthfully, I did expect a painful experience and not a powerful sensation. And truthfully, it works - at least for a little while. For the same reason your nose runs when you eat chili, the stuff clears out your sinuses. It also contains nettle, which is supposed to deal with the allergy issue, but I found that it didn't really prevent me from getting any stuffier. I've used it once a day for about a week, and its long term effect is nil for me.

For a quick decongestant, though, it really does work, and it contains no oxymetazoline hydrochloride, so no "rebound congestion". If you can get through the burning and have no expectations of a long-term cure, it's not a bad thing to have around the house.

Bottom line: Stinging and burning? Yes. Lying on the package about the stinging and burning? Yes. Works as a decongestant? Yes. Causes rebound congestion? No. Long term effects? Probably not.


No comments:

Post a Comment