Patient: Are there any nasal gels used to block contact of allergens with the internal of the nose that don’t have side effects? I have read that vaseline can cause pneumonia etc. I have used a gel that my brother’s doctor gave him and it works to an extent.
Doctor: While there are no nasal gels that are completely free of side effects, adverse effects are not a common occurrence with these products. Nasal gels rarely cause any significant side effects. Petroleum jelly (Vaseline is one of the brand names of petroleum jelly) does have the potential to cause pneumonia when used for long periods. This condition occurs when the petroleum jelly drains down the airways and accumulates in the lungs over time.Since most complications related to using the nasal gels occur when gel migrates down the airways, you should avoid lying down within a few hours of using the products.Unfortunately, there is not much scientific evidence to support using one particular nasal gel over another. Most of these products work by physically blocking potential allergens such as dust and pollen, with a few having antihistamines to alleviate allergy symptoms.