To use smelling salts effectively, a person should hold smelling salts about 10 centimeters (cm) from the nose.
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People typically use smelling salts to either rejuvenate someone who has passed out or to help enhance athletic performance.
There is little risk to a person using smelling salts, as long as they follow the directions and do not use smelling salts as a way to reenter a game or event after suffering an injury.
A person should still talk to their doctor before using smelling salts for athletic performance to get an idea of how it may affect their health.
There are no known side effects with long-term or short-term use of smelling salts. However, a person should avoid overusing smelling salts or holding the smelling salt too close to the nose. Concentrated exposure can damage the nasal membranes.