I never used Afrin, but I used to use Neosoephrine Nose Drops.  Over ten years ago, I had a cold and thought it was hanging on way too long , close to a month.  Horrible nasal congestion and itchiness in nasal passages.  After a month of that, my sister urged me to get off the nose drops and felt very strongly that was causing the problem.  So I followed her advice and for the first nite just used the tiniest amount at one point.  I used mentholatum on outside edge of nostrils! and slept more elevated.  Into the second day my nasal congestion "rebound effect" had resolved and I ve never used them since.  If I have a cold I use cold meds, not drops or sprays.  Also, when I blow my nose, I try to do so lightly to avoid closing down my nasal passages, which helps.