Nasal Congestion

Lloyd M. Loft, MD, FACS -  - ENT Physician

Lloyd M. Loft, MD, FACS

Ear, Nose, & Throat Physician & Sinus Surgeon located in Upper East Side/Midtown East, New York, NY

Nasal congestion, more commonly known as a stuffy nose, is one of the most common conditions that an ear, nose and throat physician treats. While mild nasal congestion may be nothing more than a temporary nuisance, chronic or severe nasal congestion can cause significant discomfort, sinus pressure and headaches, and loss of smell. Lloyd M. Loft MD, FACS, can provide expert diagnosis and treatment for relief of your chronic nasal congestion. Call Dr. Lloyd Loft at his New York City office located on the Upper Eastside, and Midtown East, Manhattan or make an appointment online today.

Nasal Congestion Q & A

What are some of the common causes of nasal congestion?

Nasal congestion occurs when the membranes that line the nasal cavity become swollen and inflamed. This swelling causes the inside of the nose to become narrow and restricts or blocks the flow of air through your nose. Temporary causes of nasal congestion such as the common cold or influenza may resolve within a week. However, chronic nasal congestion is frequently a symptom of a more significant underlying nasal condition or infection that can be effectively diagnosed and treated by Dr. Loft. Some of the common causes of nasal congestion include: 

  • The common cold
  • Sinus infections, including acute and chronic sinusitis
  • Deviated nasal septum
  • Nasal polyps
  • Enlarged nasal turbinates
  • Allergies
  • A broken nose

When should I speak to a physician about nasal congestion?

If your nasal congestion lasts for more than one week or is accompanied by other symptoms such as sinus pain, headache, facial pressure, postnasal drip, loss of smell, nose bleeds or persistent yellow or green or thick nasal drainage, then you should make an appointment to see Dr. Lloyd Loft for further evaluation, diagnosis and treatment. 

How does an ear, nose, and throat (ENT) doctor diagnose the cause of nasal congestion?

Dr. Loft will perform a comprehensive history and physical examination to fully evaluate your complaints of chronic congestion and diagnose the condition that is causing your symptoms. In many cases, Dr. Loft will use a fiberoptic endoscope to more thoroughly evaluate the inside of your nasal cavity and sinuses. An endoscope is a medical telescope with a thin flexible tube with a light and a camera that can be gently inserted into your nasal cavity. 

For chronic infections, a culture swab to rule out bacteria or fungus can also be performed. In some cases, a CT scan of the nasal cavity and sinuses would be ordered to more thoroughly evaluate the underlying anatomy and drainage pathways, especially for patients with nasal polyps, deviated septum and chronic sinus infections. 

How is nasal congestion treated?

The treatment of your nasal congestion will depend upon the condition that is causing it. After proper evaluation and diagnosis, Dr. Loft will recommend an individualized treatment plan. This may include a combination of non-prescription and prescription medications. Saline nasal sprays and sinus irrigations in addition to topical decongestants and antihistamines may be used to treat nasal congestion, sinus pressure, and headaches. Antibiotics and short courses of systemic corticosteroids may be used to treat acute and chronic sinus infections. 

In cases where patients have chronic symptoms and are not responding to appropriate medical management, Dr. Loft might recommend minimally invasive nasal and sinus procedures or sinus surgery. Procedures to repair a deviated septum, remove nasal polyps, and reduce nasal turbinate size can be very effective in providing lasting relief from chronic congestion. Dr. Loft also specializes in minimally invasive balloon sinuplasty and in-office radiofrequency reduction of the nasal turbinates for chronic congestion. 

Call Dr. Lloyd Loft MD, FACS or schedule an appointment online for expert diagnosis and treatment of nasal congestion.