Treating Stuffy & Runny Noses

Dr. Chad Ruffin

ENT Doc and CI Surgeon

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Treating Stuffy & Runny Noses

The initial treatment of chronic sinusitis, nasal breathing issues, and allergies are all similar. Each of these conditions is often associated with inflamed mucous membranes inside the nose.

So treatment is geared towards decreasing nasal inflammation so that you can breathe better, have less postnasal and runny nose, a better sense of smell, fewer infections and sinus attacks, and less of a run-down feeling.

Treatment is a three-pronged approach:

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  1. Nasal saline irrigations such as a Neti-Pot or Neilmed irrigator washes out stagnant mucus. It also washes out allergens such as pollen, pet dander, and dust mites before they have a chance to cause inflammation.
  2. Nasal steroid sprays are very low dose steroids that decrease inflammation.
  3. Oral antihistamines prevent the allergic reaction and inflammation from happening within the immune cells. Both of these are very safe for long term use.

This daily over the counter treatment works really well when done together for a couple of months. So well that half of people need nothing else!

Again, these treatments are best when used daily on a schedule. It is very difficult to keep inflammation down in the long term when they are used only as needed. Remember to ask your doctor when you have a flare up because antibiotics or oral steroids might be helpful.

Warning: Nosebleeds, numbness of the face, and double vision are not signs of run of the mill nasal issues. They are warning signs that need to be evaluated quickly by a doctor.

If this three pronged approach fails to help for a couple of months, make an appointment to see your doctor.

There are other prescription medications that may be helpful. Some of these are antihistamine eye drops or nose sprays. Some people may benefit from allergy testing to guide treatment with allergy shots. A few patients need a combination of medical treatment and surgery to relieve their symptoms.

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Patient Reviews of Chad Ruffin, MD

Dr. Ruffin is committed to providing every patient with outstanding care. Hear what patients of Dr. Ruffin have to say about their experience with him.

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Dr. Ruffin was the first person in over 10 years to actually take the time to really listen to me. He took the time to figure out what’s actually going on without chalking it up to something simple and sending me on my way.

Liz H.

I really appreciated Chad's honesty with options, having surgery being a last result and most of all explaining everything in layman's terms. I couldn't be happier with my experience and really appreciate him getting to the bottom of my ear issue and making it feel better than it ever has!

Mathew M.

Dr. Ruffin was incredibly knowledgeable, thorough and compassionate. He took the time to fully understand the issues and was able to provide immediate relief. Nothing short of a miracle here. Furthermore, the entire team was very kind and professional. One of the best medical experiences I have had!

Brian F.