Lignocaine spray for anaesthetising the nasal mucosa for fibreoptic bronchoscopy often causes discomfort to the patient. We compared two techniques of applying nasal topical anaesthesia using either lignocaine spray (group A: 25 patients) or gel (group B: 30 patients) to assess patients' tolerance to the procedure. Both groups received 100 mg of lignocaine in the nostril, 40-50 mg to oropharynx, 120 mg to vocal cords and 40-100 mg to trachea and bronchi. Throat anaesthesia was the most common unpleasant part experienced by both groups of patients (34.5%), followed by examination of bronchi (30.6%) and nasal anaesthesia (21.8%). Significantly more patients in group A experienced discomfort or pain during nasal anaesthesia as compared to group B (p < 0.001). Patients' tolerance to the bronchoscopy was similar in both groups and the examination was performed satisfactorily in all patients. Thus, lignocaine gel is a simple technique, effective and less irritating as compared to lignocaine spray for topical nasal anaesthesia.