Nasal Endoscopy

Nasal endoscopy is a test to view the inside of the nose and sinuses to check for problems.


How the Test is Performed

The test takes about 5 to 10 minutes. Your health care provider will:

  • Spray your nose with a medicine to reduce swelling and numb the area.
  • Insert the nasal endoscope into your nose. This is a long flexible or rigid tube with a camera at the end to look inside the nose and sinuses. Pictures may be projected onto a screen.
  • Examine the inside of your nose and sinuses.
  • Remove polyps, mucus, or other masses from the nose or sinuses.

How the Test will Feel

  • This test does not hurt.
  • You may feel discomfort or pressure as the tube is put into your nose.
  • The spray numbs your nose. It can numb your mouth and throat, and you may feel like you cannot swallow. This numbness goes away in 20 to 30 minutes.
  • You might sneeze during the test. If you feel a sneeze coming on, let your provider know.
Nasal Endoscopy

Why the Test is Performed

You may have a nasal endoscopy to figure out what is causing problems in your nose and sinuses.

During the procedure, your provider may:

  • Look at the inside of your nose and sinuses
  • Take a sample of tissue for a biopsy
  • Do small surgeries to remove polyps, excess mucus, or other masses
  • Your provider may recommend nasal endoscopy if you are having:
  • A lot of sinus infections
  • Lots of drainage from your nose
  • Face pain or pressure
  • Sinus headaches
  • A hard time breathing through your nose
  • Nose bleeds
  • Loss of sense of smell

Normal Results

The inside of the nose and bones look normal.

What Abnormal Results Mean

Nasal endoscopy helps with the diagnosis of:

  • Polyps
  • Blockages
  • Sinusitis
  • Swollen and runny nose that will not go away
  • Nasal masses or tumors
  • A foreign object (like a marble) in the nose or sinus
  • Deviated septum (many insurance plans require a nasal endoscopy prior to surgery to correct it)
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