What is Nasal Endoscopy?

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  • Written By: Patrick Lynch
  • Edited By: R. Halprin
  • Last Modified Date: 08 October 2019
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A nasal endoscopy is a procedure that uses a flexible tube known as an endoscope to explore hard to reach areas of the nasal passage such as the larynx, oropharynx, and the nasopharynx. This procedure is usually conducted by ear, nose, and throat (ENT) specialists or allergists. A nasal endoscopy is also known by a variety of other names such as a rhinolaryngoscopy, rhinoscopy, or rhinopharyngoscopy.

The medical device used during the examination is known as a nasal telescope with the procedure itself given the technical name of diagnostic nasal endoscopy. The telescope is generally less than 4 millimeters in diameter which makes it easy for the ENT specialist to direct it through the patient's nostrils and examine the sinuses and nasal passages. There are nasal telescopes that give the specialist the required view directly from the tip which allows a straight ahead view. There are also telescopes that allow the specialist to view the nasal passage at an angle.

The angled telescopes permit the specialist to see around corners. This is extremely important because a regular nasal examination is very limited. Telescopes with an angled view allow for a more detailed assessment of a patient’s sinuses and nasal cavity.


ENT doctors are also known as otorhinolaryngologists and commonly perform a nasal endoscopy on patients in the office rather than in the hospital. The doctor looks directly through the telescope and performs a quick examination. If a more detailed evaluation is required, a tiny video camera can be attached to the telescope allowing the doctor to see the images processed by the scope on a video monitor. It is also possible to record the examination on a digital image archive; patients are permitted to view the footage of what was seen during the nasal endoscopy if they choose.

The majority of patients experience little in the way of discomfort during a nasal endoscopy. The ENT doctor usually will spray the patient's nostrils with an anesthetic. Then the tube the will be gently lowered into the nose and down into the nasal passages

The doctor may also elect to use certain other medical instruments during the nasal endoscopy. These can be used in the office and usually resemble a pair of scissors except for the fact there is a long crooked part designed to reach around corners. These particular instruments are often used in conjunction with angled nasal telescopes.


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Post 3

@spotiche5- I think you should talk to your doctor about your concerns. He or she may prescribe you a mild sedative to help relax your nerves before your nasal endoscopy.

You should also ask for numbing spray the day of your test. This will also ease your mind because after your nasal passages are numbed, you won't feel a thing during the procedure.

Post 2

I have to have a nasal endoscopy, and though I know it's not suppose to cause discomfort, I'm nervous about the procedure. What should I do to calm my anxiety about this test?

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