From Diagnosis to Treatment: Nasal Endoscopy Can Guide the Way

In order to diagnose many chronic nasal and sinus conditions, a specialized exam, referred to as nasal endoscopy, may be required. If you’ve been advised by your ENT doctor that you require a nasal endoscopy, you may have some questions. Here’s an overview of nasal endoscopy, how it works, and when and why it may be necessary.

What is nasal endoscopy? 

Nasal endoscopy is a medical test that’s used to look at the nasal and sinus passages. It’s performed with an endoscope. An endoscope a thin, flexible tube with a tiny camera and a light. The typically office-based procedure is performed by your ENT with advanced, high-definition nasal endoscopic equipment equipment along with digital image capture, This technology allows us to better diagnose conditions with more accuracy. It is also used to follow patients long term to determine if therapies are working and beneficial. 

How nasal endoscopy works

Before the procedure, generally, a numbing medication will be applied. During nasal endoscopy, your physician gently inserts a thin endoscope into your nose and guides it through your nasal cavity and sinus passages, evaluating various structures, including the septum, and turbinates and the sinuses.

Images of the area can be seen through the endoscope, providing an interior view of areas that could not normally be seen during a standard examination. It enables direct, high-quality and magnified vision to assess your sinus and nasal passages and will help determine if there’s infection, polyps or obstruction. Identifying the underlying cause(s) or potential contributing factors is essential to finding the mot effective treatment approach.

The info gathered from endoscopy allows doctors to better plan both medical and surgical treatments. It may be used in conjunction with other diagnostic tests. In some instances, small tools may be used to take tiny tissue samples or do other tasks. While the idea of having a camera up your nose may not be the most pleasant, the procedure itself is virtually painless, and discomfort is minimal. When performed in-office, you should be able to go home right away after the test and go about your activities as normal.

Common reasons for nasal endoscopy

A nasal endoscopy can be an important and safe diagnostic tool that aides in identifying disease and diagnosing sinus and nasal symptoms. You might need a nasal endoscopy if your doctor needs more information about nasal and sinus problems, such as:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Nasal blockage
  • Nasal and sinus infection (rhinosinusitis)
  • Nasal polyps
  • Nasal tumors
  • Nosebleeds
  • Loss of ability to smell

One of the most common reasons for having a nasal endoscopy procedure done is rhinosinusitis, or chronic sinusitis. In this case, patients may experience symptoms such as facial pain, nasal blockage and greenish or yellow mucus. 

The endoscopy can show specific details, such as the site of bleeding and swelling of nasal tissue. Your doctor can use a nasal endoscopy to look for polyps and other potential sources of blockages, or to gather a pus sample from the infected area. This can help determine what is causing the infection and how to best treat it. 

Other nasal endoscopy applications 

A nasal endoscopy can also be useful in monitoring and managing ongoing disease. It’s also common to recommend an endoscopy to see how a treatment for a nose or sinus problem is working. For example, to see if nasal polyps have shrunk.

In some cases, a nasal endoscopy can be used as a treatment. Minimally invasive procedures may be performed using a nasal endoscope, as well.

This type of procedure can be used to help treat conditions like nasal polyps, sinus infection and nasal tumors. Surgery is performed using small, specialized tools, so does not require an external incision or cut, thanks to the advanced technology and techniques. However, it is important to make the distinction between sinus surgery using an endoscope, or functional endoscopic sinus surgery (FESS), and an in-office diagnostic nasal endoscopy.

In sum

There are many potential reasons and a wide variety of applications for an endoscopic procedure, which can help diagnose, treat, and manage a range of conditions. Ultimately, your ENT doctor can use the nasal endoscopy to collect important information they need to come up with your individualized treatment plan. 

After you nasal endoscopy, you and your doctor will discuss the results and can determine together, the best treatment options to help you best manage your sinus health and achieve the relief you deserve. With the precise insights, information and expertise, you can be better empowered to choose the  next steps that are right for you.

Ohio Sinus Institute uses the latest, most advanced technology and nasal endoscopic tools, combined with experienced and compassionate healthcare providers.  Contact our office to learn more and schedule a consultation. Get to the bottom of your chronic nasal and sinus issues and see the way forward to relief. Call us today.