nasal endoscopy procedure

When you have sinus problems, you need solutions. Quickly. Every day you suffer through sinus issues means you’re losing ground at work, missing out on the activities you love and, well, feeling absolutely miserable.

The challenge facing sinus treatment is that there are hundreds of conditions that can cause nasal / sinus symptoms. Perhaps you have a nasal polyp or a deviated septum that is making it difficult for your sinuses to drain properly. Is immunotherapy or a balloon sinuplasty the best method of treatment?

Often, a nasal endoscopy is an important tool that helps your Raleigh Capitol Ear, Nose and Throat physician to evaluate your sinus and nasal passages. This enables him or her to create an effective treatment plan tailored to your needs.


When is a medical endoscopy necessary?

You may need a nasal endoscopy if you’ve had chronic problems with any of the following conditions:

  • Nasal blockage and drainage

  • Headaches

  • Facial pain, particularly around the sinuses and above the eyes

  • Chronic cases of sinusitis

  • Nosebleeds

  • Decreased sense of smell 

We understand you may have questions about the procedure, so we’ve provided this useful information about what happens during a nasal endoscopy.


What is a nasal endoscopy?

During a nasal endoscopy, your local ENT physician uses an endoscope to view your nose and sinuses. An endoscope is a narrow tube -- roughly less than 4 mm wide -- equipped with fiberoptics that light the area. The endoscope also has a small camera that provides your physician with images that can be projected and magnified on a screen.  These images are carefully recorded for reference. 

Typically, this simple procedure can be performed in the office. 


What happens during a nasal endoscopy

First , we apply a decongestant and numbing medicine to the nose. Then, your physician inserts the narrow endoscope. It’s vital that your physician examine the complete nasal area, including your sinuses. This enables us to check areas such as your nasal septum and turbinates for any abnormalities. In addition, this allows us to examine the area where the sinuses drain into the nose, the posterior nasal cavity, and the nasopharynx (place where the adenoids are located), which are all not really visible without this procedure.


Does a nasal endoscopy hurt?

We go to great lengths to make the procedure as comfortable as possible and rarely is the procedure painful. We numb the area before inserting the endoscope, and we also apply a nasal decongestant which reduces swelling. This enables the endoscope to pass easily through the nasal membranes


How do I prepare for a nasal endoscopy?

Your Raleigh Capitol Ear, Nose and Throat doctor may have specific instructions for you, and we will provide all the information you need to guide you through the entire process. However, generally there are no special preparations that need to be made before your nasal endoscopy.  However, if you take any blood-thinning medicine, it’s important to let us know. 


What can I expect after a nasal endoscopy?

Sometimes, the numbing medication also affects the roof of your mouth and your throat.  This generally wears off within 30 to 60 minutes. Because of this, we recommend that you avoid eating or drinking until the numbness is completely gone. 


How long does a nasal endoscopy take?

Typically, a nasal endoscopy takes one to two minutes.


What sort of conditions can be diagnosed with a nasal endoscopy? 

A nasal endoscopy can help your physician diagnose

  • Tumors

  • Nasal masses

  • Causes for nasal blockage

  • Deviated septum

  • Nasal polyps 


What sort of financial information do I need to know about before a nasal endoscopy?

First, be aware that your insurance company considers a nasal endoscopy a procedure, and it will be billed separately toward your deductible. This should be considered particularly if you have a high-deductible plan. If that’s the case, then you may have a charge for this procedure that is separate from your copay. 

Second, before the procedure, it’s a good idea to review our financial policy. We want to be sure we have a chance to answer any of your questions before the procedure.


ENTs do more than treat nasal and sinus problems

Some believe that ENTs only help people when they have allergies. While allergy testing and immunology are a major part of our scope of duties, ENTs can help you with much more:

  • ENTs perform surgery, repairing facial defects resulting from skin cancer surgery. This often includes skin grafts

  • ENTs utilize advanced procedures such as balloon sinuplasty to help patients with severe, chronic sinus problems

  • We remove tumors, including those located at the base of the skull 

  • We also work with audiologists to help patients with hearing loss. ENTs also help evaluate the cause of hearing loss and which hearing aid solution is best for the patient.


Important information about sinus problems

Do you have additional questions about sinus treatment? We’ve compiled convenient links to our most popular and useful blogs to help you. If you’re having chronic sinus problems and no relief from medication, we would welcome the opportunity to help you. Contact us to schedule an appointment.

Four Causes of Chronic Sinus Problems 

Four Common Causes of a Stuffy Nose 

Three Things You Need to Know About Sinus Infections 


Raleigh Capitol Ear, Nose, and Throat is the area's premiere physician-owned ENT practice with six convenient locations throughout Raleigh, Cary, Garner and Wake Forest. Our board-certified physicians have extensive experience in treating both common and complex cases to help adults and children alike. For more information or to schedule an appointment, contact us.


Soudry, Ethan MD and Jayakar V. Nayak, MD PhD, “The Nasal Endoscope.” American Rhinologic Society. 

U.S. National Library of Medicine. Medline Plus. “Nasal Endoscopy.” Online.