Reasons for Test
The test is done to look for causes of sinus and nasal problems such as:
- Frequent or severe congestion
- Sinus pain and pressure
The results will help to guide treatment. The scope may also be used to find and remove foreign objects from deep in the nose.
Problems are rare with this test. Possible problems may include:
- Bleeding in the nose–usually light
- Reaction to anesthesia medicine
- Injury to lining of nose or sinuses
What to Expect
Prior to Test
Most patients will not need preparation.
You may also be asked to take a decongestant. It will decrease swelling and make it easier to move the scope.
Let your doctor know about any medicine or supplements you are taking.
Medicine can be sprayed into the nose. It will numb the area and make the test more comfortable.
Description of Test
The test can be done in a doctor’s office. You will be seated. Medicine may be sprayed into the nose. The scope is a small tube with a light on one end. The doctor will look through an eyepiece on the other end of the scope.
The doctor will insert the scope into one side of the nose. It will be passed gently into the sinuses. The doctor will move the tube back and forth to see as much area as possible. The tube will be gently removed, then passed into the other side of the nose. The process is repeated on that side. A sample of tissue or fluid may be removed through the scope.
The scope will be gently removed once the test is done.
The doctor will review the results with you. A treatment plan may be made based on the test. More tests may be needed for some patients.
You can leave after the test is done. You will be able to return to normal activities.
How Long Will It Take?
The scope may take 5 to 30 minutes depending on what the doctor sees.
Will It Hurt?
The scope can be a little uncomfortable. More medicine may be given during the test to ease discomfort. The test is not painful for most patients.
Call Your Doctor
After the test, call your doctor if you have:
- Heavy bleeding in the nose
- Severe pain
- Breathing problems
- Nausea or vomiting
If you think you have an emergency, call for emergency medical services right away.
American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery https://www.entnet.org
Voice Foundation https://voicefoundation.org
Speech and Hearing BC https://speechandhearingbc.ca
Health Canada https://www.canada.ca
Cates D, Randall D. Evidence-Based Practice. Evidence-Based Clinical Practice in Otolaryngology, 2018:125.
Chronic Rhinosinusitis. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: https://www.dynamed.com/condition/chronic-rhinosinusitis . Updated August 14, 2019. Accessed June 4, 2020.
Nasal endoscopy. John Hopkins Medicine website. Available at: https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/health/treatment-tests-and-therapies/nasal-endoscopy. Accessed June 4, 2020.
Nasal endoscopy. Saint Luke’s website. Available at: https://www.saintlukeskc.org/health-library/nasal-endoscopy#. Accessed June 4, 2020.
Sinus Headaches. ENT Health website. Available at: https://www.enthealth.org/conditions/sinus-headaches/. Accessed June 4, 2020.
- Reviewer: EBSCO Medical Review Board Marcin Chwistek, MD
- Review Date: 08/2020