If you suffer from nosebleeds, loss of smell, nasal or sinus infections, or facial pain or pressure, your doctor will recommend a procedure called nasal endoscopy. To perform this procedure, they will use an instrument called an endoscope. It helps in a thorough examination of the nasal and sinus passages or the inside of the nose and sinuses.
Nasal Endoscope: The Details
The nasal endoscope comes in two types: flexible and rigid. It is a long, thin tube with fiber-optic cables. A tiny video camera and a light are attached at the end of the endoscope. The endoscope helps take pictures or videos of the nasal and sinus passages, and the magnified images are projected onto a screen.
Some endoscopes also take photographs and record videos of the procedure, and others have angled lenses that help observe the areas around the bends and corners of the nasal cavity.
A nasal endoscope is crucial in the diagnosis and treatment of nasal and sinus conditions, such as
- Nasal congestion
- Face pain or pressure
- Sinus headaches
- Nasal and sinus infections
- Nasal tumors
- Nasal polyps
- Loss of ability to smell
- Difficulty in breathing
How Is a Nasal Endoscope Used?
A nasal endoscope helps better observe the nasal cavity and the sinuses. The endoscopy procedure is usually conducted by an otorhinolaryngologist or ear nose and throat (ENT) doctor. During a nasal endoscopy, you will be asked to sit upright in a chair. The doctor will then spray an anesthetic medication and numb the area. They will insert the endoscope into each nostril. The endoscope will be guided through the nasal and sinus passages and move towards the floor of the nose. The images projected onto the screen via the video camera will be examined for any health issues and their treatment. The doctor might remove a tissue sample during the procedure if needed.
A nasal endoscope allows for a safe procedure, with only minor discomfort, which doesn’t last long. The anesthetic spray prevents any pain or sneezing when the endoscope is inserted into the nose. You will not experience any allergic reactions to the anesthetic, either. It is advisable to inform the doctor if you are taking blood thinners before the procedure.
Besides a nasal endoscopy, an endoscope is also used during the following procedures:
- Removal of foreign particles: Foreign particles that get lodged deep into the nose and are difficult to remove are removed with the help of an endoscope.
- Nasal debridement: Endoscopes are used to clean the nasal and sinus cavities post surgeries. This procedure helps in better healing after nasal or sinus surgeries.
- Controlling nosebleeds: A nasal endoscope is used to establish the source of the bleeding and its treatment in case of nosebleeds.
- Sinus surgery: A magnified view of the sinus passages helps during sinus surgeries. Furthermore, as it is minimally invasive and offers precise images, an endoscope helps perform safer and more effective surgeries.
An endoscope is, thus, essential in the comprehensive examination of the nasal and sinus passages. ENT doctors routinely use it for a faster diagnosis and the treatment of health problems in nasal and sinus cavities.