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What Is a Nasal Endoscopy a...

What Is a Nasal Endoscopy and Why I May Need It?

By Mr Ullas Raghavan, Consultant ENT Surgeon,

Nasal endoscopy is a medical procedure consultants use to examine nasal and sinus passages using a thin flexible tube mounted with a tiny camera.

Do you think the nose is a vital organ? It is!

18,000 to 20,000 liters of air pass through the nose everyday! The nose then processes the air as it gets inhaled, and warms & humidifies the air before it enters the lungs, with the help of turbinates located on the sides of nasal passages.

What are the risks of ignoring nasal symptoms?

People often ignore nasal symptoms such as congestion, sneezing and runny nose. These issues may aggravate lung problems and can prompt varying complications.

The human skull contains four pairs of hollow, air-filled cavities called sinuses. Sinus infection is therefore inflammation of these sinuses and nasal passages, which can cause headaches and discomfort in the eyes, nose and cheek. This may also cause cough, fever and nasal congestion with thick nasal secretions.

  • Nasal blockage can affect your sense of smell
  • When the nasal passage is blocked, the only alternative is mouth breathing, which causes dry a mouth and builds the danger of mouth and throat contaminations, which subsequently lessens the feeling of taste. Breathing through the mouth additionally pulls all contamination and germs directly into the lungs
  • Overlooking nasal sensitivities can increase the possibility of asthma; or exacerbate asthma if you already have it

 

When are you more susceptible to nasal symptoms and associated risks?

Are you suffering from sinus problems? People who suffer from allergies, asthma and structural blockages in their nose or people with weak immune system, are at a greater risk of having sinus problems, as their bodies are more sensitive to bacterial infection.

What causes Sinusitis and what are the symptoms?

Sinusitis is usually caused by a bacterial or fungal infection, which causes inflammation of the area lining the sinuses. The inflammation narrows the nasal passage, and as mucus fluid builds up in the sinus cavity, the passage gets blocks and becomes the perfect place for germs to grow.

Symptoms of sinusitis or sinus infection are:

  • Thick mucus formation in back of the throat
  • Discolored nasal discharge
  • Stuffy nose
  • Pain in the face
  • Headache
  • Toothache
  • Coughing
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Dysfunctional sense of smell
  • Bad taste in mouth
  • Bad breath
  • Neck stiffness

 

 What is involved in the Nasal Endoscopy Procedure?

ENT (Ear, Nose and Throat) Consultants use a nasal endoscope to examine sinuses and organs in the nose. The nasal endoscope is a narrow tube, equipped with a video camera and a light source, providing images which are magnified for the consultant to view.

During the Nasal endoscopy procedure, the Consultant will insert the instrument into the nose and guide it through the sinuses and nasal passages while examining the images on the screen.

It is commonly done in a clinic room at the same time as the initial consultation. In fact, it is often a crucial part of the assessment. You may experience mild discomfort through the procedure (people often describe this is a tingling sensation in the nose). Anaesthetic spray is sometimes used, but most people are happy to tolerate the procedure without this. The investigation often only lasts a few minutes. General anaesthesia is rarely required.

When might I need a Nasal Endoscopy?

A nasal endoscopy can be used to examine any unnatural or abnormal growth inside the nose, which may even become cancerous if left untreated.

The procedure can also be performed to remove a foreign object from the nose.

The most common reason for nasal endoscopy is to examine swelling and polyps. It can also help ascertain the cause of an infection and how can it be treated further.

In certain cases, it is used to perform a minimally invasive surgery using precision tools, to treat conditions like nasal tumors and sinus infection.

A Nasal endoscopy is also useful in diagnosing and treating headaches, nasal blockage, facial pain above eyes, nose bleeds and decreased sense of smell.

Types of Nasal Endoscopy

Flexible nasal endoscopy
 

This is an examination of nasal air passages and the space behind the nose and the throat, performed using a small scope.

The procedure is often carried out to diagnose the following:

- Hoarseness of the throat

- Examining patients with longstanding history of smoking

- Suspected vocal fold lesions

- Tumour surveillance

- Difficulty in swallowing

- Shortness of breath

Rigid nasal endoscopy
 

This procedure involves detailed visualization of mucus membranes, nasal turbinates, sinus openings and other nasal parts.

The procedure is often carried out to diagnose the following:

- Impairment of sense of smell

- Nasal airway obstruction

- Pain in nasal area or facial area

- Recurrent nosebleeds

- Suspected sinusitis

To avoid complications of sinus infection and diagnose potential risks at an early stage, book a consultation with one of our Ear, Nose and Throat Consultants (ENT) at Pall Mall Medical. Consultations are available Monday-Saturday in our clinics in Manchester, Liverpool and Newton-le-Willows.

To book, call: 01744 62 44 64 or email consultant@pallmallmedical.co.uk

Learn more about the nasal endoscopy procedure at https://www.pallmallmedical.co.uk/tests-scans-and-diagnostics/nasal-endoscopy