Treatments & Therapies

Nasal endoscopy – treatment, effects & risks

Nasal reflection

Like the ear examination, the nose examination (rhinoscopy) is also part of the routine examinations of an ENT doctor. In order to be able to clarify diseases or disorders inside the nose, rhinoscopy is used in almost every visit to the ENT doctor .

What is nasal reflection?

Nasal endoscopy (rhinoscopy) is used to examine the inside of the nose ( main nasal cavity) and the nasopharynx. A distinction is made between the anterior nasal reflection (Rhinoscopia anterior), the middle nasal reflection (Rhinoscopia media) and the rear nasal reflection (Rhinoscopia posterior).

The ENT doctor uses a so-called nasal speculum for the anterior nasal reflection. It is a kind of metal tongs with a funnel at the end. The so-called nasal endoscope is used for the middle nasal reflection.

This is a flexible or rigid tube with a light source and a small camera at the end. The posterior nasal reflection is performed with the tongue depressor and an angled nasopharynx mirror

Function, effect, goals & application

The ENT doctor receives information about the structure of the inside of the nose and the condition of the nasal mucosa through the nasal reflection. He can also better examine existing nasal secretions.

The presence of an inflammation of the maxillary sinus can also be determined with the posterior nasal endoscopy. The ENT doctor recognizes such an inflammation by the fact that there is a purulent discharge. In addition, possible new formations or malformations inside the nose (e.g. nasal polyps , tumours) can also be detected with the help of the nasal reflection. Nasal endoscopy is a procedure that is usually painless.

If there is inflammation in the nose area or if a nose operation has taken place, the doctor can prescribe a decongestant or local anesthetic nasal spray to avoid possible pain . In general, however, the nasal reflection is a low-risk and low-pain diagnostic procedure.

The nose endoscopy is performed by the doctor with the help of various instruments. As the name suggests, the nose is viewed from the front in an anterior rhinoplasty. The entrances to the nose are expanded with the help of the nasal speculum. 

The anterior nasal passages and the entire nasal cavity can be viewed in detail with the help of a light source or a reflecting mirror on the forehead. If the view is obstructed by crusts, blood or mucus, these are carefully removed with a cotton swab or suctioned off during the nasal reflection. If the ENT doctor detects inflammatory changes, he takes a smear and has the material examined in the laboratory.

The middle nasal reflection is carried out with the help of the so-called nasal endoscope. In this case, the ENT doctor will numb the nasal mucosa with a special spray. Finally, the rear nasal reflection is carried out via the oral cavity with an angled mirror. 

The tongue is pressed down with a spatula. The patient should breathe through the nose if possible in order to create a large distance between the soft palate and the back of the pharynx and thus facilitate the nasal reflection.

For the ENT doctor, the nasal reflection is an important aid in making a diagnosis. Rhinoscopy provides information about the nature and condition of the inside of the nose, and when diagnosing a maxillary sinus infection , it is even part of the basic diagnostics. The diagnosis most frequently made during nasal reflection is the crooked nasal septum (septum deviation).

Polyps, mucosal ulcers, swelling of the mucous membrane or mussels, accumulations of pus and blood, tumors or even foreign bodies are also found. Enlarged pharyngeal tonsils, polyps or thickened posterior turbinate ends can be diagnosed with the posterior nasal endoscopy.

Risks, side effects & dangers

Nasal endoscopy (rhinoscopy) generally has no risks or side effects. Nose mirrors are available in different sizes, so that the ENT doctor can choose the right size for each nostril. This makes the nasal reflection painless and harmless for the patient.In general, the ENT doctor also makes sure when spreading the speculum that he does not exert too much pressure on the sensitive septum of the nose.

As a rule, the pressure is only applied to the rather insensitive nostrils. If there is inflammation that causes pain during the examination, the ENT doctor will use a nasal spray for the nasal reflection, which has an anesthetic effect.

Website | + posts

Hello! I am Lisa Newlon, and I am a medical writer and researcher with over 10 years of experience in the healthcare industry. I have a Master’s degree in Medicine, and my deep understanding of medical terminology, practices, and procedures has made me a trusted source of information in the medical world.