Nasal endoscopy

A nasal endoscopy is a procedure at Great Ormond Street Hospital (GOSH) that allows your doctor to take a close look inside your nose, at the entrance to your sinuses and sometimes at the top of your throat.

How it works

The doctor uses an instrument called an endoscope, or scope for short. A scope is a thin, flexible tube with a tiny built-in camera at the end of it, which the doctor puts up your nose.

As it is so dark up your nose, the scope also has a light at the end of it.

A nasal endoscopy will help your doctor to work out why you have been having problems, such as nosebleeds, facial pain or ear pain.

If you have been having problems with your breathing or swallowing, a nasal endoscopy can help doctors find out the cause of these problems.

Your doctor will also be able to see if you have an infection in your nose or sinuses, or if there is something causing a blockage, such as a polyp.


Your doctor will spray a local anaesthetic up your nose to numb the area. 

This might taste a little bitter but it will help the test be more comfortable. The bitter taste will wear off after about half an hour.


You will sit on a comfortable chair in clinic and be asked to tilt your head back slightly. Then, your doctor will slowly and carefully put the scope up your nose.

During the test, you will be asked to breathe through your mouth. The procedure will only a last a few minutes.

Does it hurt?

Having a nasal endoscopy may feel a little bit uncomfortable but the anaesthetic spray will stop it from hurting.


Usually your doctor will tell you straight away what they have found out. Sometimes they might ask you to come back to clinic for more tests or to see another doctor.

Compiled by:
Great Ormond Street Hospital
Last review date:
December 2013