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When you visit an allergist, it is common for the doctor to look inside your mouth and nose. This may be done to determine if there is any redness or signs of swelling. But in some cases, the doctor needs to look more thoroughly. A rhinoscopy is a medical procedure, which uses special equipment in order for the doctor to view the structures of your upper airway.
In order to make an accurate diagnosis, your allergy doctor may need to get a good look at the inside of your nasal passages, sinuses and throat. A rhinoscopy allows the doctor to see these structures.
In addition, a rhinoscopy may be done to obtain fluid or tissue samples. Tissue samples may be needed to rule out certain medical conditions or determine the best type of treatment. A rhinoscopy can also be performed to drain mucus from the sinuses or administer antibiotics directly into the sinus cavity. Your allergy doctor may do a rhinoscopy if you have chronic sinusitis, nasal polyps, or structural abnormalities.
Your allergy doctor will likely spray a numbing medication into the back of your throat and nose to decrease discomfort from the scope. A thin tube called an endoscope is inserted through the nose so the doctor can inspect your nasal passages, throat, larynx and sinuses. If fluid or tissues samples need to be taken, a special device will be inserted into the scope to obtain samples. The procedure is generally quick and usually is completed in about 15 minutes.
A rhinoscopy is considered a very safe procedure. If you have a bleeding disorder, your allergy doctor may decide not to do the procedure. The risks are usually very minimal. Minor nasal discomfort, slight bleeding from the nose and coughing may occur.
A rhinoscopy is one tool to help your doctor make an accurate diagnosis and develop an effective treatment plan. The procedure should always be performed by someone with the knowledge and expertise to perform it safely.
Dr. Boyan Hadjiev is a fellowship trained and board certified allergist and experienced at performing rhinoscopy. Call today to schedule an appointment.