• Full nose examinations assess the function,
airway resistance and occasionally sense of smell.
It includes looking into the mouth and pharynx.
• Common symptoms of nasal disease include:
• Airway obstruction.
• Rhinorrhoea (runny nose).
• Loss of smell (anosmia).
• Facial pain caused by sinusitis.
• Snoring (associated with nasal obstruction).
Things to do……..
• Introduce yourself
• Position patient
• Examination of external nose
• Inspect the nasal tip, vestibule, and nasal
• Anterior rhinoscopy
• Posterior rhinoscopy
• Post nasal examination
• Neck examination
First look at the external nose. Ask the patient to remove any
glasses. Look at the nose from the front and side for any signs..
• Nasal bridge deformity- Saddle Nose/ Hump deformity
• Growths on skin
• Broadening of nose
• Inflammation/ cellulites
Inspect the nasal tip, vestibule,
and nasal airway :
•Nostrils and airflow.
•Condition of mucosa inside vestibule
The nose is both the sense organ and a respiratory organ. Anterior
rhinoscopy is an examination of the nasal cavities enabling to
Swelling of the turbinates,
Properties of the mucosal surface,
Position of the nasal septum,
Ulcerations or presence of foreign bodies.
The students are usually capable to observe
the position of nasal septum with possible nasal deformities,
inferior nasal turbinate and
the quality of nasal mucosa.
Thudicum speculum . Light is focused at different sites
in nose to examine nasal septum, roof, floor and lateral
wall by tilting patient’s head in different directions.
• Nasal passage
- Narrow (septal deviation or hypertrophy
- Wide (atrophic rhinitis)
- Position, spurs, deviation, colour of
mucosa, ulcers, crusting and perforations,
swellings (haematoma or abscess)
• Floor of the nose
- Defects (cleft palate or fistula)
- Swelling (dental cyst)
- Neoplasm (haemangioma)
- Granulations (foreign body or osteitis)
• Roof: only seen in case of atrophic rhinitis
- Colour of mucosa (congested in inflammation and pale in allergy)
- Size of turbinate's (during rhinitis)
- Discharge (infection of maxillary, frontal or anterior ethmoidal sinuses)
- Mass (polyp, rhinosporidiosis and carcinoma)
If any growth or polyp is suspected confirm by the probe test.
Probe Test: It is carried out by spraying the nose with 4% Lignocaine with
1:100000 adrenaline or 10% cocaine. The lesion or area is palpated to determine its
character and mobility.
Patient sits facing examiner opens his mouth breathes quietly
Examiner depresses tongue with tongue depressor and introduces
posterior rhinoscopic mirror warmed and tested on back of hand.
Mirror is held like a pen and carried behind soft palate. Without
touching posterior third of tongue to avoid gag reflex .
Light from head mirror is focused on rhinoscopic mirror which
further illuminates part to be examined.
• Posterior margin of bony septum
• Posterior end of inferior, middle and superior
• Posterior nares/ choanae
• ET openings
• Fossa of Rosenmuller
• Roof of Nasopharynx
• Nasal surface of soft palate and uvula
Functional Examination of Nose
• Patency of nose:
- Spatula test: By placing a cold tongue depressor
below the nostril to look for the area of mist formation.
Compare the two sides always.
- Cotton wool wisp test: Fluff of cotton is held against
each nostril and its movements are noticed when patient
inhales and exhales.
Sense of smell:
Ask the patient to identify the smell of the
solutions held before the nostril while keeping
the eyes closed. Each nostril is tested separately.
Common substances used: Clove oil,
peppermint, coffee and essence of rose.
EXAMINATION OF PNS
It includes both inspection and palpation of
anterior group of PNS, i.e.,
Look for any redness,swelling,mass,sinus in the
area of PNS.
Examination of the nose
Anterior nose drains to submandibular region
Posterior drains to middle deep cervical