Nasal resistance testing

What is nasal resistance testing?

Nasal resistance testing, sometimes referred to as a rhinomanometry test ('rhino' meaning 'nose' and 'manometry' meaning 'pressure test') or a 'nasal flow and resistance test', is a way of testing whether problems breathing through the nose are due to the buildup of mucus in the nose or due to structural deformities with either cartilage or bone inside the nasal cavity.

What happens during nasal resistance testing?

After you have blown your nose and sat down, a pressure sensing tube is positioned in one nostril and a facemask is worn over the nose and mouth which is connected to the measuring device. The device then measures any difference in airway resistance between the nostrils. A nasal decongestant spray is then applied and the test is run again.

These findings can be confirmed, and the precise location of any deformity present can be identified via other tests, either an acoustic rhinometry (where an acoustic signal allows an accurate 'map' of the inside of the nose to be created) or a nasal endoscopy (where a thin tube with a camera and a light is inserted into the nose).

It is important during the test that you follow the doctor's instructions and avoid breathing through your mouth.

Nasal resistance testing can also be helpful in identifying allergic reactions, especially to airborne allergens.