Diagnosing Sinusitis

Your physician will ask you questions about your symptoms such as how often your headaches occur, the type of mucus secretions you are experiencing, and whether you have any allergies.

He will examine your ears, throat, and nose looking for signs of polyps, deviated septum, or infection.

He may also use an endoscope to see into the sinus openings. Nasal endoscopy is performed in the office with a small endoscope that is inserted into the nostrils. The nose is first treated with a spray to shrink the lining of the nose, in order to see further back and to allow room for the scope. The nose is then treated with a numbing spray (lidocaine) so the scope exam does not hurt.

Nasal endoscopy can quickly determine the presence of redness, swelling, abnormal drainage, polyps, and other abnormalities. In some cases, a CT (computed tomography Xray) of the sinuses will aid in the diagnosis of sinusitis.