Sinusitis is a viral or bacterial illness that causes inflammation of the sinuses. It can even be caused by fungus. Chronic sinusitis East Hampton is divided into four categories: allergic, non-allergic, nasal polyps, and without nasal polyps. Your specialist will do a physical exam and ask about your medical records, including the frequency and intensity of your issues, to establish which kind is causing your symptoms and to propose the most effective therapy. They will next thoroughly examine your nasal passages and sinus cavities to look for evidence of blockage, irritation, infection, or polyps.
Tests that diagnose causes of sinusitis and sinus infections
The most common way for a doctor to identify a sinus infection is through a medical history and examination. Since plain X-ray studies of the sinuses can be deceptive, and procedures like CT and MRI scans are so expensive and unavailable in most doctors’ offices, most sinus infections are diagnosed and treated based on clinical findings on examination.
- CT scan
If your physician wants more information regarding the degree of a sinus infection or the structure of the sinus cavities, a CT scan may be ordered in addition to nasal endoscopy. X-rays are used to construct a series of detailed, three-dimensional pictures of your sinuses from various angles using CT technology. A CT scan of the sinuses can disclose the degree and site of inflammation and polyps that are not evident during a nasal endoscopy.
- Fiberoptic nasal endoscopy
Fiberoptic nasal endoscopy is a therapeutic procedure that allows doctors to see the sinus cavities and nasal passages in great detail. It can detect inflammation, sluggish mucus outflow from the sinuses, a deviated septum, swollen turbinates, or nasal polyps, all of which are probable causes and symptoms of chronic sinusitis. An endoscope is narrow fiber optic equipment that offers your doctor a clear, bright view of the whole nose tube. To execute this operation, your doctor may spray a decongestant and a general anesthesia solution into your nose to open up the nasal passages and reduce pain. The endoscope is then inserted into each nostril by the physician. This process takes only a few minutes and takes place in your specialist’s office.
- Allergy examination
Allergies can induce congestion and other nasal symptoms in some people. As a result, your doctor may also advise you to obtain an allergy test. Your doctor will ask you for information about your health history, including if you have tested positive for any allergies in the past, to diagnose persistent sinusitis caused by an allergic response.
Risks of a sinus infection if left untreated
After around ten days, sinus infections usually improve on their own. If your symptoms persist without resolving or worsen, a doctor may need to treat the infection’s underlying cause. If left untreated, a sinus infection can progress to the brain. An infection can also enter the eye socket and produce visual abnormalities or blindness, though this is uncommon. Infections like this are more frequent in children. While rare, an untreated severe fungal sinus infection can spread to the bones.
Most sinusitis cases are “acute,” meaning they start abruptly and don’t last for long (less than eight weeks). Your ailment is continuing, or “chronic,” if it lasts more than 12 weeks or occurs often. A physician must identify chronic sinusitis, which may need more therapy than acute sinusitis. Call Richard L. Nass, M.D., F.A.C.S. to make an appointment today to learn more about sinus infection treatments.