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How can sinusitis be diagnosed?

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In brief: Diagnosis of sinusitis

The doctor will ask about symptoms, touch parts of the face to find any pain or swelling, and may use a technique called transillumination, where a bright light held against the cheek or forehead in a dark room. The light should pass through normal sinuses; if it doesnt, this suggests a blockage.



If the symptoms and physical findings are typical of sinusitis, no further testing is usually needed. If there’s any doubt, the doctor may recommend X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerised tomography (CT). Nasal endoscopy may be used to investigate chronic sinusitis. A flexible telescope with a light on the end is inserted into the nostril to examine the inside of the sinuses. This test is usually done under local anaesthetic.

In brief: Diagnosis of sinusitis

The doctor will ask about symptoms, touch parts of the face to find any pain or swelling, and may use a technique called transillumination, where a bright light held against the cheek or forehead in a dark room. The light should pass through normal sinuses; if it doesnt, this suggests a blockage.



If the symptoms and physical findings are typical of sinusitis, no further testing is usually needed. If there’s any doubt, the doctor may recommend X-rays, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) or computerised tomography (CT). Nasal endoscopy may be used to investigate chronic sinusitis. A flexible telescope with a light on the end is inserted into the nostril to examine the inside of the sinuses. This test is usually done under local anaesthetic.
Quality HealthCare Team
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Dr. William Forsythe
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