Man sitting with his palm to his forehead

Congestion, a sore throat, headaches, and other symptoms of a common cold generally fade in a week or so. However, if your symptoms don’t fade or keep returning, the problem may be your sinusitis. Sinusitis occurs when your sinuses become inflamed after a virus or bacterial infection. But how can you be sure your symptoms are actually sinusitis? While there are ways to figure this out by assessing your symptoms at home, in some cases, testing may be required.

Testing for Sinusitis

To know for sure if you have sinusitis, you will need to get tested. We provide this service at South Florida ENT Associates. We will start by understanding your symptoms and looking inside your nose and ears with a tool called an otoscope. If signs of infection, swelling and congestion are obvious based on this test, we will know right away that you’re suffering from sinusitis. If the indicators are not completely clear, we may use a light to see into your nose.

We may perform a “nasal endoscopy.” This procedure allows us to look inside your sinuses with a tiny camera. We will start with a spray to numb your nose. From there, we will insert a thin, flexible device with a tiny lens at the end (called an endoscope) into your nose. This gives a detailed look at your sinuses and allows us to see the definitive signs of sinusitis.

Further Testing Options

There are other testing options that may be needed if the sinusitis is not resolving or appears to have complications. We may need to perform a CT scan to look for serious inflammation deep in your sinuses. A CT shows more intricate details of your sinuses and nasal cavities.  

If it appears you have a bacterial or fungal infection, we may take a swab from inside your sinuses. Lab tests are not usually needed to diagnose sinusitis, but if the sinusitis is worsening or failing to improve, testing a tissue sample is an important step in diagnosing a bacterial infection.

In some cases, allergies may trigger sinusitis. If it appears that allergies could be causing your sinusitis, we may perform an allergy skin test to pinpoint the allergen that is triggering the sinusitis.

Can You Find Out if You Have Sinusitis Without Testing From a Doctor?

There is no way to know for sure if what you’re suffering from is sinusitis without testing. However, if you have some or all of the following symptoms, it is very likely you have a sinus infection: 

  • Cough
  • Congestion
  • Green nasal discharge
  • Pain in the forehead or temples
  • Mucus dripping down the throat from the nose
  • Tenderness under the eyes 
  • Tenderness on the bridge of the nose
  • Loss of sense of smell
  • Fatigue

Testing for and Treating Sinusitis at South Florida ENT Associates

South Florida ENT Associates has been treating patients suffering from sinusitis and other concerns for over 30 years. Our physicians and providers are highly-trained and experienced across every Houston ENT specialty, treating a wide range of ear, nose, and throat concerns, such as sinusitis. The SFENTA team of experts is understanding, compassionate, and dedicated to providing effective solutions to resolve sinusitis and alleviate your symptoms. Please call us today to schedule a consultation about testing and treating sinusitis today. 

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