Exams and Tests
sinusitis is usually based on your
medical history and
physical exam. A detailed history of the
problem often can be of more value to the diagnosis than a physical exam. If
the symptoms and physical findings are typical of sinusitis, further testing is
usually not needed.
Additional tests may be done if:
- The diagnosis is not
- Antibiotic treatment has failed to clear up the
- Complications (such as a bone infection) are
- Surgery is being considered.
Imaging tests may be used when symptoms of sinusitis
persist or recur despite treatment, or to look for tumors or other growths when
there is bleeding or bloody discharge from the nose. They include:
- Computed tomography (CT) scan of the head and face, which provides a detailed image of sinus
structures. A CT scan may help evaluate severe or chronic sinusitis, identify
suspected complications of sinusitis, or rule out other conditions. It is not
used to diagnose acute sinusitis.
- Sinus X-ray, which
may be done to confirm a suspected case of sinusitis. An X-ray produces a
picture of dense tissues inside the body. But a CT scan provides better
Less often, other tests may be done by an ear, nose, and
throat (ENT) specialist (also called an otolaryngologist) or by an
allergist. These tests may include:
Patrice Burgess, MD - Family Medicine
Donald R. Mintz, MD - Otolaryngology
September 12, 2012
©1995-2012, Healthwise, Incorporated, P.O. Box 1989, Boise, ID 83701.
ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.
For more information,
How this information was developed.