How Are Sinus Infections Diagnosed?

Dr. Ralph Metson answers the question: 'How Are Sinus Infections Diagnosed?'

ByRalph Metson, M.D., Sinus Specialist, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary
March 25, 2008, 11:55 AM

— -- Question: How are sinus infections diagnosed?

Answer: Sinus infections are diagnosed by three steps. The first is the history that your doctor will take. The second is by looking inside the nose and seeing if there is discolored mucus or pus draining from the sinuses. Particularly in a specialist's office -- an ear nose and throat, or allergist -- may take a small thin telescope known as an endoscope and painlessly pass it through the nostrils into the nose, where the little pinpoint openings through which the sinuses drain can be directly visualized.

Again, mucus or pus draining from these openings are indicators of a sinus infection. And the third way is through an X-ray, a CT scan or CAT scan of the sinuses, where again the interior of the sinuses can be visualized.

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