Physical examination: A doctor can look into the nose with a lighted viewer to see the turbinates, which may be swollen. She may press or tap on the face over the sinuses to check for pain.
Computed tomography (CT scan): A CT scanner uses X-rays and a computer to create detailed images of the sinuses. CT scanning can help diagnose chronic sinusitis.
Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI): Magnetic waves create highly detailed images of the sinuses. CT and MRI scans may be used together.
Endoscopy (rhinoscopy): Using a flexible tube with a camera on its end, a doctor can examine the inside of the nose and sinuses.
Sinus cultures: A mucus sample can be taken from inside the sinuses. This is done with a needle or during endoscopy.
Skin Test for Allergies: Skin testing for various allergens can help determine if allergies are contributing to sinusitis.
Sinus X-ray: A plain X-ray may show problems with the bones around the sinuses. A CT scan is superior to plain X-ray films.
Decongestants: Medications that cause blood vessels in the inner nasal tissue to constrict. As a result, there is less sinus congestion, mucus production and postnasal drip.
Nasal steroid spray: Regular use of nasal steroids can reduce the symptoms of allergic rhinitis. These medications help relieve tissue swelling and help prevent the regrowth of nasal polyps after sinus surgery.
Nasal saline spray: Salt water nasal spray breaks up dried mucus and helps to keep the nose moist.
Nasal washes: rinse mucous from the nasal cavities and sinuses.
Antihistamines: Oral histamine blockers (Benadryl, Claritin, Zyrtec, Allegra) can reduce the nasal and sinus symptoms from allergic rhinitis.
Antibiotics: Anti-bacterial oral medicines may be needed to treat bacterial sinusitis.
Sinus surgery: Surgery can improve or correct some sinus conditions. Usually surgery is used to remove growths or to open an obstruction.