How is Sinusitis diagnosed?
The diagnosis is clinical. Because your nose can get stuffy when you have a condition like the common cold, you may confuse simple nasal congestion with sinusitis. A cold, however, usually lasts about 7 to 14 days and disappears without treatment. Acute sinusitis often lasts longer and typically causes more symptoms than just a cold.
Your doctor can diagnose sinusitis by listening to your symptoms, doing a physical examination, looking into your sinuses with a fiber optic flexible camera, or a CT (CAT scan) of the sinuses.
How can I prevent Sinusitis?
You cannot prevent sinus infections from happening, but, with proper education and recognition of symptoms, their incidence can be greatly reduced.
If you are prone to getting sinus disorders, especially if you have allergies, you should avoid cigarette smoke and other air pollutants. If your allergies inflame your nasal passages, you are more likely to have a strong reaction to all irritants.
If you suspect that your sinus inflammation may be related to dust, mold, pollen, or food-or any of the hundreds of allergens that can trigger an upper respiratory reaction-you should consult your allergist. Your allergist can use various tests to determine whether you have an allergy and its cause. This will help you take appropriate steps to reduce or limit your allergen exposure and decrease symptoms.
You may find that air travel poses a problem if you are suffering from acute or chronic sinusitis. As air pressure in a plane is reduced, pressure can build up in your head blocking your sinuses or Eustachian tubes in your ears. Therefore, you might feel discomfort in your sinus or middle ear during the plane’s ascent or descent. In our office, we commonly prescribe a combination of medications which are taken before, during, and after air travel to reduce discomfort of sinuses or of the middle ear.
Where can I get more information about sinusitis?
Your local allergist’s office! (If you are reading this, chances are you have already visited www.DrSneeze.com)
National Library of Medicine: http://www.nlm.nih.gov/medlineplus/sinusitis.html
American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology
611 East Wells Street
Milwaukee, Wl 53202