Sinusitis is a common health concern resulting from sinus swelling and inflammation. Various ENT treatment options will quickly resolve sinusitis. But a doctor that treats ear, nose and throat (ENT) issues will first need to check your sinuses to diagnose the problem. While it is natural to be concerned about a medical procedure, a consultation with an Atlanta-area ENT doctor will provide clarity on your sinus problems.
What Tests Will an ENT Doctor Use to Check Sinuses?
The exact procedures will vary depending on your illness and medical history. But the following tests are a common way to check your sinuses.
Asking questions and examining a patient is the first step for an ENT. If you are believed to have a sinus infection, the next step is to determine whether it is acute or chronic. Acute sinusitis may last up to eight weeks but can be treated with rest, hydration, saline nasal sprays and other medication. Chronic sinusitis can last longer, and may indicate an ongoing issue such as nasal polyps or an allergy.
A nasal swab can be used to determine the type of bacteria responsible for the infection. Understanding which bacteria is causing the illness allows your doctor to prescribe the right antibiotics. This process would only be necessary for chronic sinusitis that has lasted months.
Allergy testing will be used if your doctor believes your ENT symptoms are caused by an allergic reaction. Allergies caused by pollen, dust, mold and other substances that lead to inflammation in the nasal passages. The swelling disrupts mucus drainage and the sinuses can become infected. By determining the allergy triggering this response, your ENT doctor can respond with an appropriate allergy treatment plan.
In more severe cases, your doctor may need to perform a nasal endoscopy. The process uses a thin tube with a camera and a light called an endoscope. The endoscope is directed into your sinuses, allowing your ENT doctor to see images of an infection. Access to sinus and nasal passages helps diagnose the issue when it is not clear from an examination.
The treatment recommended by your ENT will vary depending on the cause and severity of the sinus infection. For example, mild sinusitis can be treated with water, rest and a decongestant. Nasal allergy treatments could start with allergen avoidance, but you might also consider allergy shots. Antibiotics will also be effective for treating bacterial infections. While each case will vary, a consultation with an ENT will help provide clarity and a way forward.
Start Treating Your ENT Issues Today
If you are struggling with sinusitis, you should get diagnosed by an experienced ENT doctor. Dr. Chacko treats sinus and allergy problems from locations in Alpharetta, Atlanta, Canton, Cumming, Duluth and Johns Creek. Make an appointment today by calling 678-668-4688 or requesting help online.