Do You Need A Sinus CT Scan To Diagnose Sinusitis?

sinus pressure

It is often difficult to identify whether the sinus problems causing sinusitis are stemming from a bacterial infection or a viral infection from a common cold, which then causes inflammation. Your healthcare provider will base their diagnosis on the symptoms you are experiencing and will ask questions along the lines of determining:

  • Mucus consistency
  • The duration of experienced symptoms
  • The amount of facial pressure you are experiencing

Your physician will then perform a nasal endoscopy to assist in the proper diagnosis of your sinus problems. A Sinus CT will be deemed necessary depending on if it is found to be acute sinusitis or chronic sinusitis.

What are the symptoms of sinusitis infections?

Some common symptoms of sinusitis inflections include:

  • Fever
  • Cough
  • Fatigue
  • Bad breath
  • Thick yellow or green draining mucus in your throat
  • Decreased sense of smell
  • Sinus pressure around or behind the eyes or cheeks
  • Worsening headache
  • Runny, stuffy nose that persists over a week

Is the CT scan safe?

Sinus CT scans do expose you to small amounts of controlled ionizing radiation exposure, however, CT scans have historically been linked to a longer life expectancy.  CT scans help physicians provide a diagnosis, monitor treatment and guide medical procedures that wouldn’t be possible. Plus, the radiation dosage is so low that risk of developing cancer is so miniscule that it cannot even be tested. Always consult your healthcare provider with any questions you may have before receiving a CT Scan.

Is it possible to not experience any symptoms but have obstructions or abnormalities that can only be found though having a CT Scan conducted? Yes. It is important to receive a CT Scan even if you aren’t necessarily experiencing any symptoms. Doctors have conducted CT Scans on healthy people who have not experienced sinus pressure or problems and have found obstructions and other abnormalities that required treatment.

For more information on CT scans, or to schedule a CT scan at one of our Alliance MRI locations, please contact us.