The cause of headaches can be difficult to determine. The doctor will question you about your headaches and do a physical exam. Be sure to mention if you've had a recent cold, if you have allergies and if you smoke, which may contribute to acute sinusitis.
Your doctor may perform one of these tests to determine if you have sinusitis:
Apr. 26, 2012
- Nasal endoscopy. Tender sinuses may be one sign of sinusitis. The doctor may use a thin tube with a light (endoscope) to examine your nasal passages.
- Mucus testing. He or she may also test mucus samples from inside your nose for evidence of a bacterial or fungal infection.
- Imaging tests. Examples include CT or MRI scans. CT scans use a computer to create cross-sectional images of your brain and head (including your sinuses) by combining images from an X-ray unit that rotates around your body. With MRIs, a magnetic field and radio waves are used to create cross-sectional images of the structures within your brain.
- Sinus headaches. American Academy of Otolaryngology — Head and Neck Surgery. http://www.entnet.org/HealthInformation/sinusHeadache.cfm. Accessed Feb. 9, 2012.
- Sinus infection (sinusitis). Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. http://www.cdc.gov/getsmart/antibiotic-use/URI/sinus-infection.html. Accessed Feb. 9, 2012.
- Sinusitis. The Merck Manuals: The Merck Manual for Healthcare Professionals. http://www.merck.com/mmpe/sec08/ch091/ch091g.html?qt=sinus headache&alt=sh. Accessed Feb. 9, 2012.
- Sinus headache. National Headache Foundation. http://www.headaches.org/education/Headache_Topic_Sheets/Sinus_Headache. Accessed Feb. 9, 2012.
- Patel ZM. Headache and sinus disease. American Rhinologic Society. http://care.american-rhinologic.org/headaches_and_sinus_disease. Accessed Feb. 9, 2012.
- Ferguson BJ, et al. Adult sinusitis. American Rhinologic Society. http://care.american-rhinologic.org/adult_sinusitis. Accessed Feb. 9, 2012.
- Hamilos DL. Chronic rhinosinusitis: Epidemiology and medical management. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 2011;128:693.
- Swanson JW (expert opinion). Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minn. Feb. 14, 2012.