Tests and diagnosis

By Mayo Clinic Staff

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:

  • 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.
Apr. 26, 2012

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