How is chronic sinusitis diagnosed?

Chronic sinusitis is diagnosed when symptoms of a sinus infection have continued for more than 12 weeks. In some cases, your doctor may use an endoscope (a small and flexible tool that allows the doctor to see inside your nose and sinuses).

A CT scan or MRI could also be used to look for structural issues. Structural problems usually include a deviated nasal septum (the nose is shifted to the side) or polyps (growths).

In very few cases, your provider might order a biopsy to see if the infection has spread. Biopsies involve taking tissue or bone samples to example under the microscope.

How can you tell the difference between chronic sinusitis and other issues, like migraine headaches?

You probably can’t tell the difference between all of these things. So, in cases where you have a constant headache, or facial pain, or tooth pain, you should call your healthcare provider to get a diagnosis. This is especially true if you have tried different therapies and have not been able to find relief. Your primary healthcare provider might even find it difficult to diagnose you properly and might suggest you see a specialist. This would be an otolaryngologist, commonly called an ear, nose and throat (ENT) doctor.

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