Millions of Americans have sinus disease, yet it is one of the most difficult conditions to diagnose properly. The Michigan Sinus Center uses a step-by-step approach that – coupled with our years of experience treating thousands of patients – yields accurate diagnosis and helpful treatment.
Prior to your first visit, we will do a pre-screening that will help us build an accurate history of your sinus difficulties. This will be done over the phone. By your first visit, please make sure that any records from previous physicians are available for our review.
Typically, we will examine your nose, nasopharynx (the back of the nose), sinuses, ears and throat. We will also examine your lungs (because many patients with chronic sinusitis also have asthma) as well as your mouth, throat, voicebox (or larynx) and neck.
The examination is done carefully and does not cause pain or discomfort. The examination is performed by hand and with small instruments such as a small ear scope (called an otoscope) or a small nasal speculum.
We are looking for signs of allergies, nasal polyps, infection draining from the sinuses and other less common findings. Depending on our findings, we may also perform a nasal endoscopy and/or CT scan.
An endoscope is like a telescope for viewing the sinuses – only much smaller. With the endoscope, our physicians can see the sinuses and nasal cavity in great detail. Patients tolerate endoscopy very well. We can apply a topical nasal decongestant and numbing medicine to the lining of the nose by a nasal spray prior to endoscopy, but usually the examination can be completed without any special medicines at all.
A "CT" or "CAT" scan is the term used to describe a radiologic test known as "computerized tomography." The CT scanner is a doughnut-shaped machine that takes X-ray pictures of cross-sections of your body, called "slices." CT scans can see into parts of the body that cannot be seen on regular X-ray examinations, and they cause less discomfort and fewer side effects than older methods. CTs are particularly helpful in diagnosing sinus disease.