Q: Which doctor should I consult for sinusitis?
A: An ENT specialist (otolaryngologist) can help in treatment and management of sinusitis.
Q: Is it necessary to know if my sinusitis is caused by bacteria or virus?
A: Yes. Viral sinusitis does not respond to antibiotics. So, symptomatic treatment, like the use of pain relievers, nasal sprays and nasal irrigation is given. Viral infections generally last for a week or 10 days, while bacterial infections may last for 14 days. Antibiotics for sinus infection are prescribed if the physician suspects a bacterial infection.
Q: How can an allergy cause sinusitis?
A: Allergic reaction to substances like pollen and dust may result in stimulation of the mucus lining of the nose. This may cause inflammation of the nose, which can spread to the sinuses surrounding it. Inflammation and excessive production of the mucus in the sinuses facilitate bacterial growth, resulting in sinusitis.
Q: Can sinusitis infection be the cause of stroke?
A: It is possible, although very rare. Any infection can cause problems in the blood vessels that surround the infected tissues. Sinuses, being closer to the brain, can cause blood clots that may travel to the brain and increase the risk of a stroke.
Q: Why do I need imaging studies like CT scan and MRI scan for the diagnosis of sinusitis?
A: Computerized Tomography (CT Scan) and Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) show the details in the sinus areas. The ethmoid and sphenoid sinuses are difficult to view through endoscopy procedures. The imaging studies can help in identification of any deep inflammation or physical obstruction. It also helps in assessing the extent of spread of the infection to the surrounding tissues such as eyes, ears, mastoid bone and meninges.
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