CT Scan Offers Better Sinusitis Treatment

November 22, 2021 – 5 min read

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CT Scan for Accurate Sinusitis Treatment

CT, or computed tomography, a minimally invasive and accurate form of medical imaging, can provide a reliable tool to help diagnose sinusitis, leading to better sinusitis treatment. In addition to diagnosing sinusitis, CT scans can identify sinus cysts or nasal polyps that may cause other health issues.

What Is Sinusitis?

The sinuses comprise four air-filled spaces behind the facial bones around the nasal cavity, including your nose, cheeks, forehead and between your eyes. Part of the respiratory system, the sinuses produce mucus to keep airflow passages moisturized and prevent dust particles and bacteria from invading the body.

Sinusitis, or a sinus infection, occurs when the sinuses fill with fluid. If bacteria gather in this standing fluid, you’ll experience discomfort and cold-like symptoms.

Since viruses cause most sinusitis, the viral infections usually clear up on their own and do not require antibiotics. Sinusitis caused by a bacterial infection occurs more rarely and may require treatment with antibiotics. A doctor will determine whether a sinusitis infection is bacterial or viral after conducting a thorough exam.

Symptoms of Sinusitis

Symptoms of sinusitis vary from person to person. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) reports most symptoms often mimic those of the common cold or seasonal allergies, including:

  • Bad breath
  • Cough
  • Facial pain or pressure
  • Fever
  • Headache
  • Postnasal drip
  • Runny nose
  • Stuffy nose

While many of these symptoms are uncomfortable, they often do not require medical treatment. Chronic sinusitis occurs when sinusitis symptoms remain for 12 or more weeks. Consult a doctor if symptoms worsen or you experience any of the following:

  • Fever lasting longer than three to four days
  • Multiple sinus infections that don’t respond to treatment
  • Severe headache or facial pain
  • Symptoms that get worse after initial improvement
  • Symptoms without improvement for 10 days or longer

Risk Factors for Sinusitis

The nasal cavity and respiratory passages are delicate and interconnected. Many common conditions can irritate these systems, resulting in infection. These conditions make you more likely to experience sinus infections:

  • Asthma
  • Dental infection
  • Deviated nasal septum
  • Fungal infection
  • Immune system disorders
  • Nasal polyps, cysts or tumors
  • Seasonal allergies such as hay fever
  • Secondhand smoke exposure

Ask your doctor about ways to treat these conditions and lessen your risk factors.

Why Sinusitis Treatment Matters

Most sinusitis infections will go away on their own. Yet if you’ve been experiencing continuous symptoms, are at high risk or suffer from chronic sinusitis, it’s important to get treatment.

When left untreated, sinusitis may cause serious side effects, including:

  • Though uncommon, sinusitis can cause inflammation of the fluid around the brain and spinal cord called meningitis, as well as bone and skin infections.
  • Vision problems. The nasal cavity is next to the eye sockets. If sinusitis spreads to the eye socket, it can impair vision.

CT Scans and Sinusitis Treatment

At Touchstone Medical Imaging, we know how uncomfortable a sinus problem feels. Medical imaging is an important part of sinusitis diagnosis, and prompt diagnosis leads to treatment that can help you feel better fast and get back to your life.

CT scans use X-rays and computers to take images of soft tissue, bones and blood vessels. CT imaging takes more detailed images than standard X-rays, making it the optimal imaging option for diagnosing sinusitis. If fluid or polyps are present in the nasal cavity, it is also visible in a CT scan.

CT scans help diagnose:

  • Inflammatory sinus disease
  • Sinus headaches
  • Sinusitis and other sinus infections

CT scans are also important for the following:

  • Checking for nasal polyps, tumors or cysts
  • Examining congested sinuses
  • Inspecting the nasal cavity and sinuses before other treatments

How to Prepare for a CT Scan

CT imaging is painless, precise and reliable, making it a great option for diagnosing sinusitis. Getting a CT scan used to mean going to the hospital for a scan and waiting on slow results. Touchstone Medical Imaging delivers expert imaging services in a compassionate environment. We accept most major insurance at our convenient locations and our imaging is a fraction of the cost of a hospital scan.

The Touchstone Medical Imaging team will provide a detailed walk-through of your CT scan before you arrive. Be sure to read all instructions carefully and follow them for best results. Our expert staff are available to answer all questions at every stage of the imaging service.

What to Expect During a CT Scan

Touchstone Medical Imaging provides a streamlined patient experience during all imaging services. A technologist will greet you upon arrival and assist you with lying down on the CT scanner table. The table goes in and out of the scanner while an X-ray tube and X-ray detector rotate around you. The latest technology systems at Touchstone Medical Imaging keep this process simple and the scan only takes a few minutes.

After your CT scan, you’re able to go back to your daily routine. Once results become available, a Touchstone Medical Imaging radiologist will immediately share that information with your doctor, who will recommend next steps.

Results You Can Trust

The advanced CT technology in use at Touchstone Medical Imaging facilities in Arkansas, Colorado, Florida, Montana, Nebraska, Oklahoma and Texas allows our team of fellowship-trained, subspecialized radiologists to see potentially problematic areas. The technology illuminates the size, position and shape of any growths and easily identifies conditions like sinusitis. With same-day and next-day appointments available, we make getting an imaging scan convenient for your busy schedule.


With your doctor’s referral, find the closest Touchstone Medical Imaging center and request your appointment today.