Detailed Assessment of Sinus Infection

Sinuses are small air-filled spaces located within our skull, behind our cheeks, between our eyes and over our forehead. Each sinus is lined with a mucous membrane which produces mucus to moisturize the inside of the nose. The mucus produced in our sinuses is usually swept along by little hair cells (cilia) and drained into the nasal cavity, out of the nose. When the mucous membrane becomes inflamed and swollen, the drainage system becomes blocked and leads to sinus infection (sinusitis). Acute sinusitis usually clears up spontaneously or with treatment within three months. However, if the sinusitis persists beyond three months, it will be considered chronic sinusitis.

What are the Common Symptoms of Sinusitis?

  • Nasal obstruction
  • Yellow or green nasal discharge
  • Pain or discomfort behind the cheeks, forehead and behind the eyeballs
  • Toothache
  • Reduced sense of smell
  • Bad breath

Who’s at Risk of Getting Sinusitis?

The most common reason for getting sinusitis is after a flu or cold. Other conditions that make us prone to getting sinusitis are:

  • Nasal polyps
  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Smoking
  • A weak immune system
  • Working in an environment with toxic fumes (e.g. painting, chemicals, glue)

How is Sinusitis Diagnosed?

The sinus specialist will examine your nose to see if you have any nasal polyps or structural problems that predispose you to sinusitis. Allergy testing can identify what allergic triggers might be behind your chronic or recurring sinus infections. In chronic or severe cases, your nasal passages may be examined using a technique called rhinoscopy or nasal endoscopy. In this procedure, a thin, flexible instrument is inserted up the nostril to view the sinus passages and look for blockages. Sometimes, a CT scan may be used for a more accurate diagnosis as well as to look for abnormalities in the sinuses – narrow drainage passages, polyps or a deviated septum.

If you are diagnosed with sinusitis, your sinus specialist will determine its severity and tailor a treatment plan for you which may include lifestyle changes, and surgery (if conservative methods have not been effective or appropriate). With the right treatment plan, your sinus infection will surely make good progress. To schedule an appointment with our sinus specialists, please call 6397 5280.

Our Sinus Specialist

Dr Paul Mok

Senior Consultant ENT SurgeonMBBS, FRCS (Glasgow), FAMS (ORL)

Dr Mok is a Ministry of Health-accredited ENT specialist in Singapore. He has more than 20 years of experience and previously headed the ENT Head and Neck Service at Alexandra Hospital and Khoo Teck Puat Hospital before becoming the Deputy Chairman of the Khoo Teck Puat Hospital Medical Board. He is the present Chairman of the Singapore Academy of Medicine Chapter of ENT surgeons.

Dr Lau Hung Tuan

Consultant ENT Surgeon,MBBS (London), MRCS (Edinburgh),MMed (ORL), FAMS (ORL)

Dr Lau Hung Tuan is a Ministry of Health-accredited ENT specialist in Singapore. He has more than 10 years of ENT experience and has a clinical interest in upper airway breathing and sleep conditions. He is highly passionate about finding holistic and individualized solutions for his patients.

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