Your Specialty Physician Associates doctor examines your nasal passages to check for inflammation and then considers your symptoms to make a diagnosis. For a chronic sinusitis diagnosis, you must have two or more of the following symptoms for 12 weeks or more.
- Thick discharge: can drain from your nose or down your throat
- Congestion: makes it hard to breathe
- Pain: in your cheeks, under your eyes, or in your forehead area
- Smell and taste: both senses reduced
- Cough: in children, this can be a diagnostic criteria
While they aren't diagnostic criteria, other common symptoms can include:
- Jaw pain
- Tooth pain
- Nighttime cough
- Sore throat
- Bad breath
- Irritable mood
While chronic and acute sinusitis share the same symptoms, one notable difference is that it's unusual to have a fever with chronic sinusitis but fairly common with acute sinusitis.
Your doctor might need to examine your sinuses more closely through an endoscope, a CT scan, or an MRI to diagnose chronic sinusitis. If your sinusitis flare-ups are related to allergies, your doctor might do an allergy skin test.