Does your doctor prescribe antibiotics every time you get a sinus infection? Wouldn’t it be better to fix whatever is causing the problem, instead of just treating your symptoms? If you have sinus or ear problems, you know how frustrating it can be living with pressure, pain, and an inability to breathe. It can affect your sleep, your focus at work, and your quality of life in general. Some ear, nose, and throat doctors in NY can only make an educated guess to diagnose and treat your sinusitis; but the allergy specialists at NYASC can use our in-office sinus CT scanner to confirm your diagnosis before treatment. It’s fast, convenient, and accurate.
WHAT IS A CT SCAN?
A CT scan – sometimes called a CAT scan – is a test that can help your doctor diagnose and treat specific medical conditions. It combines specialized x-ray equipment with computer technology to generate cross-sectional images of the inside of the body. These images show your bones, soft tissue, and blood vessels with more clarity and detail than normal x-rays.
By using a minimally invasive 3D imaging cone beam scanner to help diagnose your sinus or ear problems, you can get faster relief from your symptoms. It is one of the best ways to diagnose sinus and ear problems. Until recently, your doctor would send you to the hospital or imaging center for a scan. You would go back to their office for a follow-up visit to discuss your diagnosis and make a treatment plan. This process can take days or even weeks, delaying your treatment and relief.
Now, our allergists can diagnose your problems during your first office exam using a cone beam scanner – an upright, open-design CT scanner that creates instant, high-quality images of the sinuses and ears. This scan is quick, easy, and comfortable. Adult scans take 40 seconds and pediatric scans take only 20 seconds. The radiation dose is up to 90% lower than sinus and ear scans taken on full-body CT scanners. The allergists can show you your scan on a computer monitor, explain your condition, begin your treatment plan right away. The faster you begin your treatment, the faster you can get relief from your symptoms!
Many physicians refer their patients to NYASC to obtain precise 3-dimensional images of their sinuses while minimizing their radiation exposure.
WHAT DOES A CT SCAN OF THE SINUSES SHOW?
With our scanner, we get digital 3D images of your sinuses and ears, which gives us instant access to the information needed to diagnose your problem. The scan specifically evaluates the paranasal sinus cavities, which are a group of four paired air-filled spaces that surround the nasal cavity. Our x-rays expose the sinuses located under the eyes, above the eyes, between the eyes, and behind the eyes. Unhealthy sinuses will show up as dark areas on the scan.
The scan will show if you have sinus cysts or nasal polyps that may need to be removed with surgery. Although NYASC specializes in non-surgical sinus care, if you require surgery, our allergists will refer you to a different clinic that performs surgeries.
WHAT CAUSES SINUS CYSTS?
Sinus cysts result from chronic inflammation due to asthma, recurring sinus infections, and allergies. They can affect anyone but are more common in adults. You may not be aware that you have them because they can be really small. If they get larger, they can block your nasal passages and sinuses making it hard for you to breathe out of your nose. That’s why you need a CT scan to view your sinuses.
CAN A SINUS CYST BE CANCEROUS?
In some cases, a sinus cyst can be cancerous. A cancerous cyst is usually found in its later stage because most patients don’t seek treatment at the first sign of a sinus problem. When doctors don’t use 3-D imaging when diagnosing a sinus condition, these cysts can go unnoticed. Many physicians prescribe antibiotics for a sinus infection that could possibly be caused by a cancerous cyst because of the known symptoms.
If you regularly experience the following symptoms, you may have a cancerous cyst and should seek medical attention immediately.
Persistent nasal congestion and stuffiness
• Chronic sinus infections that do not go away with antibiotic treatment
• Frequent headaches or pain in the sinus region
• Pain or swelling in the face, eyes, or ears
• Frequent tearing of the eyes
• Decreased sense of smell
• Pain, numbness, or loosening of teeth
• A lump on the face, nose, or inside the mouth
WHY WOULD I NEED A CT SCAN?
CT scanning of the sinuses is primarily used to:
• Help diagnose and manage chronic or recurrent acute sinusitis.
• Detect inflammation or infection, even in deep areas that would be missed by nasal endoscopy or x-ray.
• Detect structural abnormalities in your sinuses that may be causing your symptoms, such as a deviated septum or nasal polyps.
• Evaluate sinuses that have thickened sinus membranes or are filled with fluid.
• Prepare for surgery by defining the precise structure of your sinuses and nasal cavity.
• Our allergy and asthma associates will determine if a CT scan is necessary to help diagnose your condition. If the doctor feels it is appropriate, she may also refer you to our allergy and asthma clinic for allergy testing.
Healthy vs Diseased Maxillary Sinus
OUR CT SCANNER
A conventional full-body CT scanner involves the patient lying on their back in a confined, cylindrical space. Our CT scanner is different because it focuses on the sinuses. Therefore, only your head needs to be inside the scanner. Our scanner also has an open design that minimizes claustrophobia and discomfort. Our CT scanner uses cone beam technology to focus just on the sinuses. This allows us to minimize radiation while providing a high tech three-dimensional image of the sinuses.
The CT scan used in our office can detect a variety of things including nasal polyps, inflammation or infection of the sinuses, and fluid-filled sinuses. If you have trouble breathing out of your nose or experience frequent sinus pain, you may need a CT scan to determine if a sinus blockage is the cause of your symptoms.
The images produced by the scan help our physicians attain a quick diagnosis. Once we know what’s causing your sinus problem, we can determine the best treatment plan for you. We can often get a same-day diagnosis to help us treat your condition faster so you can get back to feeling normal.
At NY Allergy & Sinus Centers, we use cone-beam computed tomography (CBCT). CBCT is a medical imaging technique where the x-rays form a cone. It is a smaller and faster version of a regular CT scanner. The technique used in CBCT scanning is important in diagnosis in implant dentistry, ENT and allergy, and maxillofacial specialties. Our cone beam scanner delivers 3-D images of your sinuses that allows for more precise diagnosis and treatment planning for your sinus problems.
CBCT scans are used heavily in dental professions. Dentists and periodontists use this scan for more detailed images of the teeth, mouth, and jaw. It is useful in dental implant planning, as well as diagnosis in root canals and cavities. Pain in the upper teeth is a common symptom with sinus conditions. That’s why we work with dental experts in the area to get you effective treatment.
What does a CBCT scan of the sinus show?
A CBCT scan of the sinuses shows a patient’s paranasal sinus cavities. Paranasal sinuses are a group of four paired air-filled spaces that surround the nasal cavity. With a CBCT scanner, our allergists are able to see the sinuses located under the eyes, above the eyes, between the eyes, and behind the eyes. If your sinuses are unhealthy, the scan will show dark areas around your sinuses.
The scan can also show if you have nasal polyps or sinus cysts. Many conditions of nasal polyps can be treated without surgery. However, in the event that you do need surgery, our NYC allergists will refer you to an ENT specialist.
WHAT IS IT LIKE TO GET A CT SCAN?
A scan takes approximately 10-20 seconds. You will be seated upright and may be asked to wear a lead apron (over your torso) or collar (around your neck). You will be asked to hold still, to close your eyes, and to avoid swallowing during the scan.
ARE CT SCANS SAFE FOR EVERYONE?
Our CT Scanner produces a low dose of radiation, making it a safe option for most people. CT scans with low radiation doses have not been shown to cause long-term health effects. However, you should not get a CT scan if you are pregnant. Unborn babies are more sensitive to the effects of radiation. Regular exposure to radiation could cause birth defects.
Our NYC allergists will determine if you need a CT scan. It is only performed when a diagnosis can’t be confirmed without an image of the sinuses. If you are concerned about the potential risks of radiation exposure, consult with your physician.
BENEFITS OF CT SCANS
- Fast, easy & convenient – instant on-site diagnosis leads to faster treatment and relief. Dr. Nejat can diagnose your problem during your office exam and prescribe treatment in one visit, so you can start feeling better faster.
- Painless and noninvasive
- Accurate, high-resolution images
- Lower dose of radiation – Adult scans have up to 15x lower radiation dose, and pediatric scans have up to 28x lower radiation dose than sinus scans taken on full-body CT scanners. Lower radiation dose gives you peace of mind.
- Safe – even if you have an implanted medical device (a knee replacement or pacemaker, for example)
- Upright, open design minimizes claustrophobia – You sit comfortably upright in a chair as an overhead arm makes a single rotation around your head. Our open, patient-friendly design eliminates the sense of claustrophobia that many people experience during CT scans taken on full-body CT scanners.
- Same day diagnosis minimizes your insurance co-pays – By eliminating the need for an off-site CT scan and a follow-up office visit, you can reduce your insurance co-pays, minimize your out-of-pocket expenses, and save valuable time.
WHAT WILL YOU DO WITH THE IMAGES?
The images obtained during your scan can be viewed immediately on a computer monitor, transferred to a CD, or printed. NYASC will be able to use these images right away to diagnose you and begin your treatment sooner. We will also transfer the images to your ENT Dr (ears, nose, and throat) specialist, or other doctors for review. We can give them electronic access to your images within 10 minutes using Xoran Connect® – the files will be available for review and storage at their convenience.
If your scan was performed in preparation for surgery, we will also convert the scan, at no additional charge, to the Brainlab® protocol. This will allow your ENT doctor to perform your surgery using their ENT Navigation Application. With Brainlab®, your surgeon will be able to navigate more safely and accurately through the sinuses during surgery. Through improved visualization, the Brainlab® ENT navigation system offers improved patient safety while improving outcomes and decreasing complications. It is a “GPS for sinus surgery.”
WHY GO TO NYASC?
We can diagnose you with our CT scanner and treat your condition, all in the same office! No need to schedule a follow-up appointment or visit another facility. Our associates specialize in allergy, sinus, and asthma. This means that we can diagnose and treat the allergies that are aggravating your sinus problems.
FASTER DIAGNOSIS MEANS FASTER RELIEF!
If you are interested in learning more about CT scans of the sinuses, the allergists at NY Allergy & Sinus Centers would like to help.
Our doctors can also find relief for your respiratory allergies, nasal & sinus problems, ENT symptoms, skin conditions, and asthma. We have the latest treatments & testing, and we offer convenient allergy and asthma clinics throughout NYC. Call 212-686-4448 for an appointment in Murray Hill, Midtown, Upper West Side, Chelsea, and Queens.