Reasons and Procedure For Conducting a Sinus X-Ray

Submitted on March 27, 2012

Sinus X-Ray

Taking sinus X-ray pictures is a simple procedure, much like taking an X-ray of any other part of the body. A sinus X-ray is conducted in order to confirm a case of sinusitis. X-rays are simple radiations like radio waves. These rays can be focused into a beam, passed through objects, and finally captured on a photographic film.

X-rays are often used to take photographs of the skeletal tissues in the body. When the X-rays are passed through the human body, they pass through the flesh normally, but are blocked by the denser bone material. Organs that are less dense than the bones block some amount of these rays and therefore, appear light grey in color on the captured photographs.

If you have been experiencing symptoms of sinusitis, an X-ray of the sinus cavities may be ordered by your doctor. Since there are many sinus cavities, to make a complete diagnosis, sinus X-rays may be taken from several angles.

Till sometime back, X-ray of the sinuses was the only method of detecting acute sinusitis in a person. The sinus cavities behind the cheeks or the eyebrows could only be diagnosed for infections by using X-rays. However, over a period of time, the use of X-rays for sinus has declined owing to the more popular CT scan. The CT scan offers a clearer picture of the sinuses and is, therefore, more preferred.

Reason Why It is Conducted

X-rays are still commonly used to help distinguish between sinusitis and the other problems that may cause similar symptoms. Some of the other problems like complications of the joints in the jaw, headache and migraines, and dental infections may have similar symptoms as that of sinusitis. An X-ray for sinus can help rule out sinusitis as the probable cause of these symptoms. However, in the past, these findings have not always been very reliable and therefore, it is best to evaluate the X-rays with great caution.

For sinusitis infections that become complicated and involve more bones and tissues surrounding the cavities, it often becomes necessary to conduct a CT scan. A normal X-ray of the sinuses will typically show a normal looking bone structure. There will be no evidence of fluids inside the sinuses and the mucous membrane will have no thickening, appearing to be completely normal. If you are indeed suffering from sinusitis, the X-ray for sinus will have evidence of fluids along with a slightly thick mucous membrane.