What is “Sinus”?

Sinuses are the hollow spaces in the bones of your face, located near your nose, eyes and cheeks. It helps to produce mucus which traps dust and allergens.

Sometimes, we describe allergic rhinitis colloquially as “sinus”. This tends to manifest in blocked nose, nasal itch, runny nose and sneezing click here.

What is sinusitis?

Sinusitis is the inflammation of the tissues lining the sinuses. It can occur when the sinuses are blocked and infection can fester.

What are the symptoms of sinusitis?

Commonly, sinusitis can present with:

  • Nasal congestion
  • Nasal discharge (usually thick and yellow or green colored)
  • Facial pressure
  • Post nasal drip

How do I tell the difference between sinusitis and the common cold?

You can usually differentiate the 2 by their duration. The common cold usually comes on and disappears within a week. A common cold can precede sinusitis.

How do I know if I have allergies or sinusitis?

Usually allergies manifest as sneezing, nasal itch, runny nose and blocked nose. It has similar symptoms to sinusitis. Allergic rhinitis is also a risk factor to getting sinusitis.

Your doctor would be able to take a detailed history of your symptoms. 

What can cause sinusitis?

Sinusitis is usually caused by pathogens such as virus, fungus or bacteria. The infection causes inflammation which blocks up the sinuses. There are some predisposing factors that contribute to sinusitis such as:

  • Allergic rhinitis
  • Nasal polyps
  • Deviated nasal septum
  • Poor immunity 
  • Smoking 

How do you diagnose sinusitis?

Your doctor will usually take a detailed history and perform a physical examination. Your ENT specialist will be able to perform a flexible nasoendoscope to look inside the nose, looking for pus and swelling. Occasionally, you may require further imaging (CT scan).

How is sinusitis treated?

Depending on the duration and severity of symptoms, there are different treatment methods. 

Sinusitis may need to be treated with antibiotics, decongestants, nasal rinses and intranasal steroid sprays. For chronic sinusitis that does not respond to treatment, a CT scan may be necessary. Depending on the CT images, your doctor may recommend surgery.

Is sinusitis dangerous?

As the sinuses are close to vital organs such as brain and eyes, it can cause complications. In severe cases of sinusitis, infection can spread to the brain and the eyes. 

How do I prevent sinusitis?

If you have allergies, avoiding allergens may help prevent sinusitis. If necessary, your doctor may give you medications to treat your allergic rhinitis as well. 

Frequently Asked Questions

What can I expect from my first ENT specialist visit?

Your ENT doctor will first take a look at your medical history, find out more about the symptoms you’re experiencing and thereafter perform a thorough physical examination. This may include certain procedures such as flexible nasoendoscopy (a look into your nasal passages with a tiny camera). Your issues will be addressed and a suitable treatment plan will be devised for you.

How do I prepare my child for the first visit to the ENT clinic?

Always talk to your child to prepare them for their ENT visit. Find out more about the issues they’re experiencing so that you can assist them in helping the ENT doctor understand their condition. Do bring along a list of their old medications and health booklet.

What modes of payment do you accept?

We accept the following modes of payment:

  • Cash
  • NETS
  • PayNow/PayLah
  • All major credit cards

If you are insured and require more assistance, do approach our clinic staff.

Can I claim my medical bills through my Medisave account?

Yes. All Singaporeans and PR are able to use Medisave for certain consultations, procedures, and medications at our clinic. Please contact us to find out more about the eligible services.

I have insurance. Can I use that to claim for my medical bills?

Selected procedures are deductible if patients have purchased Integrated Shield plans. Please contact us to find out more.

The 6 Approved Integrated Shield Insurers are:

  • NTUC Income’s IncomeShield and Enhanced IncomeShield
  • American International Assurance International Co’s (AIA) HealthShield Gold
  • Great Eastern Life Assurance Co’s SupremeHealth and SupremeHealth Plus
  • Aviva Ltd’s MyShield
  • Prudential Assurance Co’s PRUShield
  • AXA Shield