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 a condition where the sinus cavities become inflamed and swollen, leading to symptoms such as nasal congestion, facial pain or pressure, and difficulty breathing. Sinusitis is a common condition that can affect people worldwide, including those living in Singapore. This is due to the climate change and weather conditions here in Singapore.

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

The different Types of Sinusitis

  • Acute Sinusitis: This is usually a short-term condition that typically lasts less than four weeks. It occurs when the sinuses get swollen and inflamed due to a viral or bacterial infection. Common symptoms include stuffy nose, facial pain, thick nasal discharge, and a reduced sense of smell.
  • Chronic Sinusitis: When the condition persists for more than 12 weeks despite medical treatment, this condition would be most likely chronic. The symptoms are similar to acute sinusitis but may be less severe. Chronic sinusitis can result from persistent infections, allergies, nasal polyps, and other factors that affect sinus drainage.

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).

Sinusitis Treatment Options in Singapore

In Singapore, there are various sinusitis treatments based the severity of the symptoms.

  • Medications for sinusitis treatment: Doctors may prescribe antibiotics and decongestants to treat bacterial sinusitis and reduce inflammation. Nasal sprays with steroids can also help ease symptoms.
  • Nasal Rinses for sinusitis treatment: Some people may benefit from using saline rinses to clear mucus and debris from their nasal passages, providing relief.
  • CT Scan for sinusitis treatment: For chronic sinusitis that doesn’t improve with treatment, a CT scan may be done to get a better view of the sinuses and identify any issues.

It’s important to work with a doctor to find the best treatment for your specific situation and help you feel better.

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