New blood test helps diagnose sinusitis

Artist Cindy Epps believes the beauty of her paintings is in the details. But this past year chronic sinusitis turned her world into a blur.

"My head hurt. My face hurt. It's hard to be able to focus on something beautiful and creating and doing something like that when you feel miserable like that," said Epps.

Diagnosing sinusitis is difficult because it can have so many causes. Now a new blood test is clearing up the confusion.

"Using a drop of blood, we are able to tell who are the individuals that have chronic sinus problems," said otolaryngologist, Dr. Stilianos Kountakis.

The test measures specific proteins in the blood linked to chronic sinusitis. In a study of more than 100 people, the blood test was able to identify those who had the condition even if they had no symptoms.

"It's a more objective test. Also, we can determine the type of sinusitis that the patient has," said Dr. Kountakis.

The test allows doctors to get patients on the right medications sooner and tailor the treatment to a person's blood profile.

"It's like a fingerprint for that individual patient, and that individual disease," said Dr. Kountakis.

After months of suffering, Cindy found the right treatment routine, allowing her creativity to shine through.

"I feel 100 percent better. I feel like I can do the things that I love to do," said Epps.

The National Institutes of Health says in rare cases, untreated sinus infections can even lead to a brain infection.

Doctors say the best way to treat chronic sinusitis, is with careful monitoring and management with medication.



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