MRI (Magnetic Resonance Imagining) scan is used to obtain detailed pictures of the paranasal sinuses in order to identify the issues pertaining to them. Paranasal sinuses are the four air cavities in the skull around the nasal cavity. The sinuses play a crucial role in air circulation. The issues that could plague these sinuses include cancer and sinusitis (inflammation of sinus due to accumulation of fluid). Your doctor might recommend a MRI due to abnormal nasal drainage, loss of smell, unexplained headaches and sinus pain, identification of tumor, cancer or nasal polyps (non-cancerous growth within the sinuses), repeated nose bleeds or injuries in the sinus area.
The MRI scan employs powerful magnets and radio waves to obtain images of the inside of the body including body parts and to identify strokes and cancerous growth. The scan subjects the hydrogen proton in the water molecules, which constitute most of our body, to strong magnetic and radio waves and produces images corresponding to density of water. Hence, it does NOT use radiation and is completely painless.