Are Sinus Infections Contagious?

February 28, 2023

A sinus infection is a condition in which the cavities surrounding the nasal passages become inflamed. The less severe form of the infection can be triggered by a cold or allergies and typically disappears on its own. A sinus infection in itself is not contagious but the virus causing the infection can be contagious.

What Causes Sinus Infections

1. Virus: The main cause of sinusitis are viruses. A congested sinus is an ideal breeding ground for viruses. Viral sinusitis is not only the most common type of sinus infection but it also is the most contagious. Viruses move around by attaching themselves to drops of water, they can survive for days on most surfaces. A sinus infection due to a virus will typically resolve itself within two weeks. While the symptoms are on however, there are some precautions you can take to avoid spreading it to others. These steps include:

  • Use a face mask
  • Ensure you cover your mouth and nose when sneezing
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water.
  • Use hand sanitizers
  • Avoid touching your face unnecessarily.

2. Bacteria: When bacteria gets trapped in the sinus cavity it can lead to infection. Bacterial sinusitis is not as a result of foreign invasion and as such, it is not contagious. Bacterial sinusitis is very rare and accounts for less than 3% of sinus infection cases. A bacterial infection can be treated with the aid of medications and it resolves itself after about four to six weeks. If the sinus infection doesn't clear after six weeks then it might be time to visit an urgent care center.

3. Allergic reactions: Allergies are another very common cause of sinusitis. People have different allergies and when they come in contact with them, it can lead to a sinus infection. This happens because the body releases histamine to combat the invading allergens and histamine can cause congestion and sneezing. Allergy related sinusitis is treated by addressing the allergens with medications such as:

  • Use of antihistamines
  • Use of Nasal sprays and drops
  • Getting an allergy shot.

How to Avoid Getting A Sinus Infection

Although sinus infections are very common and most will experience it multiple times in their lifetime, there are steps you can take to reduce the chances of being infected.

1. By washing your hands you reduce the chances of any viral infection. 

2. Ensure to stay hydrated as water clears up mucus in the throat thus reducing the chances of infection.

3. Get a humidifier for your home. Humidifiers help keep the air in the home moist which is a great way to prevent sinusitis.

4. Stay away from your allergens.

5. Get the necessary vaccines to reduce chances of infection.

6. As much as possible avoid infected people.

Visit AFC Urgent Care Aurora Saddle Rock for Sinus Infection Care

There are definitely worse infections than coming down with a sinus infection. The disease can be cleared relatively easily and is not life-threatening. This doesn't negate how annoying the infection can be however. Following all the tips above will help clear your sinus cavity in no time at all. If your sinus infection isn't responding to medication you can visit the urgent care center at AFC Aurora Saddle Rock for further treatment.

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