How Long Are You Contagious With A Sinus Infection
People with a viral sinus infection cant spread the illness to others, but they could pass along virus. catching this from someone who has it will make you more likely for an outbreak as well- contagious up until 2 weeks after symptoms go awayThe passage states that people experiencing Viral Sinonasal Disease cannot infect other individuals due in part because there are no signs or symptoms associated with being infected.
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What Are Ear Infections
Ear infections are viral or bacterial illnesses, usually in your middle ear. Usually, you can recognize an ear infection by a pain in your ear that lasts a couple of days.
While adults are just as likely to get an ear infection, its usually prevalent among children.
Generally, ear infections clear up on their own. However, for severe cases, you may need medical intervention.
One of the most common causes of ear infections is the common cold. Which is famous for being highly contagious. Thats why a lot of people wonder whether their ear infection caused by a cold is contagious or not.
How Long Does An Ear Infection Last
In many cases, ear infections clear up in a couple of weeks without treatment. But some ear infections can last for months.
So why do some ear infections last longer than others? The reasons include your health, the location of the infection and whats causing the infection. Inner ear infections tend to stick around longer than infections of the middle or outer ear. And infections caused by bacteria usually last longer than ones caused by viruses.
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How To Avoid Spreading Sinus Infections
Sinusitis can easily develop as a result of a cold or virus, so spreading these illnesses puts other people at risk of developing a sinus infection. Viruses are spread by breathing in small droplets of water in the air, and also by touching surfaces where these bacteria are lingering. A sinus infection caused by a viral infection lasts about seven to 10 days, meaning you can be contagious with the virus for up to two weeks.
You can avoid spreading a cold by wearing a mask while you are sick, covering your mouth when you cough or sneeze, and washing your hands frequently with soap and hot water.
Should You Treat A Sinus Infection With Antibiotics
Over the past few months Ive seen patient after patient drag themselves to the clinic with coughing, sneezing, headaches and green or yellow nasal discharge, sometimes accompanied by ear and tooth pain. Some people with infection may experience fevers, chills or night sweats signs that the body is fighting a virus or bacteria. These are symptoms I expect as a primary care doctor especially during the spring seasons. They are the telltale signs of sinusitis. But if that sums up symptoms you have, do you need antibiotics? The question may be more complicated than you think.
Each year, more than 30 million Americans endure sinusitis an inflammation of sinus spaces surrounding the nose that makes it difficult to drain fluid that normally flows through the sinuses. Much like a detective weighing clues, us health providers use symptom severity and duration to determine the cause of a patients sickness.
The World Health Organization has called antibiotic resistance one of the biggest threats to global health, saying misuse of antibiotics in humans and animals is accelerating the process.
At a health professionals discretion, antibiotics can be prescribed if a person appears very sick or has any underlying chronic disease that may make them prone to becoming sicker.
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About Author: Lisa Coon
Lisa Coon is a Writing Coordinator for OSF HealthCare, where she has worked since August 2016. A Peoria native, she is a graduate of Bradley University with a degree in journalism. Previously, she worked as a reporter and editor at several newspapers in Iowa and Illinois.She lives in Groveland with her husband and son. In her free time she likes to cook, bake and read. She freely admits that reality TV is a weakness, and she lives by the quote, The beach is good for the soul.
How To Treat An Ear Infection
Usually, ear infections clear up after a couple of days on their own. Its important to monitor your symptoms to see how well your ear heals.
If your symptoms dont improve within a couple of days, a doctor can prescribe antibiotics or ear drops. For severe or chronic cases, your doctor may recommend surgery to drain excess fluid from your middle ear.
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How Do You Get A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection can develop when there is swelling in the sinus cavities. If the sinuses become too swollen, they can narrow and become obstructedmaking it difficult for mucus to drain. When mucus builds and backs up within sinus passages, it can become infected and voilayou get a sinus infection. The most common cause of a sinus infection is a viral cold.
Like any virus, the virus that causes the common cold is highly contagious. However, thankfully, every cold does not develop into a sinus infection. So while viral sinus infections are caused by cold viruses which are indeed very contagious, the sinus infections that result, are not contagious. If you get a viral sinus infection, it should resolve on its own within two weeks.
You may be thinking, wait I thought the only way to clear up a sinus infection was by taking antibiotics. Nope, not true. Viral sinus infections wont respond to antibiotics. And taking antibiotics when you dont need to can be dangerous and contribute to antibiotic resistance. However, in the case where your sinus infection was spurred by a bacterial infection, antibiotics are exactly what you need to fight the infection.
What Causes Sinus Infections
The most common cause of sinusitis are viral respiratory infections that lead to swelling and irritation of the sinuses, the most frequent being the common cold.
Other ways to contract a sinus infection include:
- Nasal polyps, or small growths in the lining of the nose, that may be asymptomatic but block the normal sinus pathways
- Any structural change to the nasal cavity, such as a deviated septum or history of sinus or nose surgery
- Hay fever causing swelling to the noses lining, usually during common allergy seasons
While sinus infections are common and most adults will experience one over their lifetimes, there are outside influences that can lead to more frequent cases of sinusitis.
Risk factors for an increased chance of a sinus infection include:
- A lasting cold
- Smoking or exposure to secondhand smoke
- A broken nose or other structural problems within the sinuses
- A weak immune system, or starting the cycle of a new drug that weakens the immune system
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What Complications Can Happen From Upper Respiratory Infections
Severe complications can include respiratory failure when theres too much carbon dioxide in your blood. The infection could also spread to other parts of your body, such as your brain or heart. If you have any concerns about your symptoms, call your healthcare provider. If you are having trouble breathing or other worrisome symptoms, call 911 or head to the nearest ER.
What Are Common Ear Infection Symptoms
While ear infection symptoms vary from person to person, there are a few common symptoms to look out for. These include:
- mild-to-moderate ear pain or discomfort
- increased feeling of pressure or tension in the ear
- pus-like release or drainage
- temporary hearing loss
In young infants or children who may not be able to verbalize these symptoms, you might notice increased fussiness or crying. You might also notice your child tugging or pulling at the ear.
Additionally, if your child shows feverish symptoms, this may also be a sign he or she has an infection worth checking out.
Unsure about the severity of the symptoms? Its best practice to visit your local urgent care for assessment and treatment as needed.
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How To Treat A Sinus Infection
When you develop a sinus infection, you can do several things on your own to ease your symptoms. Dr. Varghese recommends, over-the-counter pain relievers, decongestants, and nasal sprays. Humidifiers can also help.
Here are some other at-home remedies and commercially available medications to help you feel better:
- Over-the-counter antihistamines. Seasonal allergy medications can help reduce sinus inflammation if youre suffering from allergy-induced sinusitis.
- Warm compresses. Applying a warm compress to your face can help ease discomfort and open your nasal passages so you can breathe easier.
- Sinus rinses. Flushing your nose with water from a neti pot can help remove excess mucus from your sinuses, which will help you feel less congested.
Too Sick To Work Expert Weighs The Decision
Youre sniffling, sneezing, and your nose is running like a faucet. Its about that time of year when people everywhere are faced with the question: am I too sick to work?
I see a lot of patients whose jobs and stress make them feel torn between staying home and going in when theyre sick, says primary care physician and infectious disease specialist Robin Wigmore, MD. But viral infections like the common cold and flu are contagious. Its important to consider your coworkers health as well.
Before packing up your tissues for the office, make an informed decision by asking yourself some simple questions:
How long have I been feeling sick?
You are most contagious in the first 48 hours of a viral illness, says Wigmore. This is often even before you begin feeling symptoms.
This means staying home at the first sign of symptoms can reduce the risk of spreading your illness, while also giving you time to rest, stay hydrated and take care of yourself.
Are my symptoms contagious?
Typically, illnesses are passed through viral particles we spread into the air by coughing or sneezing. Certain cold and flu germs can survive on surfaces such as countertops, doorknobs and phones for up to 24 hours.
As a general rule, if you have a wet cough, a runny nose, fevers or aches, you should probably stay at home, Wigmore says.
If youre unable to see your primary care doctor quickly, urgent care centers can also treat the flu and other illnesses.
Heres a closer look at symptoms:
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When To See A Doctor At University Urgent Care Fort Worth
If you have a fever of over 102 F or symptoms that last more than seven days, its time to see your doctor at the University Urgent Care Fort Worth location. It could be something more serious like pneumonia so keep an eye out for signs such as shortness of breath, coughing up blood-tinged phlegm or having trouble breathing when lying down flat on your back with a pillow under the head .
We welcome same-day walk-ins and have appointments available!
Are Sinus Infections Contagious What You Need To Know Here
Cold is one of the most common health hazards people face, especially during that time of the year when seasons transition. The weather is utterly unpredictable, and so is our health condition. Cold and Flu has a variety of terms associated with them, such as Seasonal Flu, viral infection, or Sinus Infection. It is a predefined notion that most people feel they are suffering from a sinus infection, and some might assume it to be too severe even during the initial stages. But the bigger question lies around- Are Sinus Infections Contagious?
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What Is The Fastest Way To Get Rid Of A Sinus Infection
Use a Medicated Over-the-Counter Nasal Spray This could be the quickest way to get relief from the stuffiness associated with a sinus infection because the medicine contained in an over-the-counter nasal spray enters your sinus passages immediately and reduces the inflammation almost instantaneously.
What To Do For Chronic Sinusitis
If youre suffering from chronic sinusitis or you are getting frequent sinus infections you should see your doctor, says Dr. Sindwani.
Your doctor will swab your nose to collect mucus. Culturing it in a laboratory will reveal which type of bacteria is causing the infection so the right antibiotic can be prescribed.
Treat early sinus infection symptoms with rest, hydration and over-the-counter sprays and decongestants. But dont look for an antibiotic unless your illness extends beyond a week, he says. Then check in with your doctor for a prescription and let him or her know if your condition worsens.
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Describing A Sinus Infection By Cause
Another way to describe a sinus infection is by what kind of germ causes it. Most sinus infections are caused by viruses, just like the common cold.
Viral sinus infections generally end on their own without any medical intervention. They usually only affect the upper respiratory system, with symptoms like runny nose, sore throat, facial pressure, congestion and headache.
But sometimes viral infections can turn into bacterial infections. Inflamed, blocked-off sinuses encourage the kind of moist, vulnerable environment where bacteria can thrive.
You might have a bacterial sinus infection if your symptoms linger beyond about a week. If your drainage turns yellow or green, that could mean your viral infection has turned bacterial.
Bacterial sinus infections typically need a little help from antibiotics to clear up.
Lastly, even though the vast majority of sinus infections are caused by viruses and bacteria, it is possible to have a sinus infection caused by a fungus. Most fungal sinus infections are caused by an allergic reaction to a fungus in the air, like black mold. This type is called allergic fungal sinusitis.
Another type of fungal sinus infection called invasive fungal sinusitis exists, but is extremely rare. People who are otherwise healthy dont get this infection. This type of infection is possible in severely immunocompromised people, such as those going through chemotherapy or with poorly controlled diabetes.
Types Of Sinus Infections: Chronic Vs Acute
There are four types of sinus infections. These classifications depend on the length and frequency of the infection:
- Acute sinusitis.This type of sinus infection lasts only for a short time, defined by the American Academy of Otolaryngology as less than 4 weeks. This short-term infection is usually part of a cold or other respiratory illness. It may also be caused by a bacterial infection .
- Subacute sinusitis. A subacute sinus infection lasts between 4 and 12 weeks .
- Recurrent acute sinusitis. An acute sinus infection is considered recurrent if the infection returns four or more times within a year, with each infection lasting 7 days or more.
- Chronic sinusitis.Chronic sinus infections last for more than 12 weeks or continue to recur.
Many sinus infection symptoms are common in both acute and chronic forms. Seeing a doctor is the best way to learn if you have an infection, find the cause, and get treatment.
For cases of acute bacterial sinus infections, these symptoms last at least 10 days without improving, or they worsen within 10 days after seeming to improve. In this case, its important to talk with a doctor, such as a general practitioner or an ear, nose, and throat doctor , to get a diagnosis and treatment plan.
Learn more about the symptoms of a sinus infection below.
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Some Steps You Can Take
Whether your sinus infection turns out to be viral or bacterial, you can help to ease your symptoms early on with supportive sinus care:
If your symptoms arent improving after one week, its important to see your doctor. If a bacterial infection is suspected, youll probably need to take an antibiotic to clear up the infection and prevent further complications.
If your infections occur more frequently, and your doctor really wants to establish if they are bacterial or viral, your Otolaryngologist or ear, nose and throat doctor can sample the snot from your nose when youre infected and send it to a laboratory to know for sure.
Note: Antibiotics wont help a viral infection, and taking an antibiotic unnecessarily can do more harm than good. You risk possible side effects and increase your chances of developing antibiotic resistance, which can make future infections harder to treat, says Dr. Sindwani. So its important to wait and see how long your symptoms last.
How Can You Help Prevent Getting A Sinus Infection
To help prevent catching a virus that could develop into a sinus infection, take the following steps:
- Practice good hand hygiene Wash your hands frequently with soap and water when its available, and if not, use hand sanitizer.
- Keep your distance When you know someones sick, try to keep some distance from them when possible.
- Keep your hands away from your nose and mouth Try to be aware of when you touch your nose or mouth without thinking, and cut down on the habit. If your hands have germs on them, youre providing a gateway for them to enter your body through your nose or mouth.
- Get vaccinated The flu shot and pneumonia vaccine can help you stay healthy.
- Use a face mask Although face masks are more prevalent in other cultures, wearing one can help keep you from spreading and catching viruses.
If youre experiencing nasal congestion, drainage, or other symptoms, make an appointment today with New York ENT. We can help diagnose and treat the cause of your symptoms and provide the treatment needed to help you get relief.
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