Are Sinus Infections Contagious
Because many times sinus infections are caused by viruses, they can be contagious like other infections, such as colds, Melinda said. If you have a sinus infection, its important to use good hygiene skills. Wash your hands, sneeze and cough into the nook of your elbow and use disinfectant wipes to clean everyday touched items like light switches and doorknobs. And try to keep your distance from your healthy family members during the short time when you may be contagious.
What Is A Sinus Infection
A sinus infection, or sinusitis, occurs when the air-filled pockets in the face, called sinuses, fill up with fluid, inflaming the sinus lining and preventing them from draining. The trapped mucus can allow bacteria to grow, which leads to an infection, Melinda said.
Factors that can increase the risk of a sinus infection include:
- Swelling around the eyes, worse in the morning
Are Sinus Infections Contagious What Causes Them
Sinus infections can only be considered contagious if they stem from a viral infection. Infections caused by bacteria, allergies, or nasal disruptions are not infectious and do not spread. Knowing the root cause of your sinusitis is the only way to get the right treatment and stop the infection.
The duration of the infection and its symptoms enables you determine the source of your condition. If you are not sure what is causing the problem, consulting an otolaryngologist can help you find about what you are going through. Expert otolaryngologists deal with issues related to your ears, nose, and throat. They suggest the best treatment to relieve the annoying symptoms and make you feel better.
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Contagious Causes Of Sinus Infections
Viral Sinus Infections
Dr. Varghese says, If the underlying cause for the sinus infection is from a virus, it can be contagious.
The common cold can cause the nasal passages to produce more mucus than usual. In some cases, the sinuses swell and mucus gets trapped in the cavities, creating the perfect conditions for a sinus infection to develop.
If you have a viral sinus infection, you can spread the virus that caused the infection. But that doesnt necessarily mean other people will develop a sinus infection even if the virus causes them to get sick with a cold. Every person is different, so while you may have developed a sinus infection caused by the virus, another person may only become mildly ill.
So how long are you contagious with a viral sinus infection? When you have a virus that causes a sinus infection, you can be contagious for several days before you develop sinusitis. Most people will be contagious for approximately 10-14 days.
Describing A Sinus Infection By Location
Each of your sinuses has a different name. You can describe a sinus infection according to which sinuses are affected.
For example, if your congestion is in your frontal sinuses, you have a frontal sinus infection. The frontal sinuses are directly behind the lower forehead.
You have four sets of sinuses, called paranasal sinuses, in four areas around your nose:
- frontal sinuses behind your lower forehead
- maxillary sinuses behind your cheekbones
- ethmoid sinuses between your eyes
- sphenoid sinuses deep behind your nose
A sinus infection can block any combination of these sinuses.
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Is Sinus Infection Contagious
A sinus infection is an inflammation of the sinuses and nasal cavity.
There are two types of sinus infections:
- Has a sudden onset
- Lasts less than eight weeks, or
- Happens no more than three times per year, with each occurrence lasting 10 days or less
What Is The Best Acute Sinusitis Treatment
Many patients try to treat their acute sinusitis symptoms with urgent care appointments, over-the-counter medicines, or other natural remedies. Unfortunately, these methods dont always work, and the sinus infections often come back.
More and more patients are finding lasting sinusitis relief with balloon sinus dilation in Houston, or balloon sinuplasty for short. This in-office, non-invasive procedure can be completed in as few as 21 minutes.
Dr. Kaplan specializes in balloon sinuplasty, and has helped thousands of Houstonians like you find lasting relief. Leave behind your worries of contagious acute sinusitis. Schedule an appointment today to say goodbye to sinus infections.
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How To Prevent A Sinus Infection
Prevention is really the key, she said. Staying healthy by drinking plenty of fluids, getting adequate rest, decreasing stress and washing your hands are all good preventive steps.
Make sure you get recommended vaccines such as the flu vaccine. Also, dont smoke and avoid secondhand smoke. And avoid close contract with others who have colds or other upper respiratory infections, Melinda said.
Where Can I Get Evaluated For My Sinus Infection
The board-certified specialists at DFW Sinus Select have extensive training in relieving sinus issues. We have the expertise and experience to accurately diagnose whats causing your symptoms and offer a wide range of treatment options.
Were dedicated to helping you improve your health by providing the best possible treatment for your sinusitis.
To take the first step toward relief, set up an initial consultation with one of our board-certified specialists. Well evaluate your condition and develop a treatment plan based on your unique needs.
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Who Is At Risk For Sinus Infections
Anyone can get a sinus infection, but some people are more at risk than others. Children, older adults, and people with weakened immune systems are most likely to get sick from a sinus infection. People who smoke cigarettes or have allergies are also more prone to developing sinus infections because their bodies cant fight off the bacteria or viruses as well.
When Are You No Longer Contagious
Antibiotics are often used to treat bacterial infections. These medications specifically target bacterial functions and can either kill bacteria or prevent them from thriving.
Youre typically considered no longer contagious after youve been on a regimen of antibiotics for a period of time, which depends on your type of infection.
For example, youre no longer contagious with strep throat after youve been on antibiotics for 24 hours and no longer have a fever.
Additionally, youre no longer contagious with whooping cough after five full days on antibiotics. People with chlamydia should abstain from sexual activity until theyve completed seven days of antibiotic treatment.
Its very important to speak with your doctor about your infection and how long you should expect to be contagious. Knowing this information can help prevent you from infecting others while you recover.
Bacterial infections can be acquired in several different ways, depending on the type of infection. Lets explore some examples of how some bacterial illnesses are spread.
How Long Are You Contagious When You Have A Sinus Infection
You can be contagious for as long as you are experiencing symptoms. If the infection is caused by bacteria, antibiotics may help shorten the length of time that someone else could be exposed to these germs when they come into contact with your body fluids during an exchange like kissing or sharing drinks/food items while eating together at home. In general, you should be symptom-free for 24 hours before spending time around others so that there is no risk of transmitting your illness.
Acute Sinusitis Vs Chronic Sinusitis
Not all sinus infections progress the same way. The length and severity of your symptoms can vary. When symptoms develop and resolve quickly, within 7 10 days, this is called acute sinusitis. If symptoms last for several weeks or continue to return frequently, this is called chronic sinusitis. Acute sinusitis commonly develops from a cold, while chronic sinusitis typically stems from an underlying cause such as bacterial infection, allergies, or nasal polyps.
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When To See A Doctor For Your Sinus Infections
Most sinus infections resolve within a couple of weeks without any medical assistance. However, if your sinus issues become painful and begin to interfere with your routine life, and affect your eating and sleeping patterns, you must consult a doctor.
You should seek medical attention if you experience the following:
- A fever over 102°F
- Double vision or difficulty seeing
- Swelling around the eyes
Should I Stay Home If I Have Sinus Infections
Sinus infection creates panic in the people who have the infection and also in the people who stay around them. Naturally, you dont want to go to work or the office with an infection, so that it doesnt get spread. But as you know by now that the sinus infection is not contagious, at least not all types of sinus infection. But you cant be sure of the type of infection just by the symptoms.
Most of the time it is caused by a virus. And although the infection itself is not contagious, the virus is. You can still spread the cold. Thats why its best not to go to the office or school if not important.
On the other hand, if you have a sinus infection you need proper rest. Taking rest will help to produce enough energy to fight against the infection. In the office, you cant keep in mind to drink water from time to time. But keeping yourself hydrated is one of the most important tasks while having sinusitis. Besides, if you are allergic, staying out with a sinus infection can worsen the condition. Thats why doctors suggest staying at home for at least 7-10 days if you have a sinus infection.
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Can I Still Go To Work With A Sinus Infection
Nobody wants to be the person that gets the entire office sick . While acute sinusitis may not always be contagious, we recommend that you seek medical attention if you suspect that you have it. Your doctor can help you determine the best course of action and treatment. Theyll also be able to help you with other sinusitis questions, such as, Does sinusitis cause nausea?
Are Sinus Infections Contagious Through Kissing
I wouldnt recommend kissing someone when you have a sinus infection. The actual sinus infection is not contagious but the underlying cause may be contagious, Dr. Varghese explains.
You can easily transfer the virus, bacteria, or fungi that caused your sinusitis to another person when you come into such close contact with them. Although that person may not develop a sinus infection, they can certainly become ill.
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How To Recognize And Treat A Sinus Infection
Have you ever wondered what your sinuses do for you other than getting stuffed up when you have a cold? You may think the sinus cavities, located near your nose, just help with breathing, so you might be surprised at just how important they are.
Devin Minior, MD, is the chief medical officer for Banner Urgent Care. He says the sinuses not only help us speak, but they also play an important role in keeping us healthy.
The mucus production helps to clear out the nose and the throat of any type of pollen, dirt or even bacteria that gets in the throat, Dr. Minior said.
And, just like so many other places in the body, your sinuses can get infected, too.
Will I Need To Make Lifestyle Changes To Deal With Sinus Infections
If you have indoor allergies it is recommended that you avoid triggersanimal dander and dust mites, for exampleas well as take medications. Smoking is never recommended, but if you do smoke, strongly consider a program to help you quit. Smoke can also trigger allergies and prevent removal of mucous by the nose. No special diet is required, but drinking extra fluids helps to thin nasal secretions.
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How Long To Take Amoxicillin For Sinus Infection
Antibiotics can be a life-saving intervention for people who have infections that dont respond to other treatments. However, it is important not only know the right antibiotics but also when and how they should best be used so as avoid further complications from infection or drug side effects such like nausea in some cases contact dermatitis .
How Is Sinus Infection Spread
Sinus infections caused by viruses, bacteria, or fungi can be contagious.
These germs are transmitted by droplets in the air after a person who is sick coughs or sneezes. They can also be passed by touching or shaking hands with a person who is sick and has not properly washed their hands, or by touching a surface a sick person has touched, such as a doorknob, table, faucet handle, etc.
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Viral Sinus Infections: Contagious
Acute sinusitis caused by a virus or viral infection is often considered contagious. Interestingly, however, the sinusitis itself isnt whats causing you to be contagious. The culprit is, in fact, a virus, such as the one that causes the common cold. These viruses, such as rhinoviruses, influenza A, and influenza B, cause your body to respond with acute sinusitis, a symptom of a larger problem.
The symptoms of acute sinusitis caused by a viral sinus infection often last a week to ten days. During this time, its possible for the virus to spread from one person to another. The most common type of transmission occurs via hand-to-hand contact. Simple precautions such as hand washing can easily prevent the virus and acute sinusitis from spreading.
Preventing The Spread Of Viruses
If you have an ear or sinus infection caused by a virus, you can help prevent the spread of the illness to others. Viruses that cause colds and flus that can contribute to ear and sinus infections are spread by infected people. You can become contagious before you get symptoms of a cold or flu, which is why it is important to always practice good hygiene. Cold and flu viruses can be spread through the air if you breathe in air with droplets containing a virus, you can become infected. Also, personal contact can spread the virus. Kissing, hugging, shaking hands and other touching can spread the virus from person to person.
To reduce the chance of viral infections and subsequent ear or sinus infections, those who are sick with a cold or flu should stay home. Those who are sick should cover their mouths and noses when coughing or sneezing to reduce the number of droplets spread into the air. Everyone should wash their hands frequently and avoid touching their eyes, nose and mouth this can introduce viruses into the body. Sanitizing surfaces like counters, door handles and other common areas can also reduce the spread of contagious illnesses that can cause ear and sinus infections.
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Know When To See A Doctor
While most sinus infections will resolve themselves within a couple weeks without medical intervention, it is important to know when your sinus issues have escalated to the point that you should see a doctor.
You should call or see a doctor immediately if you experience:
- A fever over 102°F
- Double vision or difficulty seeing
- Swelling around the eyes
What Causes Sinus Infections And Are They Contagious
The most common cause I see for a sinus infection is from a viral infection. Other common causes include bacterial infections and allergies Dr. Varghese explains.
A virus, bacteria, or fungus can cause a sinus infection. Generally, acute sinus infections stem from viral colds, while chronic sinusitis typically results from a bacterial infection, nasal growths, or allergies. Sinus infections can develop from many different causes. The cause of a sinus infection can be contagious, depending on what it is.
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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!
Some Common Causes Of Sinus Infections
Viruses are the most common cause of sinus infections. Viral infections are also the most common cause of sinusitis, but it does not mean you are spreading a sinus infection. People who catch a cold or virus will only have usual symptoms that resolve within a few weeks.
It is necessary to understand that viral infections create the perfect environment for a sinus infection to breed, which means there are higher chances of developing sinusitis when you have a virus.
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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.
When To See A Doctor For A Sinus Infection
I recommend seeing a doctor if your symptoms dont improve within 10 days, says Dr. Varghese.
While you can certainly treat a sinus infection at home, sinusitis that lasts longer than a couple of weeks may be the result of an underlying condition that may need medical treatment.
Contact your doctor right away if you think you have a sinus infection and develop any of the following symptoms:
- A fever higher than 102°F
- Sinus symptoms that last longer than 12 weeks
- Forehead swelling
- Redness or swelling around your eyes
- Intense headaches or facial discomfort that doesnt go away
- A stiff neck
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