Is a bacterial Sinus Infection Contagious?

What is bacterial sinusitis?

Bacterial sinusitis is a bacterial infection of the paranasal sinus, hollow space in the facial bones around the nose. But is a bacterial sinus infection contagious? Sinusitis is a very common problem, affecting approximately one in every eight American adults annually. About 30 million people seek medical help for sinusitis in the USA every year. The question here again is a bacterial sinus infection contagious?

Bacterial sinusitis involves inflammation of the mucous membrane of the sinus and is caused by a bacterial infection. There are four pairs of paranasal sinuses, which are located below, above, behind and behind the eye socket – the maxillary sinus, frontal sinus, ethmoid sinus, and sphenoidal sinus. The maximum sinuses are the largest of these and are most often affected by sinusitis. However, sinusitis can affect any or all paranasal sinuses. Because sinusitis is often accompanied by rhinitis, inflammation of the mucous membrane in the nose, it is sometimes referred to as rhinosinusitis 25. The question remains unanswered, is a bacterial sinus infection contagious?

Bacterial sinusitis often follows a viral infection, such as a cold or flu. Viral infection can cause inflammation in the mucosal lining of the sinuses. 3 In the healthy sinus, the mucosa escapes into the nasal cavity through small pores, known as Ostia. Inflammation of the mucus membranes in the nasal or sinus cavities can block these pores, preventing mucus from exiting the sinuses. Bacteria colonize untreated mucus, which can cause bacterial sinusitis.

Bacterial sinusitis can be treated with anti-inflammatory drugs and antibiotics. Most cases of bacterial sinusitis resolve within two weeks, with no further symptoms.

Signs and symptoms

Is a bacterial sinus infection contagious?

Viral sinusitis and bacterial sinusitis

Viral sinusitis is the most common type of sinusitis. It is usually caused by the same virus that causes the common cold and usually lasts between seven and ten days. If the condition lasts for more than ten days, or the symptoms worsen after five to seven days, sinusitis is more likely to be caused by bacteria than by a virus.

Acute, subacute and chronic bacterial sinusitis

Bacterial sinusitis can be classified into the following subtypes based on the duration of symptoms: 245

  • Acute, which lasts less than four weeks
  • Sub suits, lasting between four and 12 weeks
  • Chronic, over 12 weeks
  • Recurrent acute, four or more times a year, for more than seven days, completely between bouts with symptoms.

Is a bacterial sinus infection contagious?


Symptoms of bacterial sinusitis include:

  • Pressure around the nose, forehead, cheeks or eyes. The pain often gets worse if the affected person leans forward.
  • Disordered, thickened nasal discharge
  • Lack of ability to smell and taste
  • Blocked nose
  • Bad breath

In some cases, affected people may also experience:

  • Cough or sore throat
  • Nose dripping (dripping mucus behind the throat)
  • Earache or feeling of fullness in the ear
  • Fever
  • Fatigue
  • Facial pain
  • Painful teeth
  • Painful chewing

Bacterial sinusitis can follow a cold or flu, and often symptoms occur when it seems as if the initial infection is clearing up. In this condition, it is normal to start feeling better, and then later to start feeling bad as bacterial sinusitis develops.

Is a sinus infection contagious in children?


In children, the symptoms of sinusitis may differ from those in adults. Children can experience:

  • Irritability
  • Ear discomfort
  • Lethargy
  • Snoring
  • Mouth breathing
  • Difficulty in feeding
  • Nasal speech

Bacterial sinusitis can affect children of any age, even if paranasal sinuses are not visible on X-rays before the age of about 9.


This condition is caused by bacteria that live in the nose, throat, and sometimes the mouth. Types of bacteria that usually cause bacterial sinusitis:

Main causes of Is a bacterial sinus infection contagious?

As mentioned above, bacterial sinusitis often follows a cold or flu infection. Other conditions that increase the risk of bacterial sinusitis include:

Other causes of Is a bacterial sinus infection contagious are given below:

  • Allergies
  • Asthma
  • Smoking
  • Nasal obstruction, for example, due to nasal polyps or a deviated nasal septum (wall between nasal cavities)
  • Congenital diseases such as cystic fibrosis
  • Conditions that cause a weakened immune system, such as HIV infection, leukaemia, or immunosuppressive therapy after an organ transplant
  • Diabetes
  • Hormonal changes, for example during pregnancy
  • Cocaine-like irritation
  • Fungal infections
  • Scar tissue in sinus areas, for example from nasogastric tubes or mechanical ventilation
  • Facial fracture
  • Tooth abscess or mouth infection such as tooth abscess (infection can spread due to proximity of maximal sinus in upper paws)

In general, women are slightly more likely than men to have bacterial sinusitis.

If you have a cold or any disorder listed above, and that you may have sinusitis bacteria are concerned, the free See Ada app for symptoms assessment.


Question is How will you diagnose that Is a bacterial sinus infection contagious or not? –

Diagnosis is based on symptoms and physical examination. In severe cases or cases that do not respond to treatment, a nasal endoscopy may be performed to aid diagnosis and treatment.

Endoscopic diagnosis

The endoscope is a small, flexible device, equipped with a camera, which gives the doctor detailed information about the inside of the nose and the sinuses. Endoscopic examination is usually done in the doctor’s office. A nasal decongestant will be administered, and the nose will be numb by an anesthetic spray. If the endoscopic examination is not helpful or if the physician wishes to perform the further examination, a CT scan may be ordered. A CT scan can help assess the sinus and confirm the diagnosis in complicated cases.


Most cases of bacterial sinusitis will improve without antibiotics, usually within 14 days. Because of this, and because bacterial sinusitis is often caused by bacteria that are somewhat resistant to antibiotics, most doctors prefer that affected people to try to manage initially.

The situation using home remedies and over the counter medicines. Antibiotics are usually prescribed only to those who have severe or ongoing symptoms, or whose infection may be complicated by various other medical factors. Viral sinusitis does not respond to antibiotic treatment.

Although most cases of bacterial sinusitis become apparent without doctor’s help, affected people should seek medical help if 2

  • He has a fever of 101.4 F / 38 C or more
  • They have a bad headache that does not relieve basic pain relievers like paracetamol
  • They have any symptoms of eye involvement (visual changes, eye-popping pain or any swelling or redness around the eye).
  • They have had symptoms for more than ten days
  • Their symptoms are worsening
  • They have antibiotic treatment but symptoms remain

Is a bacterial sinus infection contagious? And can home remedies help to cure it?

Home remedies for bacterial Sinus Infection Contagious

In many cases, home remedies may be sufficient. Some people find breathable humid air or steam, such as in a hot bath, helps to relieve symptoms. Also, placing hot pads on the painful area relieves discomfort. Nasal irrigation with saline solution helps reduce nasal congestion. Staying well-hydrated is also very important, so affected people should be sure to drink enough fluids.

Analgesic and anti-inflammatory drugs, such as ibuprofen or paracetamol, may help reduce pain and swelling in the nose and face. Decongestant sprays or pills are also often helpful in relieving symptoms. Commonly used decongestants include pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine, or corticosteroids such as lactase.

If over-the-counter decongestant nasal sprays or drops are being used, they should not be used for more than three consecutive days because they can cause rebound when used for a long time. Can cause. These products do not shorten the duration of bacterial sinusitis but can relieve symptoms. Antihistamines are not recommended as a treatment for bacterial sinusitis as they increase nasal dryness and discomfort by thickening mucus and hardening the drain.

Home remedies for Is a bacterial sinus infection contagious are given below:

Antibiotic treatment

Antibiotic treatment is usually only needed if the infection does not improve within 7-10 days, if the person has another medical condition, which may affect recovery, or if:

  • Severe pain is present
  • Swelling occurs in front of the head, around cheeks or eyes.
  • Bleeding from the nose
  • High fever

These are signs that the bacterial infection is serious. Antibiotic treatment is usually prescribed for about 10 days, but shorter courses may be effective depending on the bacteria involved. Depending on which bacteria the choice of antibiotic to use will be treated, physicians think it is likely to be involved in the infection.

Surgical treatment

Usually does not require surgery for acute bacterial Sinus. This is only necessary in some cases of chronic sinusitis that do not respond to other forms of treatment. Endoscopic treatment, where a probe equipped with a small camera is used to guide and perform the procedure, is an option.

In this surgery, the endoscope is used to widen the natural drainage passages in the sinus and nose, improving the drainage of mucus and reducing the chances of coagulation and infection.

Rarely, acute bacterial sinusitis may be an abscess that occurs near the eye or brain. In these cases, surgical treatment will be required to exclude the abscess.

Complications from bacterial sinusitis are rare, affecting one in every ten thousand people with the disorder. However, they are more common in children than adults, so caregivers of children with suspected bacterial sinusitis should be cautious and alert for worsening symptoms, swelling or redness of any area of ​​the child’s face.

“Is a bacterial sinus infection contagious?” – Even if it is a yes or no, preventions are always good to take.


Taking care to prevent the spread of colds or flu at home and in the community can help prevent some cases of bacterial sinusitis. Regularly seeing a dentist can help prevent tooth infection, a possible cause of bacterial sinusitis.

So here we are and now we know everything about Is a bacterial sinus infection contagious or not?