Sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, can be easily mistaken for the very contagious common cold. But is a sinus infection contagious just like the common cold? Whether a sinus infection is contagious or not will vary depending on the cause.
What is a sinus infection and is a sinus infection contagious?
A sinus infection occurs when the hollow holes in the side of the nose become infected. Sinus cheeks have hollow cavities, on either side of the nose, behind the nose and in the forehead. These areas are normally filled with air and surrounded by a thin layer of mucus. A sinus infection occurs when the tissues surrounding these hollow areas become inflamed or infected with bacteria, fungi, or viruses.
Is a sinus infection contagious?
There are many causes of sinus infection, some of which are contagious. Sinus infections that are caused by a virus are contagious. Sinus infection due to a deformity, an obstruction in the nasal passages, or an allergy is not contagious.
Types of sinus infections
Classification of sinus infections by duration.
They include the following:
- Acute – an infection that lasts for about 4 or fewer weeks
- Subacute – an infection that lasts for about 4 – 12 weeks
- Chronic – an infection that lasts for more than 12 weeks
- Recurrent – many in a year Frequent infections, Besides, each type of sinus infection has many possible causes, including bacteria, viruses, or fungi. Some cases of sinusitis occur only with swelling and swelling due to malformation of the nasal passages or the synovial cavity. Allergies to pollutants and chronic exposure can also cause sinus infections.
Sinus infection often feels like a bad cold. It can be difficult for people to distinguish between a cold and a sinus infection. Some of the most common symptoms are similar to a cold. This includes:
- Pressure in the sinus cavities
- Bad breath
- Cloudy nose
- Nose flutter
- Nasal drip
- Sore throat
- Pain in one or both ears
- Fever caused by bacteria
There are some additional symptoms of sinus infection. These symptoms include:
- Pus-like or thick nose bleeds
- Symptoms lasting more than a week
- Facial pain
For most sinus infections, treatment primarily focuses on symptom relief. There are many options available for relieving troubling symptoms. This includes:
- Nasal irrigation to reduce mucus drainage and relieve irritation
- Medicated nasal sprays contain corticosteroids that reduce inflammation
- Oral steroids for more severe infections
- In cases of bacterial sinusitis, doctors Will usually prescribe a round of antibiotics to kill the bacteria.
Someone with bacterial sinus can take antibiotics for up to two weeks.
- In cases of chronic or recurrent sinus infection, treatment will aim to correct the underlying cause and reduce the duration or frequency of infection. A doctor generally suggests injecting steroids directly into the nasal passage in such cases to reduce inflammation.
For cases of chronic sinusitis that are resistant to treatment, a doctor may suggest surgery to open the sinus passages, allowing them more room to drain. In cases of chronic sinus infection caused by allergies, doctors may recommend allergy shots.
Using a nasal spray can help reduce the symptoms of a sinus infection.
In some cases, a person may want to self-treat sinus infection at home. People can use over-the-counter medications that relieve symptoms until a sinus infection is cleared.
The most common over-the-counter treatments to help treat sinus infection include:
- Acetaminophen: reduces pain and tenderness from inflamed nasal passages
- Decongestants: reduce the amount of mucus produced
- Cold medicines: Combination drugs that treat a variety of symptoms, including congestion, pain, and cough. Additional treatments can also aid in treatment at home. For example, the use of steam or humidifiers can help clean the nasal passages. Some people try nasal irrigation at home, which helps remove excess mucus and open the airways. Those interested in herbal or natural remedies may consider using essential oils.
Some oils that can help with sinus pressure include lemon oil, lavender oil, and eucalyptus oil. Some precautions must be used with essential oils.
Because the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not regulate or control them.
When to see a doctor
Any person who experiences sinus pain and pressure for more than a week should seek medical attention. If not recovering with time, they should constantly detect fever or cough.
A doctor will evaluate a person with these symptoms. Part of the evaluation will determine any history of sinus infection in the individual, as well as a physical examination.
A doctor will look for the following symptoms of a sinus infection:
- Inflammation of nasal passages and tissues
- Redness in nasal passages
- Bad breath
- Green mucus
- Facial tenderness
A doctor may also ask about pain. In particular, a doctor is often interested in pain in the areas around the ear, teeth, and nasal passages.
Only if a person has had a sinus infection for more than a week and is bacterial then the doctor may prescribe antibiotics. Not everyone will need antibiotics as their infections can be caused by viruses, allergies or irregularities in their nasal cavities.
To know all about “is a sinus infection contagious”, give this article a good read!