A sinus infection is indicated by a swelling of the tissues surrounding the nasal cavities. The sinuses function as a filter for the air that enters the body through the nose. Being exposed to pollutants, bacteria, and viruses in the environment causes inflammation and infection of the sinuses.
When you or a member of your household is under the attack of a sinus infection, it is just normal to wonder if sinus infections are contagious. We are concerned not only for our health, but also for those around us. There are conflicting opinions on this matter, but generally, most cases of sinus infections are not contagious; however, there are a few strains that are transmittable. Individuals who have asthma, allergies, and those who have a weak immune system are prone to sinusitis.
The spread of infection may also depend on the cause of the sinusitis. Sinus infections can be caused either by bacteria or by viruses, and sometimes even fungi. These may be transferred from person to person through physical contact, such as handshake, kissing, laughing, sneezing, coughing, or through other direct and indirect form of touching. Most of these infection-causing bacteria or viruses may already be present in a person’s body, which can later develop into a sinus infection that can last from 2 to 10 days. These may also be the bacteria and viruses that are responsible for commons colds and flu.
Taking into context that those viruses can be contagious, it is a fact that these infectious virus or bacteria can be transferred to another individual who may eventually catch the disease, depending on how prone that person is to infection. The effect on the infected person can vary. Sometimes, nasal congestion is present. Sometimes it manifests through other means such as fever, runny nose, body pains, and other flu-like symptoms.
Prevention Tips – How to avoid Sinus infection
There is practically no possible way to prevent being exposed to the various types of bacteria and viruses that cause sinus infection, unless you live in a vacuum, which is also impossible. You can take some necessary precautions to lessen the chances of getting infected. Here are some of the preventive measures to follow:
- Regular hand washing with anti-bacterial soap
- Wearing a face mask
- Flu vaccination
- Nasal irrigation
- Quitting smoking
- Maintaining a healthy diet rich in vitamin C
Normally, sinusitis and other sinus infections are not dangerously contagious as compared to other illnesses or diseases. Even so, the infection can cause discomfort that can affect your daily activities. If you have other questions regarding this infection, it would be best to consult with an ENT or a physician to get advice regarding the medications and other necessary preventive measures to take.