Are Sinus Infections Contagious?

Should I hang out at home if I happen to have a sinus infection? Are sinus infections contagious person to person? The answers aren’t as straightforward as you might think. It really boils down to the type of sinus infection you currently have. Most sinus infections and pains that result from them are caused by a virus similar to the flue. Some however may be allergy based or hereditary.  

Seasonal flues often make people worried about how contagious sinus infections and pains really are. Avoid falling victim to herd mentality simply because people around you are getting sick. If it so happens that you ended up with the flu and your lower forehead or cheeks are in pain (basic tell tale signs of a sinus inception) you may be wondering if it’s prudent to stay home and avoid passing on the virus to people at work school.

Virus based Sinus Infection

The general rule with sinus infections is that whatever caused should be scrutinized for its contagious components not teh sinus infection itself. So if the flu that caused the infection is contagious then you should generally avoid passing on that flu to other people. The overwhelming majority of cases where a flu or any other virus causes a sinus infection that flu or virus are the common cold. Since the common cold happens to be contagious it has a chance of infecting people you come into contact with. The sinus infection however is a byproduct of the flu developed by your body in response to contracting the virus. Different people have different anatomy, and while the common cold may affect them, they may not develop a sinus infection in response to contact with you. 

If you are wondering the duration of time that you will remain contagious after contracting a sinus infection, it will again be primarily based on what type flu or virus caused your sinus pains in the first place. If it was, in fact, the common cold as in the example above, the period of when you are contagious to other people should be between 7 and 14 calendar days, not counting a 2 – 5 days before the symptoms have first begun showing up.

Bacteria based Sinus Infection

If you are suffering from a bacterial sinus infection, the mucus in your sinuses can trigger the infection. In cases of bacterial sinusitis, the sinus infection is not contagious

In the event where you have contracted a bacteria based sinus infection, the mucus in your sinuses has been infected and became host to the bacteria. This will be clearly noticeable by the color change of the nasal discharge and can be referred to as bacterial sinusitis. Unlike the flu or viral based sinus infections described above, bacterial sinusitis is not contagious

Sinus Infection, what is it?

What is a sinus infection happens to be the question I’ve been asking myself for the entirety of my mature life. Ever since being 10 years old I would be subject to acute sinus pains at any point where there were sudden pressure changes. So going on a mountainous road trip, flying on an airplane, or scuba diving in a lake are all great examples of these sudden changes. Other examples include sudden changes in temperature. So for example, if you live in a worm climate and go on a ski trip be prepared to experience pains across your sinuses.

Generally these pains occur due to an inflammation or over sensitivity to hostile environments like cold air or high altitude. As already mentioned, viral or bacterial factors often contribute to a development of a sinus infection. The symptoms can also show up as a result of multiple other upper respiratory problems or subsequent infections that your body has dealt with in the past.

Yet another dichotomy to be aware of between causes for sinus pains is whether they are chronic or acute. The main difference here being the recurrence of the pain. In acute cases you should expect your sinu to heal from an infection within 4 to 12 weeks. In the cases of chronic sinusitis, like my own, the infection accentuates multiple times per year. Predominantly during the winter season if you are living in a cold climate

Symptoms of a Sinus Infection 

The frontal part of the human skull has 4 distinct areas that house a sinus infection. These areas facilitate the movement of air from our nostrils to our lungs and evolution wise, were used to balance out the air temperature before it enters our body. 

If you are familiar with pugs or bulldogs that tend to have issues when flying, the reason why they have these issues has to do with the lack of frontal chambers in the anatomy of their respective skulls. 

These chambers are generally filled with mucus. A healthy sinus is lubricated with mucus which catches any harmful chemicals in the air you breath acting like a natural barrier between that chemical and your lungs. When something viral or bacterial gets into the mucus it can no longer process fight off the debri on its own and becomes infected. Once its infected it tends to block the chamber trapping air in between the small cavities inter located within the chamber. If you change pressure or temperature the trapped air expands causing the pain.

Aside from this there may be other factors at play. Among them are tooth pains, jaw pains, cough, sore throat, fever, congestion, fatigue or a number of other issues

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