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Are Sinus Infections Contagious?

Throughout the year, but especially during seasonal transitions, many people in the United States are stuck battling stubborn sinus infections. These infections are more common during allergy season, and can seem especially contagious during this time. Sinus infections can present with symptoms such as nasal congestion, facial pain/pressure, loss of smell and taste, colored nasal drainage, a post nasal drip, cough and headaches.

Sinus infections can be frustrating, as they can hinder the daily activities of your normal life. However, spreading a sinus infection is more complicated than transferring the typical cold to your loved ones and coworkers. Fortunately we have all you need to know about about sinus infections, how they can be spread, and how to prevent their transmission. 

Sinus Infection Transmission

Are sinus infections contagious? The short answer is maybe.

There are actually several causes of the typical sinus infection, and only a few of the causes are contagious. For example, a deviated septum or narrow nasal passageways can cause a sinus infection, but these causes are strictly biological and therefore the infection cannot be passed to others.

However, viral sinus infections can be spread to others indirectly. The virus causing the sinus infection can be transmitted through infected surfaces or through the air. But it should be noted that even after the virus spreads, its symptoms may not present as a sinus infection within the individuals affected. This is why it is hard to say whether or not they’re contagious. It all depends on the person, their immune system, and the virus’s makeup.

Bacterial Sinus Infections

Unlike viral sinus infections, a bacterial sinus infection begins with the build-up of mucus in the sinus cavities that causes bacteria to grow. These sinus infections are typically only seen in patients with excess mucus in their nasal cavities, meaning that the bacteria are largely contained inside the sinus, and are not considered contagious.

Are you Contagious?

If you have a sinus infection, you may be wondering if you’re contagious. However, it is difficult to know whether or not you can spread your infection to others. Since sinus infection symptoms are usually universal across all causes, there are no simple tests that you can do to determine the cause of your sickness.

Schedule a Consultation

The best way to asses and treat your sinus infection is to visit a sinus specialist like Dr. Kuperan. He can treat your symptoms while also addressing the underlying cause of your sinus struggles, in an effort to prevent future infections. Dr. Kuperan may also be able to let you know if you are contagious, and can provide you with tips on how to contain your infection. To learn more about sinus infections, visit https://houstonadvancedsinus.com/sinus-infections/. 

To schedule a consultation with Dr. Kuperan, call 832-720-6673, or email his patient team at team@myhoustonsurgeons.com.

We’re here to help

If you are frustrated by frequent sinus infections, persistent nasal congestion, or other sinus symptoms, Dr. Arjuna Kuperan and the team at Houston Advanced Nose & Sinus can help. Contact us today with any questions or to schedule your consultation.

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