Q:

Are sinus infections contagious?

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Quick Answer

According to the Human Diseases and Conditions website, sinus infections, or sinusitis, are not contagious. However, the viruses and bacteria that cause colds, flu, and respiratory infections, which in turn cause sinusitis, can be spread and transmitted.

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Are sinus infections contagious?
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Full Answer

Sinusitis is the result of a blocked sinus caused by rhinitis, a cold, nasal polyps or a deviated septum. According to WebMD, around 37 million Americans get sinusitis at least once a year. Acute sinusitis symptoms include nasal discharge and stuffiness, pressure and pain in the face and teeth, cough, and chest congestion. Additionally, sinusitis can be diagnosed if an individual has thick green or yellow nasal discharge.

Antibiotics are used to treat sinusitis caused by bacterial infections. Viral sinusitis has no specific treatment, according to the Human Diseases and Conditions website. The American Academy of Otolaryngology—Head and Neck Surgery advises patients to contact a doctor if they experience three or more symptoms of sinusitis, especially if the illness lasts for 10 to 14 days or if bacterial sinusitis is suspected in a child since the symptoms are similar to flu and cold symptoms. To prevent sinusitis, the AAO-HNS also recommends using an oral or nasal spray decongestant, keeping properly hydrated, avoiding air travel and using antihistamines and prescription nasal sprays to control allergy symptoms.

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Related Questions

  • Q:

    How are sinus infections treated?

    A:

    Sinus infection treatment may include the use of over-the-counter decongestants, antibiotics if the sinusitis is caused by a bacterial infection, and the use of OTC pain medications to lessen discomfort, according to WebMD. In some instances, inhaled or oral steroids may be prescribed, while chronic sinusitis that recurs repeatedly over time may require surgical intervention. Home remedies such a using a humidifier, breathing steam and drinking plenty of fluids may also be helpful.

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  • Q:

    What is the ICD-9 code for sinusitis?

    A:

    According to the U.S. Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as of 2014, there are 12 possible ICD-9 codes for sinusitis, which include 461.0 through 461.3, 461.8, 461.9, 473.0 through 473.3, 473.8 and 473.9. The type of sinusitis diagnosis determines the particular code that is used.

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  • Q:

    What treatments are available for a sinus infection?

    A:

    Medical treatments for sinus infections (or sinusitis) can include antibiotics, painkillers, decongestants, allergy medicines, steroids or even surgery, according to WebMD. Nonmedical or at-home treatments can include using a humidifier, breathing steam, applying warm heat to the face, using nasal saline solution, performing a saltwater flush of the sinuses, increasing fluids and resting. It is recommended that patients avoid abusing over-the-counter medicines, because overuse of these medications can actually exacerbate symptoms in the long run.

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  • Q:

    What are some treatments for excessive mucus in the throat?

    A:

    Treatments for excessive mucus in the throat, also known as post-nasal drip, include taking antihistamines and decongestants when the mucus is caused by viral infections or sinusitis and taking antibiotics for bacterial infections that cause the body to produce excess mucus, explains WebMD. People with excessive mucus can also use a humidifier or vaporizer to reduce dryness in the air, prop up pillows at night while sleeping or take mucus-thinning medications.

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