Q:

Are sinus infections contagious?

A:

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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