Is Sinus Infection Contagious?

Is sinusitis contagious? This is a question that I get asked quite often by my friends and family. If sinusitis is indeed a form of a cold or fever then it should be easily contracted by sharing utensils, drinking the same beverages, coughing or sneezing, etc. But, the fact is that sinuses are airless and therefore are not easily transmitted.

Sine is sinus infections mimicking colds and thus is very difficult to diagnose correctly. The common viral or bacterial infection of the frontal sinuses (located behind the ears, behind the eyebrows, near the nose, and in the forehead) is known as sinusitis. When this inflammation occurs there is excess production of mucus and sometimes a yellowish or greenish discharge from the nasal cavities. These symptoms occur due to the activation of the immune system, which is fighting the “perceived” infection-causing bacteria or virus. Sometimes a headache may also be experienced along with pain in the upper forehead and cheekbones. Some other symptoms associated with sinus infections include toothache, facial swelling, loss of appetite, nausea, feeling tired, nasal discharge, dizziness, and fever.

There are many theories on this subject but the most common one is that these symptoms are caused due to the activation of some sort of “viral response” within the body. This theory is therefore not accepted at all. The cold symptoms of sinusitis are therefore very contagious. So, is sinus infection contagious? Well, no.

One theory, which is more believable is the symptoms of nasal allergies. Here, it is assumed that respiratory problems like cold, fever, cough, sore throat, sneezing, etc are caused due to allergies which are being triggered by nasal allergies. In this case, it is more likely that the infection is contagious. However, this theory is not very strong. Therefore, if you are experiencing any of these symptoms you can try to figure out whether the infection is caused due to sinusitis or due to nasal allergies.

Another theory that is more believable is that sinusitis and acute sinusitis are both caused by the same thing. Therefore, one should look for the symptoms of acute sinusitis before finding out if the sinus infection is contagious. The symptoms of acute sinusitis include a stuffy nose, blocked nose, yellowish or greenish discharge from the nose, etc. So, is acute sinusitis contagious?

Now let us focus on the common symptoms of a common cold. A common cold usually lasts for about 12 days and there is a general expectation that you will feel a slight pain in your chest and throat. Other common symptoms are headache, feeling of pain in the head, feeling of dryness of mouth, and a stuffy nose. So, is sinus infection contagious through these common symptoms? It is believed that these symptoms are caused due to the virus that is prevalent in the environment.

If we analyze the common cold more closely, we will find that the common symptoms do not include the inflammation of the mucous membrane. Therefore, if you have a persistent problem of sinuses and you are looking for a way to figure out if sinus infection is contagious then you will have to wait for the symptoms of inflammation in the mucous membranes of the nasal passage. Inflammation is due to the presence of the puss in the membranes of the nose. However, if you have nasal congestion with a slight sense of smell then it is not possible that it is caused due to inflammation. This can be explained by the fact that the cause of the congestion is sinusitis and not due to the presence of inflammation.

Another important point is that if you have been suffering from a sore throat or cough even for a very long time then this may be another reason for concern. So, is sinus infection contagious through cold symptoms? There is no definite answer to this question because the answer lies solely on the individual being concerned. However, it is advisable that one doesn’t over-examine themselves when they are going through a sinuses problem as the occurrence of sinusitis can also cause the occurrence of cold symptoms.

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