Sniffling, sneezing, and pain in and around the nose are all symptoms of a sinus infection, but these symptoms can also be caused by allergies, colds, and other medical issues. That’s why it’s important to find out whether you have a sinus infection, or whether your symptoms have another cause. If you could infect others, for example, you’ll likely want to make sure you’re staying home or being extra careful with your hygiene. Here’s what to know about sinus infections, and how to protect other people.
Sinus Infections are Often Caused by Viruses
If you’re asking yourself are sinus infections contagious, you need to know what’s causing the infection. Often a virus is a culprit. Viruses also cause colds and the flu, along with a lot of other health conditions. With that in mind, these viruses spread from person to person and on surfaces pretty easily. That’s why someone who’s sick may make others around them ill, as well. If you have a sinus infection that’s caused by a virus, it’s contagious, and you could spread it to others by coming into close contact with them.
Some Sinus Infections are Bacterial
Not every person with a sinus infection can spread it. If you’re wondering are sinus infections contagious if they’re caused by bacteria and not a virus, the answer is no. Bacteria don’t spread as a virus does, and it’s not something that can be passed from person to person. That’s good news for anyone who has a bacterial sinus infection since it doesn’t require them to stay away from other people or risk making them ill. They can work, be around their family, and engage in other activities without worry.
Good Hygiene Practices Can Go a Long Way
Practicing good hygiene when you have a sinus infection is important. Asking are sinus infections contagious is the first step, but there’s more to the story. If you have a viral sinus infection that could be spread to others, you want to be sure you’re taking care to avoid passing it along to other people. If you have one that’s not contagious, you still want to make sure you’re being thoughtful of the people around you. Sinus infections can be a little gross, even if they aren’t the kind that can be spread to others.
One of the ways you can practice good hygiene is to keep your nose and face clean, take any recommended or prescribed medication on schedule, and use tissues frequently. Dispose of those tissues properly, and wash your hands often. Make sure you wash or sanitize your hands before touching surfaces that others will touch, and keep your distance from people, so they’re not as likely to contract a sinus infection from you.
Staying Home May be the Best Choice
If you can stay home, that’s often a better option than asking are sinus infections contagious and then trying to avoid infecting others. When you stay home, you reduce the risk of community spread of infection and make it easier for people you work with and otherwise interact with to stay healthy, as well. That’s good news for them, and may also help you feel better about yourself and your choices since you’re working to protect other people from getting sick. If you can’t stay home, keeping your distance can help.
Your Doctor Can Help You Make the Right Decision
By working with your doctor, you can make the right decision for your needs and the health of the people around you. Ask your doctor if sinus infections are contagious in your case, and let them determine whether your illness is caused by a virus or bacteria. Either way, they’ll have advice for you. If it’s bacterial, you may need an antibiotic to get rid of it. But you aren’t going to spread it to other people and shouldn’t be worried about that. But if it’s viral, you may be advised to limit your contact with others, so you reduce the potential for spreading germs in the community and to other people you would interact with on a normal, daily basis.
You Should Feel Better in a Few Days
Whether you’re being treated with antibiotics for a bacterial sinus infection, or other options for a viral one, you should start to feel better in a few days. You’ll be able to breathe more easily, and you can also see a reduction in pain and discomfort. With that in mind, you’ll be able to get back to normal activities and probably feel more like going to work and interacting with others. There’s no reason to suffer by staying home and wondering are sinus infections contagious when you could get out and about as you start to feel better. Just make sure to seek good treatment, and follow your doctor’s advice, so you can feel better faster.