Has this happened to you? You tell someone you have a sinus infection or sinusitis, and they start to shy away like you have the plague. Sure, no one wants to feel ill, but are sinus infections really contagious?
The answer to that question is mostly “no.” We say “mostly” because sinus infections are caused by different things, and very few of those things are contagious. Let’s take a look.
What causes sinus infections?
The majority of sinus infections are viral, which means that they are caused by a virus. In other cases, sinusitis may be caused by bacteria that accumulates in the inflamed nasal passages. Other causes include:
- Deviated septum
- Dry nasal passages
- Nasal polyps
- Post-nasal drip
- Reflux disease
- Upper respiratory infection (common cold or flu)
How do sinus infections spread?
The only way a sinus infection can spread is if it’s viral. The other causes listed above are not contagious at all. The problem is, as we said above, that most sinus infections are caused by a virus, not unlike the one that causes upper respiratory infections, aka the common cold or flu. But that said, even if the virus is easily passed on, the sinus infection may not be. In fact, many times the shared virus manifests in the receiver as a common cold rather than a case of sinusitis. So really, the answer to the original question is that a sinus infection isn’t exactly contagious.
How can you tell if your sinusitis is viral and contagious?
The best way to figure this out is to see a doctor, such as one of our expert physicians at CT Sinus Center. When you first come in, we’ll thoroughly discuss your symptoms with you. Next, through our patient-centered philosophy and up-to-date diagnostic tools, we’ll pinpoint exactly what is causing your sinus issues and develop the right treatment for your lifestyle. If you suffer from chronic sinusitis, you may even be a candidate for one of our two outpatient procedures, both of which will end your discomfort in around an hour:
- Balloon Sinuplasty, which will reshape your nasal passages, promoting draining and natural healing
- Turbinate Reductions, in which the tissue in the nose that supports the nasal passages is decreased, decreasing the size of the turbinate and quickly increasing airflow
Sharing is not always caring. Call 860-BALLOON today to schedule an appointment at one of CT Sinus Center’s four conveniently-located offices: Kent, Litchfield, Shelton and Waterbury. When you feel better, everyone around you will feel better too.