All over the world people are suffering from this disease, but is sinus infection contagious? This is one of the most common questions people ask. To find if a  sinus infection is contagious, we will talk about what is a sinus infection and what causes it. Then, you can read about the sinus infection symptoms. In this way you can know if you have this illness or just a common cold. Furthermore, you can discover which is the treatment, how you can prevent it and, more important, which kind of persons can develop this infection more frequently. We think that is important to know, at least basically information, about sinus infection and if is the sinus infection contagious or not, because we can help the others around us.

What is a sinus infection?

Sinus infection known as sinusitis or rhinosinusitis is actually an inflammation of the moist linings from sinuses. This happens when virus, bacterium or fungus grow there and cause a blockage. Therefore, the body feels that something is wrong and produces more mucus. After a while, because it doesn’t fit in cavities anymore, it starts to leak through the nasal passageways, even if it is outside or in the throat. You have to know that a sinus is a cavity in the skull filled with air. A person has 4 cavities: frontal sinus – located on the forehead, maxillary – behind the cheek, ethmoid sinus – between the eyes and sphenoid sinus – deep behind the ethmoid. All these cavities are called paranasal sinuses.

What causes sinusitis?

Our sinuses have the job to warm the air we inhale, to humidify it, to clean it; actually to protect our organism against everything can damage it through this way. Therefore, when we breathe, into our sinuses remain dust, pollen, animal dander and a lot of pollutants. All of them can irritate the tissue, disorder mucus drainage and to cause this condition. So, if we know what causes it, we can deduce if it is or not sinus infection contagious. Let’s find out the triggers:

  • Allergens. People who develop allergies are more likely to develop sinusitis, especially those with hay fever, and asthma.
  • Pollutants of any kind. Many toxic particles arrive into our mucus. If our body cannot fight properly with them, they can cause the inflammation and even sinusitis. In this category, we consider any chemicals, the abuse of nasal spray, smoke, illegal substances that are inhaled through the nose.
  •  Colds.  Is good to know that a common cold can cause sinusitis. During the cold, mucus can be overproduced and clog the sinuses. Therefore, a sinus infection can appear. Usually, colds make a mess of body’s functions so is the perfect moment for viruses to make whatever they want.
  • Viruses. They are acting similar to common colds. They immobilize cilia, after that, mucous is not drained as it should be for a period of time and it may trigger a sinus infection.
  • Bacteria. They come into our nose every time when they are around us and we breathe. Unfortunately, they love to grow in sinuses usually when there is stagnant mucus. That is why it is indicated to return our sinus drainage to normal as soon as possible. Bacterial infections are not very common.
  • Fungus. This kind of infection is very rare. They are acting like bacteria and are quiet difficult to treat.
  • Physical disorders. We can say that these are indirect causes. In this category we include:
    •  Tumors or polyps that are growing around the sinus pathways – these can block the sinuses, affect mucus drainage and result into a sinus infection;
    • “wrong” drainage of mucus caused by: thickened mucous secretions, decreased hydration, medications that cause dryness, lack of enough moisture in air or cystic fibrosis – disease of cilia (cilia are some tiny fibers on the epithelial cells in the sinuses which have the “job” to move back and forth to push mucus out);
    • Narrow sinus passages, previously broken or deformed nasal bones that can clog the sinuses and facilitate mucus stagnancy.   
    • Pressure in the cavities from people who swim and dive is constantly changing so they are predisposed to develop a sinus infection.     

Now that we know what can cause a sinusitis, we can establish if it is or not sinus infection contagious. 

Is the sinus infection contagious?

Generally, sinus infection is not contagious. The answer to the initial question “is the sinus infection contagiousis NO, but, like any rule, there are some small exceptions. Let’s think to causes. Allergies – they are not contagious at all. Then, pollutants – you cannot take them from other persons. Regardless the colds, we know that they are very contagious, but if we catch it, it doesn’t mean that we will necessarily develop a sinus infection. It depends a lot on the immune system of each person and if they are predisposed to the sinus infection or no. So, you catch the cold not the sinusitis! Bacterial infection can be contagious but only in rare cases and only when a person comes in direct contact with that bacterium which is in the ill person’s nose, which is unlikely. So, the chances to contact sinusitis are almost zero. But, there are some persons who sustain that bacterial infection is not contagious at all. Funguses are not contagious. When we refer to those things from physical disorders, any person can realize that no one from there can be taken from another person. In conclusion, sinusitis is not something that you can take or spread and, of course, the immune system and how predispose you are to develop it are the last words to say.

Types of sinus infection

You read about sinus infection contagious above and what causes it. Now it is time to structure the information into types. When we talk about what kinds of sinus infection are, we can divide them into 2 big categories:

  1. For how long it lasts – here are 3 types of sinusitis:
  • Acute – it lasts less than a month.
  • Subacute – lasts between 1 to 3 months and appear due to an untreated acute sinusitis
  • Chronic – it lasts over 3 months. It appears due to the fact that the acute sinusitis is not completed treated.
  1. Where is it located – like its name, this category contain the 4 sinus areas:
  • Frontal sinusitis
  • Maxillary sinusitis
  • Sphenoid sinusitis
  • Ethmoid sinusitis

You can read more details about these types of sinus infection in the other articles like Sinus infection symptoms or Sinus infection treatment.

We hope that we demonstrated you that sinus infection is not contagious. Now, remains you to identify it correctly, to treat it and more important to prevent it. Sinus infection is a disease that you may never experience or a disease developed by a person every time when he/she gets cold. You can read more useful information in Sinus infection symptoms, Sinus infection treatment or Home remedies for sinus infection and in the other articles.