Is Sinus infection Contagious

Having symptoms like breathing problems, sore throat, cold, and cough discharge?

Well, do not consider it as common cold as there are high chances that you might have caught a Sinus Infection.  

In general, the symptoms of common cold and sinus are quite the same so most of the time people consider sinus infection like the common cold. The other dilemma in which many people have is whether the sinus infection contagious or not is like the common cold. Well, the question is quite obvious as the symptoms of both are almost the same. 

So, here is the guide on what all you must know about a Sinus infection and if it is contagious…

Symptoms of Sinus Infection

Most primitively, it is extremely important to distinguish sinus infections from the common cold. Generally, sinus infection begins with the symptoms the same as of a common cold such as the runny nose, chills, cough, or watery eyes. But then the symptoms which you will face in case of sinus include pain and pressure in the sinus cavities, headaches, bad breath, fatigue, sore throat, nasal discharge with unusual odour and earaches.

In case of any severe symptoms, you can get your X-ray done that exactly reveals if a person has a sinus infection. 

What is Sinus Infection?

Sinuses are the hollow air cavities present in the area near the nose and the cranial bones connecting to it. In the case of sinus infection, the tissues around these hollow air cavities get damaged because of some bacteria, viruses, or fungi. 

Most importantly, whether the sinus infection also known as Sinusitis is contagious or not depends upon its causing agent, i.e., bacteria, virus, or other environmental causes or allergies 

Sinus Infection Vs Cold

Since the symptoms of both sinusitis and cold are quite the same. Both can give you nasal congestion and runny nose. So, sometimes it becomes difficult for people to distinguish between both. 

See, the symptoms of cold include runny nose, mild fever, cough, and sneezing. Within 3 to 5 days these symptoms keep on getting better. In the worst scenario, a common cold cannot last more than 10 to 15 days. 

However, in the case of sinus infection, the symptoms last up to 25 to 30 days or sometimes more than that. The symptoms here include runny nose, difficulty in breathing, yellowish discharge from the nose with an unusual odour, headache, pain, and pressure in the sinus area, fatigue, earache, etc. 

Is Sinus Infection Contagious?

As already described, there are multiple causes of sinus infection including bacteria, viruses, fungi, or other ones. Moreover, the answer to the question of whether a sinus infection is contagious or not lies here.

Virus: As per the researches, viruses usually are causative agents in most of the cases of sinus infections. Like any other viral disease/infection, Sinus Infection can also be transferred from one person to another. However, the chances of you getting the infection are quite low, since the viruses are contagious for days, weeks, or much more than that. Therefore, there are chances that you might have transferred the virus before it was showing symptoms. In other words, in the case of sinus caused by the virus, the person caught the virus might fall sick because of it but there are high chances that the person will not get sinusitis. The probability of being affected by sinusitis is quite low here. 

Bacteria: Bacterial sinus infection comes into play when sinuses remain blocked with mucus in it. The best part is that like any other bacterial infection, it cannot be transferred from one person to another. But the worst thing here is bacterial sinus infections last up to 15 days which is much more than that of viral sinusitis. 

Other causes: Apart from bacteria and viruses there are other multiple causative agents of sinus infection such as allergies, environmental issues, polyps, etc.

If someone has nasal polyps then the person can get sinus infection because of allergies, smoke, or pollution. These infections are also not contagious but certain measures should be taken in order to avoid them.

How to get rid of Sinus Infection?

If you are having sinus infection then there are some instructions, which you can follow to get rid of your sinus infection smoothly.

  • Use decongestants: Since in sinus infection, the whole air passage is covered by mucus. So, to get rid of that mucus it is advised to use decongestants.
  • Take complete rest and drink plenty of fluids. However, avoid cold fluids such as cold drinks, soda, etc.
  • Use antibiotics or cold medications to relieve cold symptoms. 
  • Take hot steam vaporizers or warm compresses to relieve yourself.
  • Use the saline nasal spray in both the nostrils for easier breathing. 

If you are not getting any positive results even after trying all these methods, then the best you can do is consult your general physician as soon as possible. 

Maxillary Sinus

Maxillary Sinus is an extremely important issue to be understood. It is one of the four types of paranasal sinus that are located in the hollow space in the bones around the nose. It is nothing but an inflammation which can be caused by bacteria, fungus or a virus. It is also one of the largest paranasal sinuses and if we talk about its shape then it looks like a pyramid.

The cells present in the maxillary sinus are lined with mucus thus they help the nose from drying out. Also, breathing can become difficult when Ostia gets clogged with the amount of mucus. Ostia is nothing but a hole in the nose through which maxillary sinus runs.

The maxillary sinus can affect anyone but one can treat this disease with the use of some medications. There can be a lot of symptoms of this disorder but some of them are mild fever, pain and pressure in the face, runny nose, cold, cough and earache.


Let’s deep dive into the question from which we all have started and wrap it up in simpler words.

Sinus infection is usually non-contagious. Also, as mentioned sinus, the causative agents of sinus includes bacteria, virus, or other environmental issues or allergies. There are zero chances that the sinus will be spread if it has occurred because of some bacteria or environmental problems or allergies.

However, if you got the sinus infection because of some virus then there are chances that it will be contagious. Nevertheless, in this situation also there is one loophole. Since the virus can be transferred from one person to another at any stage (virus lived from days to weeks and more as well) so there is a high probability that it has been transferred from one to another person when it was not even sinus.

Since the person is contagious when it is not even sinus. This means that although the virus is being transferred you won’t be getting infected from sinus. You might get a common cold. In the worst case, if the virus has spread when the person was already showing the symptoms of sinus, then, in that case, the other person would be getting suffered from sinus.

By Caitlyn

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