Are Sinus Infections Contagious?

One night you sleep comfortably, and the next morning, you wake up with a runny nose, headache, and discomfort in your eyes. You try home remedies and a lot more but all in vain. At that time, the best step is to consult a healthcare practitioner, Prime Health Of New Jersey can be the solution to your problem. 

Sinus infections are a common health problem that affects millions of people around the world. They affect 1 out of 7 people each year with the cumulative percentage of 6-7% prevalence in children and 14% in adults. If you have recently been diagnosed with a sinus infection or know someone who has a sinus infection. You may be wondering, Are sinus infections contagious? The answer is. Yes, they are. But which one is more contagious? Viral or bacterial. 

Don’t wonder further, I am here to give you in-depth knowledge about sinus infection contagious, which of the two is more contagious, the causes of infection, symptoms, and treatments you can opt for. 

Remember, sinus infections don’t develop overnight. Rather, it is a reaction of the body’s immune system that occurs in response to viruses, bacteria, or certain allergens. 

What are Sinus Infections? 

Sinus infection, also known as sinusitis, occurs when your sinuses swell and become inflamed. Sinuses are hollow chambers in the facial bones. They produce mucus to moisturize and filter the air you breathe. When your body encounters any virus, bacteria, or allergen. These chambers cause inflammation as a protective mechanism to fight the pathogen. As a result, fluid builds up in these chambers to stop the growth of this pathogen. We call this process a sinus infection. 

Sinus symptoms

Sinus Infections: Symptoms 

As the wind is an indication before a storm. Sinus infections do have some signs that you show when you encounter the infection. Although sinus infections have mild to moderate symptoms compared to other infections. According to Centers of Disease Control and Management  the indications of sinus infections include: 

  • Mucus drips down the throat. 
  • Pressure or pain in the ear. 
  • Fever. 
  • Stuffy nose. 
  • Headache. 
  • Tiredness. 
  • Pressure or pain in the teeth. 
  • Unpleasant Breath 
  • Cough


Are Sinus Infections Contagious? 

Can a sinus Infection be contagious? You can only know it by identifying the underlying reason for sinus infection. There are two types of sinus infections: viral and bacterial. 

Are Sinus Infections Viral? 

Approximately 90% of sinus infections spread due to viruses. Viral sinusitis is a cold or flu virus. It is more contagious than bacterial sinus. When a virus comes in contact with a person’s body it uses its machinery to grow and cause infection.

Are you curious to know? Is sinusitis contagious to others? You can indicate the contagiousness of viral sinus infection by the fact that the virus is spread through tiny droplets into the air even when an infected person coughs or sneezes. If someone else accidentally ingests it, there is a risk that the virus could spread and cause sinusitis in that person too. It is this much Spreadable.  

Therefore, pay attention to proper hygiene. Always cover your face and mouth when you cough or sneeze. 

Are sinus infections contagious bacterial? 

Bacterial sinus infections are less common. Approximately 0.5-2% of sinus infections are bacterial. But, they are persistent. The germs that cause bacterial sinus infections can be found in the nasal passages of infected people. Even after the infection is cured. Allergies, nasal polyps, or a weakened immune system can cause bacterial sinus infections to grow.  

Are sinus Infections contagious in case of bacterial infections? Bacterial sinus infections are less contagious than viral sinus infections because they do not spread from person to person. Even so, direct touch, such as sharing personal objects like towels or utensils, can cause bacterial infections. 

Description Bacterial Sinus Infection Viral Sinus Infection
Cause of Spread
Bacteria S. pneumonia, H. Influenzae
Virus Rhinovirus, Influenza virus
Is sinus infections contagious?
Less contagious
More Contagious
Less than 10% people
90% people
How long are sinus infections contagious?
10-14 Days
Almost a week
Antibiotics (Medical advice needed)
Over the counter medication (Medical advice needed)

Sinus Infection Causes 

Every disease or infection occurs due to a reason. Just like that, sinus infections can be caused by a variety of factors, Including: 

Viral Infections: 

Viruses are the main cause of viral infections. The most common infection-causing viruses are Rhinovirus and Influenza virus. These viruses cause flu or cold when encountered by the person. Due to this sinus gets inflamed and infection occurs. 


When a person’s body reacts to a substance that is generally harmless for most people. We call it allergy. People who are allergic to substances such as pollen, dust mites, or pet dung can have inflammation in the sinuses due to their exposure, leading to the development of sinusitis. 

Nasal Polyps: 

Usually, there are soft growths in the nasal passages. When sinus infection occurs they swell and grow abnormally. Thus, proper drainage and ventilation of the sinuses stops, and infection increases. 

Deviated Septum: 

A deviated septum refers to a condition in which the displacement of the nasal septum (the thin wall that separates the nostrils) occurs. This structural abnormality can interfere with normal sinus drainage and lead to infections. 

Treatment & Causes

Sinus Infection Treatment 

There are tons of treatments available to cure sinus infections. But, identifying the best way to treat a certain type of sinus infection is very important. Treatment for sinus infections may vary depending on the cause producing it. Mild sinusitis is easy to treat using home remedies, saline solutions, and inhalers. However, intense sinus infections need proper examination and care. And then particular over-the-counter or certain other medications are given. 

Home Remedies:

The first and best step to treating mild sinus infections is nasal washing with saline solution, steam inhalation, and adequate hydration. According to HealthlineMedia the best home remedies to treat sinus infections are listed below: 

Honey and ginger Tea: 

The best home remedy to treat mild sinus infections is honey and ginger tea. If you are suffering from sinusitis, try it once on my recommendation. You won’t regret it! 

Nasal Soaking: 

It is basically rinsing your nose with a saline solution. Simply take a clean pot. Add 2 tablespoons of iodine-free salt and 2 tablespoons of baking soda and make a dry mixture. Add 8 ounces of filtered water to the dry mixture and combine it. Your homemade nasal irrigate is ready. Rinse each nostril with it. Nasal soaking will clean your nose thoroughly and drain out bacteria. 


Another good homemade remedy to treat sinus infections is steam. You need boiling water and a large towel. Place a towel over your head with your face towards the bowl so steam can be trapped in the towel. It is one of the best remedies to prevent nasal congestion.  

Over-the-Counter Medications: 

If sinus infections don’t go using home remedies. There is a chance that you are suffering from intense sinusitis. Consult experts at Prime Health New Jersey about your symptoms and seek advice. 

You can use pain relievers, decongestants, and nasal sprays to treat moderate to intense sinus infections as they provide immediate yet temporary relief from symptoms. 

Allergy Medications: 

If you are prone to allergies such as dust, mites, etc., Sinus can be triggered if your body encounters them. There are various allergic medications available for sinus infections that can help manage symptoms and prevent future infections. 

The Role of Antibiotics in Sinus Infection Treatment 

Antibiotics are very popular in the treatment of bacterial sinus infections. These drugs help kill the bacteria that are causing the infection. However, it is important to understand that antibiotics are not effective against viral sinus infections. The unnecessary use of drugs for viral sinusitis can lead to antibiotic resistance, which is a leading cause of contagiousness. 

Therefore, always get expert advice before starting any medication. So, he can guide you thoroughly about your ailments and their proper cure. 

Sinus Infections Prevention 

As it is always said. Every problem comes with a solution. Although sinus infection is contagious, coping with it is also possible. The best way to protect yourself from a sinus infection is to maintain excellent hygiene practices, especially with viral sinus infections. Some preventive measures that you should take are given below: 

  • Always wash your hands after coughing or sneezing for at least 20 sec using good hand soap. 
  • Keep a tissue with you and always use it while coughing and sneezing so the infections would not spread. 
  • Maintain a reasonable distance from people who have sinus infections. 
  • Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces, including door knobs, light switches, and electronic gadgets, regularly. 
  • Always keep an alcohol-based sanitizer with you to disinfect your hands when soap is not available. 
  • Boost Immune System: It is important to have a strong immune system during such infections. For that purpose, have good sleep, drink plenty of water, eat a nutrient-rich diet, stress less, and perform good hygiene. So that, immune cells can fight infections effectively.


Our Mission at Prime Health New Jersey: 

It is our ultimate goal to provide you with the best services relating to Chronic Illness, weight management, primary care, and IV therapy. Our amazing team of experienced doctors at Prime Health New Jersey is always available to provide the best services to you. With our online monitoring system, we made immediate examination easy. Book your appointment now and get expert advice at the ease of your home. 


Eventually, relating to the question Are sinus infections contagious? Yes, they are! 

As viruses are more responsible for causing sinus infections, they are more contagious than bacterial sinus Infections. Bacterial sinus infection has a limited extent of its spread. Hence, bacterial infections are less contagious. 

Considering the causes and spread of sinus infections It is important to take the right precautions and seek the right treatment. Remember to seek guidance from a physician for an accurate diagnosis and the right treatment. Take antibiotics only when needed. 

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Our Team

Dr Farhan Malik
Dr. Farhan Malik Primary Care Physician
Dr Shoaib Malik
Dr. Shoaib Malik Primary Care Physician

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