There are a lot of things that could happen in our body. Our body is like a miniature version of the universe. It is composed of many sub-parts that allow it to function properly. Unfortunately these body parts are also at risk to having problems and abnormalities that can prevent them from carrying out their purposes and responsibilities well. These health problems are commonly caused by infections or other invading pathogens. One of the most common health problems that a lot of us have already experienced is a sinus infection. This type of infection usually occurs right after we have suffered or experienced a bout of common cold, flu or even hay fever. This is associated to the nasal congestion that is mainly the reason why an infection usually occurs in the sinus region. But are sinus infections contagious?
Causes of a Sinus Infection
Before we dwell deeper to the topic, we must first discuss the common things that can cause sinus infections. In relation to what is mentioned above, nasal congestion can occur due to swelling of the mucous membranes that line the nose. Once this happens, the blood vessels near this area can result into inflammation. So whenever we breathe, the air that enters through the nose which contains many irritants, pollutant and other pathogens can further worsen the condition of the surrounding membranes. This will also induce the production of the body’s natural immune defenses called histamine. This particular chemical is designed to fight off allergens that are detected by the body.
Nevertheless, this histamine can actually create a worse situation for the nasal environment. These chemical components can result into further inflammation of the mucosal lining and increases more swelling of the affected area. In addition to this, the nasal membranes are also triggered to produce more or excessive amounts of mucus in the sinuses. Once this occurs, problems in the drainage of the mucus can be a result.
Aside from the destructive effects of the irritants and allergens, the cilia, which are described as microscopic hair-like structures, the surrounded nasal membranes are also being paralyzed. These cilia are very useful in draining the excess mucus produced by the membranes. However, once they are paralyzed, the functions of the cilia are naturally impaired thus causing the accumulation of the mucus inside the nasal region. Because of this, bacteria can start to infest as well as other viruses which can lead to the sinus infection. Two of the most common symptoms of sinus infection are sinus pain and headache.
What exactly is a sinus infection?
A Sinus infection refers to the condition wherein the nasal passages as well as the sinuses are inflamed and constantly swollen. This condition causes the production of excessive glue like mucus that can clog the paranasal sinuses thus causing great discomfort and difficulty in breathing. This can also cause painful reactions as well as debilitating symptoms.
Are sinus infections considered contagious?
The very first thing that we should all be aware about sinus infections is that they are mainly due or caused by viruses. Some of the simplest common colds can actually result to sinus infections. This can happen especially if the cold is not treated properly and is left unmanaged. So if the sinus infection is caused by a virus, can this be transmittable? The sinus infection per se is not contagious. However, the virus or the pathogen that has caused this condition can definitely be transferred from one person to another. Nevertheless, once the virus is transferred, it does not all the time result to the occurrence of a sinus infection. This can also be affected by the present immune condition of the individual. Once the person has a weak defense, then the risk of having infections is higher. However, once the defense is strong, then the virus can simply result to simple coughing and sneezing.
This only shows that it is very important for us to always find time and ways in order to manage the situation. Taking common colds for granted and thinking that it will leave on its own is not a helpful way in treating the condition. This can even go further and affect the sinus causing chronic sinusitis. In order to prevent this from happening, medical check-ups and the use of medications can also be an advantage so that complications are less likely to occur.
Are sinus infections contagious if they are caused by other agents?
Although viruses are the most prominent reason for this health problem, sinus infections can also be the result of bacterial and/or fungal infection. However, when these pathogens caused the infection, they are considered NOT contagious. These bacteria and fungi love to thrive in moist places, which make a congested nasal cavity a perfect area to harbor. This is considered an ideal breeding ground for the bacteria. Fortunately, they are not transmittable from one person to another, but unlike viruses, bacteria and fungi are very hard to treat or manage. This is the reason why antibiotics or anti-fungal medications are already required in order to successfully combat the problem.
These are just some of the facts and details about the common health problem sinus infection or sinusitis. It is important that treatment and attention must be immediately handed in order prevent the condition from complicating regardless whether it is contagious or not.