Sinus infections can take a few forms. They may be bacterial or viral, and may be caused by a broad variety of microbes and conditions, including polyps, allergies, and immunodeficiency. The type of sinus infection you have determines whether or not it may be contagious.
Causes of Sinus Infections
Sinus infections begin when the lining of the sinuses becomes inflamed, choking off the drainage pathways that your body uses to cycle through new mucus on a regular basis. When inflammation stops the stopper, as it were, the mucus builds up, and can become a breeding ground for viral loads or bacteria.
Treating a Sinus Infection
Bacterial sinus infections are treated with antibiotics like any other bacterial infection. Unless your sinus infection has become unusually severe, or has broken through to other parts of your anatomy, a round of antibiotics will typically knock out the infection. For most people, this is the end of the story – a safe end point with no lasting effects.
Viral sinus infections are different, however. Antivirals can sometimes work, but the usual course of treatment for a viral sinus infection is less aggressive: plenty of rest, steam inhalation, and patience. The bad news for friends and family is that until these measures, work, viral sinus infections are indeed contagious. You should err on the side of caution and stay home whenever workplace or school considerations arise.
Sinus infections may be acute, subacute, chronic, or recurring; each designation comes with its own treatment regimen. The best way to take care of a sinus infection and prevent future flare-ups is to visit a sinus doctor who can offer state of the art diagnostic tools, and deliver a definitive diagnosis and plan.
The Los Angeles Sinus Institute is widely celebrated for offering the standard in sinus infection care for California. If you’re looking for the best sinus doctor in LA, call us today to set up your own appointment. We look forward to hearing from you.