Will I Catch A Sinus Infection From My Husband?

A Sinus infection, also called sinusitis and rhinosinusitis, is an inflammatory condition of one or more of your sinus cavities. They are caused by a variety things, including allergies, autoimmune problems, and viruses. If you are wondering if your husband's sinus infection is contagious, the answer is: it depends. There are three types of sinusitis infections. Keep reading to learn more about both of them so you can determine if you will catch your husband's sinus infection.

Viral Sinus Infections

A viral sinus infection is a respiratory virus that is spread via hand-to-hand contact. This is the most common type of sinus infection. The most common types of viruses that cause sinusitis are cold and flu viruses. When someone infected with a sinus virus coughs or blows their nose, tiny droplets of air that are contaminated by the virus escape.

If droplets of the virus land on a door knob and then you place your hand on the same knob, and then scratch an itch on your nose, the chances are high that you will contract the viral infection. This holds to true to just about every surface. No matter where the droplets land, they are easily transferred to others just by touching the droplet and then touching your own nose, mouth or eyes.  

Bacterial Sinus Infections

A bacterial sinus infection typically develops after a person has had an upper respiratory infection of some kind, like the cold or flu. The most common types of bacteria that cause sinusitis are:

  • Staphylococcus aureus

  • Streptococcus pneumonia

  • Moraxella catarrhalis

  • Haemophilus influenza

Fungal Sinus Infections

This type of sinusitis occurs when a person is having an allergic reaction to fungi. The most common type of fungus that causes sinusitis is Aspergillus. This type of sinus infection typically occurs in people who have leukemia, AIDS, or diabetes. Fungal sinus infections are not common in people with healthy immune systems.

How To Avoid Catching Viral Sinusitis From Your Husband

The best way to avoid getting sinusitis is to wash your hands often. You should always wash your hands before you eat, and when you come in from the outside. While ordinary soap works fine, alcohol-based waterless hand cleaners are also effective. To clean surfaces in your home to stop the spread of viruses:

  1. Mix 1 part bleach to 10 parts water.

  2. Pour into a spray bottle.

  3. Spray the surface with bleach solution.

  4. Wipe with a clean paper towel.

As you can see, you must first determine what type of sinus infection your husband has in order to find out if he's contagious. His doctor (like those at Asthma And Allergy Center and similar offices) will be able to provide this information after a quick visit. Until then, wash your hands often to prevent any type of virus from spreading around your home.