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How to Cope With a Sinus Infection During Pregnancy

A sinus infection while pregnant can become a serious issue. This is how to learn whether you experience a sinus infection, and how to properly handle it to ensure you and your baby are safe.

While a sinus infection can be quite unpleasant by itself, when you get hit by it during pregnancy, it can leave you quite frustrated. A Date With Baby has created a comprehensive blog post about this topic which you may find quite informative and as well as interesting. 

sinus infection while pregnant

Additionally, you might be confused as to whether it is really an infection of the sinus or one of the signs of pregnancy. Furthermore, it’s not really clear if the standard methods of treatments are appropriate for unborn babies.

Therefore you need to get yourself educated, how to get over a sinus infection while being pregnant, and what causes the condition.

What Is Sinusitis in Pregnancy?

Sinusitis is the common name for sinus inflammation, which is actually an air-filled area around the nose. These pockets are lined with a membrane that generates mucus, which cleans it quickly in usual conditions.

However, once the sinuses are inflamed and bloated, the discharge slows down, allowing the fluid to pile up, which leaves you feeling like you’re having a terrible cold.

According to health professionals, while you could be more vulnerable to a sinus infection while pregnant, the disease is manifesting the same as it would be with anybody.

What Is The Cause Of A Sinus Infection While Pregnant?

Although the signs are the same no matter what the actual cause is, the reasons for the infection with the sinus during pregnancy (and any other time) can differ. The following causes may trigger the condition:

  • Viruses
  • Structural issues of the nose
  • Bacteria
  • Hormonal changes during pregnancy
  • Seasonal allergens

Viruses, allergens, and (in some cases) bacteria usually cause pain and infection, hampering discharge. Yet pregnancy itself can be a primary cause— due to a rise in estrogen and progesterone levels that can lead to swelling, doctors say.

If you had been susceptible to sinus infections before being pregnant, then you actually have a higher risk of developing an infection with the sinus once you are pregnant, compared to other individuals,

Signs Of A Sinus Infection During Pregnancy

When you are pregnant and in the past hadn’t had any experience with sinus infections, you might be wondering what makes you suffer.

If you note the following symptoms, odds are you have developed a sinus infection:

  • Yellow or green discharge from the nose
  • Facial pressure
  • Headache
  • Nasal congestion

Health specialists say that if such signs continue with little relief for longer than a week or 10 days, it is likely a bacterial infection rather than a viral one. Under this scenario, antibiotics may need to be administered so make sure to let the doctor know if the symptoms are getting worse.

Unbearable Sinus Pain in Pregnancy

Sinus pressure and awful pain may leave you feeling pretty exhausted while pregnant but the infection does not impact your baby.

Unbearable Sinus Pain in Pregnancy

Sinus pressure and awful pain may leave you feeling pretty exhausted while pregnant but the infection does not impact your baby.

How to Treat a Sinus Infection When You Are Pregnant

Unless you have a bacterial infection, many sinus infections are generally viral, and taking antibiotics does usually not improve the condition.

Like for cold or flu in pregnancy, the safest options to alleviate the sinus are to treat the symptoms by using certain well-known home remedies, like:

  • Nasal irrigation
    Saltwater irrigation will help keep the nasal passage lining moist, while at the same time eradicating backed-up gunk, also facilitating drainage.
    According to research, rinsing the nose with saline by itself can relieve signs of sinusitis and also nasal swelling, doctors suggest.
    Although both function fairly well, often the hypertonic saline is linked with nasal dryness or bleeding of the nose.
  • Saltwater spray
    Although the saltwater spray is not very efficient, it will still moisten the lining of your nasal passage and provide some relief.
  • Cool compresses
    By placing a cool, moist washcloth over the sinuses, you can relieve pain while calming the headache caused by the condition.
    Doctors say expectant mothers should be careful about using over-the-counter drugs since these can be harmful to babies. Acetaminophen (Tylenol) though, they note, can safely help with the discomfort.
    Those who experience chronic infections can be advised to take prescription medication. Although oral steroids are not commonly prescribed as a remedy for sinusitis while pregnant,  irrigation nasal steroid is usually claimed to be healthy, as absorption into the bloodstream is very small.
    Sinus infections typically clear up within two weeks but call your doctor if your symptoms remain the same or get worse, especially if you develop a fever, changes in vision, or ear or throat pain. However, if you are pregnant, you should always speak to a doctor before using any medicine.

Stuffy Nose During Pregnancy Third Trimester

Pregnancy rhinitis, also known as gestational rhinitis, is the phrase used to refer a runny or stuffy nose that pregnant women may encounter at any time of pregnancy. The condition typically starts in the second or third trimesters, though.

Pregnancy rhinitis generally lasts six weeks or a little more and has no cause of allergy or any other signs of a normal cold. Usually, the signs go away after two weeks of delivering the baby.

Essential Oils For Sinus Infection While Pregnant

Certain essential oils that available on market, such as eucalyptus and peppermint oils, can help you to clear the airways and reduce congestion. Essential oils are one of the most common methods of natural therapy.

People are using them to ease inflammation symptoms in the sinus, unblock the irritating stuffed nose and facilitate sinus drainage. However, there is little research that can confirm the usage of essential oils to alleviate inflammation of the sinus.

There is some proof, however, that the essential oils may improve associated symptoms mentioned above, although a number of these studies have been conducted on animals or laboratory experiments, rather than on humans, which is due to an obvious reason.

Some findings show essential oils are capable of doing the following:

  • fight bacteria
  • reduce inflammation
  • relieve pain
  1. Peppermint Oil
    Most people think that it actually feels better to inhale peppermint oil when you experience blocked sinuses. That’s maybe due to the oil’s cooling effect. Since there is menthol in peppermint oil, the substance can impact the nose’s mucus receptors, helping expand the airways and remove the mucus. Studies at the laboratory suggest that peppermint oil can aid patients fight infection, which is, in fact, one of the main causes of sinus inflammation.
  1. Eucalyptus Oil
    Eucalyptus plant oil is shown to have potential as a natural treatment for sinusitis and cough.
    Some decongestant goods that are sold over-the-counter contain eucalyptus oil compound. Many people say this oil will relieve the symptoms of colds and coughs, as well as inflammation in the sinus and stuffiness during pregnancy.
  1. Tea tree oil
    Tea tree oil can relieve sinus inflammation by fighting against 2 major underlying factors: bacteria, and viruses. A 2015 study showed that a substance in tea tree oil called alpha-sabine had both antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral role.
  2. Oregano Oil
    Oregano oil can also benefit expectant mothers to get over sinusitis by fighting against bacteria. Scientists also found that carvacrol, a part of the oregano oil, can prevent the growth of bacteria.

What Is Safe To Take For Sinus While Pregnant?

The good thing is there are many over-the-counter (OTC) medications that you can safely use during pregnancy.

For instance, acetaminophen (Tylenol) may help alleviate a sinus headache and sore throat. However, you need to ensure that you are taking the pain medication as instructed by your doctor.

While some other medical ingredients may also be deemed healthy for pregnant mothers, its wise to consult your doctor before taking these:

  • antihistamines
  • decongestants
  • cough suppressants
  • expectorants

By limiting the blood flow around the nose, which decreases inflammation, decongestant sprays or medications can be used to relieve stuffiness and sinus pressure.  

Pseudoephedrine and phenylephrine are marketed as Sudafed over-the-counter and are considered safe to use for pregnant women. Women who have experienced high blood pressure, though, should not use pseudoephedrine without first consulting with their doctor first. This is because the medicine can increase your blood pressure and can even lead to heartbeat jitter and race.

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