Sinusitis (sinus infection) occurs when your sinuses become inflamed and swollen, which keeps mucus from draining properly. If you have a sinus infection while you’re pregnant, this can make being sick feel even worse. You’ll be concerned with finding a way to effectively treat your symptoms without harming your baby.
What is sinusitis?
Sinusitis is an inflammation of the sinus lining that prevents mucus from draining easily through the nose. This inflammation causes the sinuses to become blocked and makes mucus build up, which can lead to some very uncomfortable symptoms that can last for weeks and affect your entire body at a time when you need to feel your best.
What are the symptoms of sinusitis during pregnancy?
Sinusitis is quite common and can be even more so during pregnancy. Around 20% of pregnant women suffer from sinusitis.
The tricky thing about dealing with sinusitis during pregnancy is figuring out whether your symptoms are pregnancy-related or are sinus issues. In addition to all the other parts of your body that it affects, your pregnancy can also make you more prone to nasal inflammation.
If you’re pregnant and suffering from the following symptoms, you may be suffering from sinusitis:
- Yellow or greenish discharge from your nose
- Difficulty breathing through your nose
- Pain and pressure around your face, especially around the cheeks and eyes
- A bad cough
- Reduced sense of smell or taste
- Sore throat
What are the best treatment options for sinusitis during pregnancy?
If you have a sinus infection during your pregnancy, you may feel miserable. You may be tempted to take some medication in an attempt to get some quick relief.
Many mothers-to-be who are suffering from sinusitis are often faced with a difficult decision of what they can do to fight their symptoms without endangering their baby.
You may find that some home remedies are just as effective in alleviating your symptoms and helping you recover while avoiding harm to your baby.
These can include the following:
- Using a humidifier at night
- Drinking plenty of fluids such as water and broth. This helps you stay hydrated and helps thin the mucus.
- Using saline nasal irrigation or saline nose drops
- Using several pillows to elevate your head when you lie down
Some medications are safe to use during pregnancy, while other commonly used medicines may not be safe to take while you’re pregnant.
In some cases, such as sinusitis caused by a bacterial infection, it may be safer for the baby if you take an antibiotic. The risk of possible harm to the baby is usually smaller from antibiotics than from the bacterial infection, but talk to your doctor for more information specific to your case.
Medications that are used to treat acute sinus infections include cefprozil (Cetzil) and a combination of amoxicillin and clavulanate. They are generally regarded as safe to use during pregnancy. So is acetaminophen (Tylenol), which can help with pain relief and/or headaches.
The short-term use of decongestants, antihistamines, expectorants, and cough suppressants for upper-respiratory infections is usually thought to be safe during pregnancy in limited amounts.
Talk with your doctor for specific information on which medication is best for you and your baby. It doesn’t mean that you need to suffer through your sinusitis without any help, but you’ll need to be more careful about the medications you take and how long you take them for.
Looking for sinusitis treatment in the Dallas/Fort Worth area?
If you’re suffering from sinusitis during pregnancy, take the first step toward finding relief by contacting one of our numerous convenient Dallas/Fort Worth area offices.
At DFW Sinus Select, our sinus doctors provide the highest quality, state-of-the-art specialty medical care in a personalized and compassionate manner.
Contact us to schedule your consultation today.