What is pregnancy rhinitis?
Pregnancy rhinitis refers to nasal congestion during pregnancy. It is similar to the stuffy nose that can be felt during the winter, but with the difference that it occurs during hormonal change during pregnancy. Levels of blood and estrogen increase and cause swelling in the lining of the nasal passages, resulting in more mucus. Excess blood circulation inflates the small blood vessels in your nose and causes a stuffy nose during pregnancy.
There may be some problems associated with this situation, but can it be dangerous?
Is the stuffy nose dangerous during pregnancy?
Although it can cause mild to moderate side effects in the mother and baby, it is not dangerous. It can cause sleep problems, and you can wake up at night with difficulty breathing. This can affect the ability of the fetus to receive essential oxygen for development, or cause chronic sinusitis or ear infections if you are allergic to them.
You do not have to worry about this problem and you can even identify it with some signs (nevertheless, if you feel the need, do not hesitate to consult your doctor, because nothing replaces a medical advice)
Signs and symptoms of pregnancy rhinitis
The most common symptoms you may feel are:
- Itching or a runny nose (runny nose)
- Persistent cough and sneezing
- Itchy throat and nose
- Itchy, swollen eyes yes wet
- Weird sensations in the nose and associated headache
If these symptoms persist for a few weeks without improvement then you should see your doctor. You can train these symptoms sometimes for a few months, so it’s good to know what’s causing this problem.
Causes of pregnancy rhinitis
Some cases of nasal congestion are mild, but a stuffy nose may be caused by any of the following reasons:
- If the stuffy nose is associated with coughing, sneezing, mild pain, sore throat or fever, it can be a cold or an infection. In this case, you can start by reading our article treating a cold during pregnancy.
- If you have fever, headache, yellow or green mucus, facial pain (which gets worse when you bend), a weak sense of smell or a bad upper jaw, it is sinusitis.
- If you have a stuffy nose with liquid mucus, sneezing, itchy eyes, nose, throat or ears, it may be an allergy. They are unpredictable during pregnancy because you can suddenly become allergic or irritated by things that did not bother you before.
It can sometimes be difficult to understand the real cause of your nasal congestion because there can be many. For example, you may very well have both pregnancy rhinitis and allergy at the same time. This is why you must consult a doctor if any of the above symptoms persist for at least a week or two.
How long does a stuffy nose last?
A stuffy nose can begin in your second month of pregnancy, and increase as you go. It usually declines after delivery and disappears completely within 2 weeks after delivery.
However, you can lessen the discomfort caused by your stuffy nose with natural remedies
Natural remedies to treat stuffy nose in pregnant women
There are remedies that you can use at home to relieve your symptoms. These remedies are natural and very simple to achieve.
1. Inhalation of steam
Take hot water in a bowl. Put a towel on your head and inhale the steam from the hot water. Try to breathe for a while, without burning yourself (keep your head away from the bowl). You’ll quickly feel the benefits of steam, which will help relieve congestion and help you breathe better.
2. Use a humidifier
You can use a humidifier or vaporizer in your room when you sleep. This increases the humidity in the room and gets rid of the congestion you may feel. You must clean the humidifiers regularly and change the water so that there is no bacterial growth.
3. Salt drops or sprays
Salt water has long been known in the treatment of stuffy nose. You can buy natural salt solutions commercially, and you spray in the nose several times a day. You should feel relief within 5 to 10 minutes of spraying.
4. The homemade nasal wash
Take sterile water and add a teaspoon of salt and baking soda
5. Nose nostril by nostril
Hold one nostril with your thumb and then gently blow with the other. This will force the air out through the nostril while clearing the mucus. Repeat the same with the other nostril.
6. Keep your head up
Put extra pillows when you lie down or sleep, it will help to decongest the nose, and at the same time it can help also for heartburn.
Doing light exercise or brisk walking can eliminate nasal congestion. However, do not practice outdoors if the air is polluted, as this may aggravate the phenomenon. Regular cardiovascular exercise allows for better airflow and better sleep.
8. Avoid irritants
Cigarette smoke, paint, alcohol or strong smells can make your condition worse. You should avoid these triggers as much as possible.
9. Hydrate yourself
Drink lots of water, broths or citrus juices because they not only reduce congestion, they help you and your fetus to be healthy. Try to avoid anything that is caffeine-based because they will tend to dehydrate you.
When you have a stuffy nose, the nasal duct tends to dry up and get irritated. To overcome this phenomenon, you can use petroleum jelly, which you deposit on a cotton swab or cotton, before spreading on the area concerned.
11. Eat foods containing vitamin C
Increase vitamin C in your diet to reduce the risk of nosebleeds. For example, you can eat kiwis, tomatoes, oranges, or peppers.
12. Acupressure of the nose
Tap the dots at the bridge of the nose and under the eyes for about 5 minutes. You can tap the two dots one after the other or both at the same time. By applying the right pressure to the right place, you will get rid of the stuffy nose.
For more information and specific diagrams, you can read this article
13. Warm up your legs
Fill your socks with mustard seeds and keep them overnight. This will keep your legs and your body warm, and thus prevent swelling of the tissues of the nose.
14. Horseradish mixture
Mix the finely chopped horseradish with apples and a little sugar. Take about 2 tablespoons a day to get relief from the stuffy nose. Horseradish is known to fight bacteria and improve the immune system
15. Ginger tea
Ginger contains anti-inflammatory agents. So you can try to start your day with a hot cup of tea made with grated fresh ginger, and some honey. It will clean the passages of the nose and improve the circulation of liquids.
Before following any of these recipes, we recommend that you contact your doctor to assess whether there is any risk to your pregnancy. Once you have agreed, you can try one of these home remedies. Know that some situations require that you consult a doctor immediately.
When to consult a doctor?
If your pregnancy rhinitis lasts more than 2 weeks or if you have sleep problems associated with stuffy nose and snoring, you should consult a health professional. Do not take any medicine without the prescription of your doctor. If you have taken it, you must tell your doctor.
The doctor may also suggest some tests to make sure there is no underlying infection or to better understand your condition.
What to expect at the hospital?
Your nose, throat, ears and, of course, your airways may be examined. They can also prescribe some additional tests if necessary:
- Blood and skin tests in case of allergy
- X-ray of the sinuses
- Pulmonary radiography
Depending on your symptoms and results, the doctor may prescribe medication.
And you, do you have other solutions for the stuffy nose during pregnancy? Tell us about it