Allergies or Pregnancy?

What you may not realize, however, is that your chronic congestion and sneezing may also be products of your pregnancy. If you are pregnant during the early spring, you may question whether you are experiencing worsening allergies or the simple signs of “pregnancy rhinitis.”

In most cases, your allergies are not actually worse during pregnancy than they were before. However, pregnancy hormones do cause some things to happen within your nasal cavity and sinuses that can make your allergy symptoms seem more unbearable. In fact, if you are expecting a child and suffer from seasonal allergies, you may be especially uncomfortable during this time of year.

Is your Congestion from Pregnancy or Pollen?

While the runny nose and sneezing from allergies can be treated, we can’t eliminate the congestion symptoms related to pregnancy. Pregnancy often causes an increase in the fluid that circulates through your body, which can lead to congestion of the blood vessels in your sinuses. Doctors refer to this as pregnancy rhinitis. The difference between this and your allergies will be that there is no trigger. With most allergies, removing the triggers (pollen, grasses, animals, dust, etc.) will relieve your symptoms, but with pregnancy rhinitis, pulling those triggers away won’t matter.

Treating Allergies During Pregnancy

What if you have seasonal allergies while you are pregnant? Can you still find relief? Yes! Most medications that patients use to treat their allergies before pregnancy are still safe to continue, such as Zrytec, Benadryl, and Claritin. However, always clear any medication (prescribed or over-the-counter) with your obstetrician before assuming it’s okay. When possible, do your best to avoid your allergy triggers. Using a humidifier at night and washing your face and hands frequently can help you breathe better during allergy season.

Are congestion symptoms making you miserable during your pregnancy? Schedule a visit with one of our compassionate physicians at North Pointe OB/GYN in Cumming. We can help you determine what is allergies or sickness and what is normal pregnancy symptoms. Most of all, we have ways to make you more comfortable.

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