Natural Remedies for Sinus Infections During Pregnancy

Pregnancy is a special time for women when they eagerly wait for their little ones to arrive. However, this beautiful journey can be hard, especially if you have health problems like a sinus infection or sinusitis. Pregnant women are at a greater risk of developing sinus infections due to changes in their immune system and hormone levels. Treating sinus infections during pregnancy is important to prevent complications and promote maternal and fetal health. You can fight sinus infections and enjoy your pregnancy by getting the right care, prevention, and treatment.

Safe home remedies for sinus infections

Keep reading to know seven ways to fight sinus infections during pregnancy.

What is a Sinus Infection?

The sinuses are spaces in your head filled with air between the eyes, behind the cheekbones, and above the eyebrows. They are lined with a special tissue called mucous membrane, which helps filter and humidify the air you breathe. This membrane produces mucus, a thick liquid that helps trap and remove particles, dust, and germs from the air you inhale. Tiny hair-like cells called cilia move the mucus toward the back of your throat, where it can be swallowed and digested. When you get a cold, flu, or allergy, the mucous membrane in your sinuses can get inflamed and swollen, making it harder for the mucus to drain properly. This can cause mucus buildup in your sinuses, creating a perfect environment for germs to grow and multiply. As a result, you can develop a sinus infection, also known as sinusitis1.

Causes of Sinusitis

There are many reasons why sinusitis can happen. Some people may have structural differences in their sinuses, making them more prone to infection. Others may have a weakened immune system, which makes it harder for their body to fight off bacterial and viral germs. Environmental factors such as pollution, smoke, and dry air can also contribute to sinusitis2.

Symptoms of Sinus Infection During Pregnancy

During pregnancy, the immune system is suppressed, making pregnant women more susceptible to infections. In addition, hormonal changes during pregnancy can lead to swelling and congestion in the nasal passages, increasing the risk of developing a sinus infection. Here are some of the signs that a pregnant woman has a sinus infection3:

  • Nasal Congestion: One of the most common sinus infection symptoms is nasal congestion. Pregnant women may experience a blocked nose, difficulty breathing through the nose, or a feeling of pressure in the nasal passages.
  • Headache: Sinus infections can cause headaches, especially around the forehead, eyes, and cheekbones. These headaches can be intense and persistent and may worsen when bending forward.
  • Facial Pain and Pressure: Pain and pressure in the face, especially around the nose, cheeks, and eyes, can be caused by a sinus infection.
  • Fatigue: Pregnant women with sinus infections may feel tired and weak due to the body's efforts to fight the infection.
  • Cough: Sinus infections can cause coughing, particularly at night or in the morning when mucus has accumulated in the throat.
  • Sore Throat: Pregnant women with sinus infections may experience a sore throat due to mucus drainage down the back of the throat.
  • Fever: Sinus infections can cause a low-grade fever, particularly if the condition is severe or prolonged.
  • Loss of Smell or Taste: Sinus infections can affect the sense of smell and taste, leading to a diminished ability to taste or smell things.

Quick Tips to Prevent Sinus Infections While Pregnant

how to treat sinus infection while pregnant

Here are some tips to prevent sinus infections during pregnancy:

  1. Practice good hygiene by washing your hands with soap and water or using hand sanitizer.
  2. Avoid contact with people who are sick or have respiratory infections.
  3. Avoid allergens and irritants that can trigger sinus infections, such as cigarette smoke, dust, and strong perfumes.
  4. Discuss with your doctor about getting a flu shot to reduce your risk of getting the flu and any associated sinus infections.
  5. Get plenty of rest and practice stress-reducing techniques like yoga or meditation.

How to Treat Sinus Infection

Medications such as antibiotics can effectively treat sinus infections caused by bacteria, but they are not typically recommended for use during pregnancy. Antibiotics can harm the developing fetus, causing congenital disabilities or other complications4. Therefore, it's generally advised to avoid antibiotics for sinus infections during pregnancy unless there is a clear medical necessity and after consulting with a healthcare provider. Instead, alternative methods such as home remedies and other therapies are recommended as first-line treatments for mild to moderate sinus infections during pregnancy. It's important to seek medical attention if symptoms are severe or don't get better in a few days.

You can get relief from symptoms of sinus infections by following methods:

1.    Stay Hydrated

Staying hydrated is important for general health, but it's even more important when you have congestion or mucus. When you drink plenty of fluids such as water, tea, and clear soups, you are not only keeping your body hydrated but also helps to thin out mucus and relieve congestion. This is especially important when dealing with cold or flu symptoms, as thick mucus can make breathing difficult and cause discomfort.

When you are pregnant, staying hydrated is especially important. It is recommended that pregnant women drink a minimum of 8-10 glasses of water per day to maintain adequate hydration levels. This is because dehydration during pregnancy can lead to several complications, such as preterm labor, low amniotic fluid levels, and even congenital disabilities.

However, it's important to remember that not all liquids are the same, and some may not be safe for pregnant women to drink. For example, caffeinated drinks such as coffee and soda should be consumed in moderation as they can lead to dehydration. Similarly, some herbal teas may not be safe for consumption during pregnancy.

2.    Eat a Healthy Diet

Eating a healthy diet is important for overall health and can also be beneficial for treating sinus infections. A diet full of vegetables, fruits, and whole grains can help enhance the immune system, reduce inflammation, and aid in recovery.

Incorporating foods high in vitamin C, such as citrus fruits and leafy greens, can help support the immune system and promote healing. Foods high in antioxidants, such as berries, dark chocolate, and nuts, can help reduce inflammation. During pregnancy, eating a variety of nutrient-dense foods can help to support the growth and development of the fetus while also promoting the health and well-being of the mother.

3.    Use a Humidifier

A humidifier can be a simple and effective way to relieve sinus congestion and other respiratory symptoms. By bringing moisture into the air, a humidifier can help to soothe irritated nasal passages, ease coughing, and reduce dryness in the throat and sinuses. In addition to easing congestion and other respiratory symptoms, a humidifier can also improve skin health, reduce allergies and asthma symptoms, and promote better sleep.

Adding Harmony's Essential Oils – Lemon to the humidifier can also help relieve sinus pain, nausea, and severe vomiting in pregnant women. The lemon essential oil has antimicrobial properties and can help to minimize inflammation in the respiratory system. It also has a refreshing and uplifting scent, which can aid in improving mood and reducing nausea.

4.    Use a Warm Compress and Inhale Steam

Steam inhalation and warm compresses are two common and effective home remedies for relieving sinus congestion and discomfort. Taking deep breaths of steam from a bowl of hot water or a hot shower can help release mucus and make breathing easier. On the other hand, placing a warm compress over the sinuses can help improve circulation, reduce inflammation, and promote mucus drainage from the sinuses. By soaking a clean towel in warm water, you can make a warm compress, wring out the excess water, and place it over your sinuses for several minutes. You can also add some drops of essential oils like Harmony's Essential Oils – Eucalyptus or  Harmony's Essential Oils - Peppermint to the warm water to enhance the effectiveness of steam inhalation and warm compression.

  • Eucalyptus Essential Oil

Eucalyptus essential oil contains a compound called cineole, which has been shown to have anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic, and decongestant properties. When applied topically or inhaled through steam, Eucalyptus essential oil can help open up the airways, relieve nasal congestion, and reduce sinus inflammation5.

  • Peppermint Essential Oil

Peppermint essential oil contains menthol, which has a cooling and soothing effect on the respiratory system. When inhaled or applied topically, peppermint essential oil can help clear the sinuses, reduce inflammation, and relieve a headache or sinus pain6

Repeat this process as needed throughout the day. Both steam inhalation and warm compresses can be used alone or in combination to relieve sinus congestion and discomfort.

5.    Take Proper Rest

Getting enough rest and good deep sleep is necessary for overall health and well-being, and it can be especially important when dealing with sinus issues during pregnancy. Resting can help boost the immune system, which can aid in recovery and help prevent future infections. Adequate rest and proper sleep can also help to alleviate inflammation and swelling in the sinuses. When you rest, your body can redirect energy towards healing and recovery, which can help to reduce the severity and duration of sinus symptoms.

If you are having trouble sleeping during pregnancy, using Harmony's Essential Oils – Lavender for aromatherapy can be a natural and effective way to encourage relaxation and improve sleep quality. Lavender essential oil is well-known for its calming and soothing properties, which can help to minimize anxiety and stress. When inhaled, the aroma of lavender oil can have a sedative effect, promoting relaxation and helping you fall asleep more easily7.

In addition to its sleep-promoting benefits, the lavender essential oil has anti-inflammatory, antiseptic, and analgesic properties. It can be used topically to soothe skin irritations, reduce inflammation, and relieve pain.

6.    Use Nasal Sprays

Nasal sprays are a safe and effective way to alleviate nasal congestion by flushing out the nasal passages. They can be especially helpful for pregnant women, as they are a natural and non-invasive method for reducing sinus pressure and clearing the airways.

Sinus Plumber by Greensations is a spicy nasal spray that provides fast and natural relief for sinus, allergy, and headache-related inflammation. The ingredients in Sinus Plumber work together to provide a safe and effective solution for sinus congestion.

  • Horseradish TINC: Horseradish is a natural decongestant that can help to break up mucus and clear nasal passages. It contains a compound called sinigrin, which, when broken down into allyl isothiocyanate (AITC), can help to alleviate inflammation and congestion in the sinuses8.
  • Capsicum Annuum: Capsicum annuum, also known as cayenne pepper, contains capsaicin, which can help to relieve pain and inflammation. It has been used for many years as a natural cure for sinus and respiratory problems9.
  • Eucalyptus TINC: Eucalyptus is a powerful decongestant and expectorant that can help to loosen mucus and improve breathing. It has a chemical called eucalyptol that can help with pain and inflammation.
  • Wintergreen TINC: Wintergreen is known for its anti-inflammatory and painkilling properties, which can help to reduce swelling and pain in the sinuses. It also contains a compound called methyl salicylate, similar to aspirin and can help relieve pain and inflammation10.
  • Rosemary TINC: Rosemary has anti-inflammatory properties and can help to reduce swelling and congestion in the sinuses. It also contains antioxidants, which can aid in improving the immune system and protect against oxidative stress11.

Sinus Plumber is made with natural ingredients and is free of harmful chemicals like petroleum, artificial flavors, and dyes. It also has a metered dose, so there is no need to worry about dripping or spilling. Using Sinus Plumber allows you to breathe easier and feel more comfortable without relying on medication or other artificial remedies.

7.    Use Ear Candles

The use of ear candles, also known as ear candling, has been a natural remedy for sinus infections for centuries. The process involves lighting a hollow candle and placing it in the ear. Ear candling can also help to alleviate sinus congestion and pressure by stimulating blood flow and promoting lymphatic drainage.

You can use Harmony's Peppermint Beeswax Ear Candles. These candles are designed to promote relaxation and offer a range of benefits, including helping to alleviate symptoms associated with rhinitis, sinusitis, ear infections, allergies, flu, headaches, migraines, conjunctivitis, sore throat, and stress. The candles are made from certified organic cotton cloth and locally acquired beeswax. They are infused with peppermint essential oil, known for its soothing and anti-inflammatory properties. Additionally, the candles come with a burn line safety label for safe and easy use.

Harmony's Lemon, Lime, and Peppermint Ear Candles have also been beneficial in relieving sinus symptoms and nausea during pregnancy. Lemon essential oil is well known for its cleansing and purifying properties, while lime essential oil has a refreshing and uplifting fragrance that can help alleviate nausea. Peppermint essential oil eases sinus pressure and headaches. When used in ear candles, these essential oils create a soothing and relaxing experience that can help promote healthy ear hygiene and relieve common pregnancy symptoms.

The Bottom Line

Sinus infections can be a challenging experience for pregnant women, but you can fight them easily with proper care and attention. It is crucial to know about the symptoms of sinus infections, such as nasal congestion, headaches, facial pain, and fatigue, and take steps to prevent them, such as practicing good hygiene, avoiding allergens and irritants, and getting enough rest. While antibiotics are not typically recommended for sinus infections during pregnancy, alternative methods such as staying hydrated, using saline nasal sprays, applying warm compresses, inhaling steam and getting enough rest can be very effective and helpful in managing symptoms of sinus infections and promote recovery. The mother and unborn child are at risk from sinus infections, so it's always best to visit a doctor if symptoms worsen or persist.

natural remedies for sinus infections