New Health Guide

Why Am I Sneezing While Pregnant?

Oct 26, 2017

Pregnancy can bring on some interesting symptoms, and you may ask “why am I sneezing while pregnant?” If you don’t normally sneeze a lot outside of pregnancy, but suddenly begin to sneeze constantly, there is a perfectly good explanation! Your body is going through so many changes right now. Hormones can do some interesting things, and sneezing more may be related to that. This article will take a look at why you may be sneezing more often, and some tips to relieve this symptom.

What Causes Sneezing in Pregnancy?

So, you’ve had to buy an extra box of tissues and your nose can’t seem to catch a break. Relax. This is a perfectly normal symptom that starts early in pregnancy. It is most often caused by extra hormones that increase circulation to your tissues. This affects the delicate tissue that lines your nasal and sinus passages, causing them to become swollen. It can also cause sensitivity to things you aren’t normally sensitive to. This can also lead to excess mucus, and a runny nose.

You may think that you have suddenly developed allergies during pregnancy, because of pregnancy. The fact is, you would only experience an increase in allergies if you had them prior to becoming pregnant.

This symptom usually begins around the 8th week of pregnancy, and can progress until the last trimester. The good news is sneezing while pregnant only lasts until you give birth, and over your recovery period it should clear up. The only time pregnancy sneezing is a concern is if it comes suddenly and you feel other symptoms with it.

When Should I Worry? 

If you only have a stuffy nose, and sneezing then you most likely are suffering from inflamed nasal tissues due to pregnancy hormones. This does not cause other symptoms in your body, as a whole. However, if you experience the following symptoms with sneezing, you may have something else going on:

  • Fever over 100.4℉
  • Chills
  • Headache over Sinus Area
  • Cough
  • Throat Pain
  • Joint Pains and Muscle Aches
  • Swollen Glands
  • Facial Pain
  • Yellow or Green Drainage from nose
  • Pressure in Ears or Earache
  • Pain in Face

One or more of the above symptoms should be checked by your doctor. You may have an active infection going on that needs treatment with medications that are safe for use during pregnancy. Only your doctor can recommend these. Keep in mind that if you are suffering from a viral infection, your doctor may only recommend supportive care for the relief of symptoms. Antibiotics will not work for colds, or influenza. 

People with allergies may find they develop more allergy symptoms during pregnancy. You may find you have an increase in eye itching, watery eyes, scratchy throat, very runny nose, and redness in the eyes. If you normally use allergy medications, you need to ask your doctor what is safe for treating them while you are pregnant. Your regular routine allergy medications may not be appropriate at this time.

Tips for Relief From Sneezing During Pregnancy 

Sneezing while pregnant that is not related to an infection or allergies can easily be treated safely at home. There are things you can do to get some relief without the use of medications. These things include:

1. Keep Your Home Dust Free

Dust can cause irritation in the nasal passages. You may find the need to dust more often and run the vacuum more frequently. This can also help reduce dust mites that can trigger allergies in some people.

2. Get Enough to Drink

If you are not drinking enough, nasal tissues can become dry and irritated. Make sure you are drinking at least 64 ounces of fluids each day, and even more in hot weather.

3. Keep Irritants and Fumes Down

You may find during pregnancy that your nose is more sensitive to smells and fumes. Try not to use harsh cleaners, paint, or even air fresheners in your home during pregnancy. Avoid secondhand cigarette smoke, and stay inside on high alert days if you live in an area with air pollution.

4. Use a Nasal Rinse Pot

Some people find excellent relief using a nasal rinse unit or pot. These come with special saline packets that you mix up, plug one side of your nose, while rinsing the other side. It can help moisten nasal tissues, and reduce inflammation in the nasal passages. It can also help rinse out irritants, and excess mucus. Keep some saline nasal spray with you to use throughout the day.

5. Try a Shower

Get your shower hot and the bathroom full of steam. Try to let the water run down your face, and breathe in the steam through your nose. You can also hold your head over a bowl of steamy water and cover your head with a towel. This can help relieve inflammation in your nose. Try keeping a humidifier in your room where you sleep at night to keep the air moist. This is especially helpful if you live in a drier climate, or run the heaters in winter.

6. Keep Your Head Elevated

If you do have a stuffy or congested nose, sleeping on a few pillows will help prevent drainage, and help you breathe better at night. Laying flat on your back will increase congestion, which your body naturally sneezes to try and clear. Make sure your pillows are poly-filled and not goose down, which can trigger reactions in people with allergies.

7. Drink Hot Tea 

Make yourself a nice hot cup of herbal tea. You can add soothing lemon and honey to coat your throat passages. The steam from the tea can help reduce inflammation in your nose.

Note: Do not use any over-the-counter cold, flu, or decongestant medications without consulting your doctor. Some OTC medications are not safe for use in pregnancy. Many times, they don’t even work for pregnancy rhinitis because it is an inflammatory condition caused by hormones. Likewise, do not use any herbal remedies without talking to your doctor. Some herbal preparations can cause pregnancy complications or labor contractions.

Now you know all about sneezing while pregnant.