Can I Take Cold Medicine While Pregnant Or Breastfeeding
There are certain cold medicines that are considered safe to take while you are pregnant or breastfeeding. The safety of using over-the-counter cold medication while pregnant or breastfeeding depends on the specific medicines within the products, how far along you are in your pregnancy, and any other medical conditions you may have. You should only use cold medicines for the shortest time possible to help with your symptoms. Always be sure to check with your health care provider or pharmacist before taking any over-the-counter cold medicines during pregnancy or while breastfeeding.
The American Pregnancy Association recommends limiting the amount of over-the-counter cold medicines you take and trying certain home remedies to alleviate symptoms. They promote washing your hands regularly, drinking plenty of fluids, getting ample amounts of rest, eating well, and only using medications to treat the symptoms you are experiencing. As a home remedy for sinus congestion, they recommend using a humidifier, keeping your head elevated on a pillow while resting, and/or using adhesive nasal strips. For sore throat, they recommend sucking on ice chips, drinking warm herbal tea , or gargling warm salt water.1
What Are The Sinuses How Many Do We Have
A sinus is a hollow, air-filled cavity. For the purposes of this article, a sinus will refer to those hollow cavities that are in the skull and connected to the nasal airway by a narrow hole in the bone . Normally all sinuses are open to the nasal airway through an ostium. Humans have four pairs of these cavities each referred to as the
The four pairs of sinuses are often described as a unit and termed the “paranasal sinuses.” The cells of the inner lining of each sinus are mucus-secreting cells, epithelial cells, and some cells that are part of the immune system .
Functions of the sinuses include humidifying and warming inspired air, insulation of surrounding structures , increasing voice resonance, and as buffers against facial trauma. The sinuses decrease the weight of the skull. If the inflammation hinders the clearance of mucous or blocks the natural ostium, the inflammation may progress into a bacterial infection.
What Causes Nasal And Sinus Pain
Nasal and sinus membranes respond to viruses, allergic triggers, and common bacterial infections similarly. The membranes become swollen and congested. The congestion then causes pain and pressure. Your mucus production increases during the inflammation. This results in a runny nose. The nasal secretions may begin to thicken and slow the drainage. This can result in a sinus bacterial infection.
When the nasal membranes become congested, it may block the eustachian tubes leading to the ears, which results in a feeling of pressure in the ear or fluid behind the eardrum. Nasal airway congestion causes mouth breathing.
Every year, over 37 million Americans suffer from sinusitis. This includes nasal congestion, thick yellow-green mucus, facial pain, and pressure around the eyes. Frequently, before visiting a doctor, people try to get relief for their nasal and sinus discomfort by taking non-prescription or over-the-counter medications.
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Using The Right Water During Saline Rinses
When using saline nasal rinses, tap water should always be boiled and then allowed to cool to ensure cleanliness distilled water or premixed solutions could also be used instead of regular tap water.
Other home remedies for sinus infections include:
- Drinking fluids: Drinking lots of fluids helps loosen and thin mucus. Avoid beverages that are caffeinated and alcoholic beverages that can dehydrate the body, which could thicken mucus.
- Breathing steam: Warm water is best . You can breathe in steam from either a bowl or shower.
- Humidifying the air: Use a cool air vaporizer or humidifier,particularly at night while sleeping.
- Avoiding environmental substances: Avoid tobacco smoke and chlorinated water that can dry up the mucus membranes and exacerbate symptoms.
- Implementing treatment measures: At the first sign of infection, use antihistamines and employ regular nasal rinses.
Home Remedies: How To Alleviate A Congestion Naturally
There are many safe home remedies you can use to alleviate your symptoms and recover from a sinus infection:
- Drink plenty of fluids such as water, broth, and citrus juice. Staying hydrated is important for helping you fight infection and for clearing a stuffy nose.
- Use saline nasal irrigation or saline nose drops. You can make your own saline drops by combining 1 cup of warm water with 1/8 tsp salt and a tiny pinch of baking soda.
- Use a humidifier at night. This will help clear nasal passages. You may also lean over a pan of boiling water taken off the stove, place a towel over your head, and breathe in the steam. This helps open your nasal passages and loosens mucus in your chest.
- Elevating your head with a couple of pillows while lying down may make breathing easier. Using nasal strips also helps open nasal passages.
- For a sore throat, gargle salt water , drink a warm liquid or suck on ice. Honey and lemon may also soothe a sore throat.
- Make sure you are getting plenty of sleep as this will help your immune system fight the infection.
- During pregnancy, it is common to lose your appetite, and feeling sick may not help. However, even if you dont have an appetite, it is important to eat well. If you lose your appetite, it may help to eat smaller meals throughout the day. Make sure you are eating nutrient-dense foods such as fruits and vegetables. Soup may also be a soothing option.
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What Happens If You Let A Sinus Infection Go Untreated
A sinus infection that is left untreated can not only make life miserable it may develop into chronic sinusitis. If an infection isnt cared for properly, it could also result in some potentially serious complications. These types of issues are rare but they can occur:
If left untreated, sinus infections could potentially spread to the eyes, causing redness, irritation, and/or swelling. In severe cases, sufferers may experience reduced, blurry, or a complete loss of vision.
- Severe sinusitis may need to be treated with antibiotics administered through an IV.
- A CT scan may be required to determine the seriousness of the infection.
- In very rare cases, brain abscesses or meningitis may result from a severe and untreated sinus infection.
How Sinus Infection Is Treated
The treatment for a sinus infection depends on the type of sinusitis and the source of the inflammation or infection. You might feel better with treatment for your symptoms as your sinus infection resolves.
Acute viral sinusitis can usually resolve on its own, acute bacterial sinusitis can usually be cured with antibiotics, and anti-fungal medications might be needed for treating fungal sinusitis, Getting treatment for allergies that might be contributing to an acute or chronic sinus infection can help, and endoscopic surgery may be needed in some cases of chronic sinusitis.
Treatment of chronic sinusitis may complicated, as abnormal tissue blocking the sinus cavities could require surgery.
Verywell / Tim Liedtke
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Anatomy Of The Paranasal Sinuses
The paranasal sinuses comprise four pairs of sinuses that surround the nose and drain into the nasal cavity by way of narrow channels called ostia . Mucus leaving the frontal and maxillary sinuses drains through the ethmoid sinuses , so a backup in the ethmoids is likely to clog the other two types of sinuses. The sphenoid sinuses are located deep in the skull, behind the eyes. Sinusitis develops when one or more sinuses become blocked.
There are millions of bacteria in our noses, and most of the time, theyâre harmless. Even when a few creep into the sinuses, they donât cause trouble, as long as they keep draining into the nose along with mucus. But if sinus drainage is blocked, glands in the sinuses continue to produce mucus, and the resulting pool of backed-up mucus provides what Dr. Metson calls âthe perfect culture medium.â The bacteria grow out of control, causing infection, and the immune system kicks off an inflammatory response. The result: swelling, which causes and facial pain mucus buildup, which produces congestion and an influx of white blood cells to fight the bacteria, which thickens the mucus and may tint it yellow or green. Other symptoms include loss of smell or taste, cough, bad breath, fever, toothache, and fullness in the ears.
Sinus Infection Definition And Facts
- Sinusitis or sinus infection is inflammation of the air cavities within the passages of the nose.
- Sinusitis can be caused by infection, allergies, and chemical or particulate irritation of the sinuses.
- The fastest way to get rid of a sinus infection can include medications, home remedies, alternative therapies, and surgery.
- Most people do not spread sinus infections to other people.
- Sinusitis may be classified as acute sinus infection, subacute sinus infection, chronic sinus infection, infected sinusitis, and noninfectious sinusitis.
- Sinusitis signs and symptoms include
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Best Over The Counter Medicines For Sinus Infection 2020
If you are struggling with a stuffy or a runny nose, pain across your face, and extensive congestion, you might be dealing with a bad case of sinusitis. Dont worry, though a sinus infection isnt anything that could seriously threaten your health. It can, however, be very inconvenient and uncomfortable.
Fortunately, there are lots of treatments and medicines you can get over the counter to manage and relieve the symptoms of sinusitis. However, while these products are highly accessible, the sheer number of options can make it difficult to choose. So, which product is the best over the counter medicine for a sinus infection?
Let this buying guide help you land the right choice.
What To Look For When Buying Otc Sinus Decongestants
When youre figuring out which decongestant to buy, youll need to determine whats causing your congestion.
If its allergies, youll probably want a product that contains an antihistamine ingredient like diphenhydramine. Antihistamines target your bodys immune response to allergens like pollen. Antihistamines usually make the person taking them a bit drowsy, so keep in mind taking them at any time other than bedtime may have you needing a nap.
If you have cold or flu symptoms, you may be looking for a product that includes phenylephrine or pseudoephedrine. These ingredients work by shrinking your blood vessels, which can help you breathe more easily and reduce the symptoms of a sinus headache or a stuffy nose.
However, both of these ingredients can cause you to feel restless and can make it difficult to fall asleep. These types of drugs can also make you nauseous. Generally, phenylephrine may have fewer serious side effects than pseudoephedrine. You should always consult a doctor before taking these meds if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.
Some OTC sinus decongestant formulas include both antihistamines and decongestant ingredients, and some add pain relief ingredients such as ibuprofen to their formula. Its best to treat for symptoms that you have, not for additional symptoms that you dont have.
Treating your congestion with OTC products doesnt always provide relief. You should seek professional medical care if you experience any of the following:
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When To See The Doctor
If you try the home remedies and they do not work, then you should consider visiting a doctor. A sinus infection that is diagnosed early can be treated faster. Do not wait for too long once you begin to notice symptoms of sinusitis. Use the medicines prescribed by the doctor so that you can manage the symptoms better.
What Is A Serious Sinus Infection Like
When sinus infections occur, theyre usually classified as either acute or subacute infections, meaning they go away in one to four weeks and are relatively minor.
The problem is chronic sinus infections, which often wont go away without intervention. If your sinus infection is persisting for longer than a month, and the symptoms are only getting worse, you may be suffering from chronic sinusitis. At that point, the infection is most likely bacterial, and your body will need the help of antibiotics to purge it.
Its very important to consult a healthcare professional before considering antibiotics, not only because youll require a prescription from a licensed doctor but because taking antibiotics more often than needed isnt good for your natural bacteria levels.
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Other Options To Try Before Taking Sinus Infection Medications
Besides inhaling steam to relieve pressure in your sinuses:
- Keep yourself hydrated
- Avoid irritants to your sinuses
- Nasal irrigation
Nasal irrigation, another treatment for sinus infections, means flushing out mucus and debris from the nose by pushing fluids through the nostrils. Some patients find this method uncomfortable, but overall more effective than simple steam.
Ocean Saline Nasal Spray
When it comes to simplicity and safety, Ocean Saline Nasal Spray is a hard one to beat. This product incorporates very few components and uses salt as its major active ingredient. It draws out the mucus and dislodges accumulated phlegm to clear out the airways.
Ocean Saline Nasal Spray is highly effective, giving instant relief for both adults and children who use the solution. The only issue some users have with the product is that relief duration may vary, especially depending on the extent of congestion.
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Sinus Infection While Pregnant: Medication And Natural Remedies
Sinus pressure, a stuffy nose, and a sore throat? Welcome to a sinus infection during pregnancy. Sinus infections while pregnant at the same time makes being sick even worse.Sinusitis occurs when there is an infection in the lining of one of the four nasal cavities, which can cause inflammation and a nasal obstruction inhibiting the proper drainage of mucus. This can result in symptoms such as a stuffy nose and painful pressure around your cheeks and eyes. Such infections may be caused by a bacteria, virus, or fungus, although the cold is the most common contributing factor of sinus infections. Learn more about dealing with a cold during pregnancy.If you have a sinus infection during pregnancy, you may be tempted to take some medication for a quick fix. However, while certain medications are safe to use during pregnancy, other commonly used medications may not be safe to take while pregnant. You may also find that some home remedies may be just as effective in alleviating your symptoms and helping you recover.
Make The Sinus Pain And Mind
âTechniques that take advantage of the mind-body connection, such as deep breathing practices and relaxation exercises, can be very effective for relieving sinus pain,â notes Das. These practices rely on the mindâs ability to influence pain perception and are especially helpful with chronic or recurrent pain that is often seen with sinus pressure. Some examples include biofeedback, meditation, yoga, and hypnotherapy.
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Types Of Sinus Medicines
The combination of sinus infection medicine is used for the temporary treatment for the symptoms of sinus like flu, cold, allergies, and other breathing problems.
The Decongestants medicines are helping you to relieve a stuffy nose. Stuffy nose is the most irritating problem triggered by the inflammation in the blood vessels of the sinus. Due to the acute upper respiratory infection, the blood vessels can be disturbed because of cold and sinus infection. Decongestants medicine is helping to relieve this problem.
Acetaminophen medicines are the most commonly used sinus medicine it is a non-aspirin pain reliever and the fever reducer, which helps to reduce the pain.
The Antihistamines medicines are designed for resisting the action of histamine this is one of the chemicals that is generated in the body for allergic reactions like itches in eyes, nose, throat, and watery eye and running nose problem. Also, these medicines help to reduce nasal stuffiness and mucus production. If you have any allergies due to the sinus, your healthcare provider refers to add this medicine for your treatment.
Sometimes your healthcare provider will collect the mucus from the nose and send it to the laboratory to check the bacteria infection. This test will also help to choose the antibiotic for bacteria infections. Using antibiotics leads to bacterial resistance and side effects, so you have to use the antibiotics carefully and thoughtfully.
Side Effects Of Doxycycline For Sinus Infection
Generally, there are only some minor side effects after taking Doxycycline for sinus infection. Common side effects that can occur after taking doxycycline are-
- Diarrhea that is watery or bloody
- Irritation in the throat
- Little to almost no urination
- Lower count of white blood cells
- Iron supplements and laxatives
- Oral birth control pills
People who are in the habit of drinking alcohol are more likely to side effects of Doxycycline tablets, especially stomach upset. Moreover, when medicine is taken with milk or food it can reduce the absorption of medicine by the body.
The medicine also enhances the sensitivity of the skin to sunlight. Hence, when stepping out of the house, make sure you are properly covered and wearing sunglasses and sunscreen.
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A Word About Antibiotics
So many patients call asking for antibiotics for a cold,usually when theyve had symptoms for several days. There are a few times whenantibiotics are appropriate, for instance, strep throat or sinus infectionscaused by bacteria. But antibiotics simply dont work against viruses thatcause the common cold. Overprescribing antibiotics for viral illnesses leads toantibiotic resistance, which means the bacteria grow stronger over time andbecome tougher to beat with antibiotics.If a doctor prescribes an antibiotic for cold symptoms, its usually a short,three-day round of drugs. The patient often feels better after finishing themedication but probably would have recovered in that timeframe anyway withoutthe drug.