When you’re being pregnant, a mild problem such as sinusitis (a.k.a sinus infection) can be a lot to cope with. Although it is usually mild (not serious), it can be very bothersome when you’re trying to cope with your pregnancy symptoms such as headache, tiredness, nausea, and vomiting. A frequently asked question, how long does it last?
Is sinusitis dangerous for pregnancy?
Sinusitis is a common condition that can affect anyone, including pregnant women. The good news, again it is usually not serious. The complications caused by sinus infection are also relatively rare. But if it causes the complications, some could be serious!
Interestingly, sinusitis is less likely to cause complications in women. Its complications are more likely to occur in men. However, it can be harder to cope while you’re pregnant.
Since pregnancy is one of the most crucial and challenging things in women’s life, it’s not bad idea to know the potential complications from this sinus inflammation! There are a number of complications, and the main ones can be classified into three groups; bone, orbital, and intracranial complications.
Bone complications of sinus infection
This may include a doughy inflammation /swelling in the skin over the affected frontal sinus and osteomyelitis (infection of the frontal bone). Imaging tests are usually required to confirm the diagnosis.
The symptoms include; headache, high temperature (fever), increased sensitivity to light, diplopia (double vision, a subjective problem of seeing two images instead of one), inflamed eyelids, nausea, and vomiting. Depending on the severity of the problem – sinus drainage, antibiotics, or even surgery to remove the damaged bone may be suggested.
Orbital (eye sockets) complications of sinus infection
The eye cavities or orbits are responsible to hold the eyes in the place. Orbital complications can occur with impaired eye movement, double vision, bulging eyes, and swelling of the eyelids.
The treatment may involve intravenous (IV) antibiotics. Although these complications are rare in sinusitis, you should seek immediate medical help if you have some of the following ‘red flag’ symptoms – particularly true if they last longer than you expect:
- Neck stiffness.
- Severe headaches.
- Vision problems such as difficulty to open the eye, decline in visual acuity, or double vision.
- Sleepiness or /and high fever.
- Redness or swelling around the eyes.
- Trouble or confusion to think clearly.
- If the muscles of or around your eyes are impaired.
Intracranial complications of sinus infection
Intracranial complications refer to problems that occur inside the skull. These include:
- Cavernous sinus thrombosis, a condition in which infection occurs in the veins of or around the sinuses.
- Inflammation of the brain called cerebritis.
- And meningitis (an inflammation of the meninges, the soft-protective membranes around the brain and spinal cord).
These complications are rare in sinusitis, but they could be serious or even life-threatening. The symptoms include neck stiffness, severe headache, high fever, trouble /imbalance to walk, nausea, and vomiting.
How long does sinusitis last in pregnancy?
Having sinusitis while you’re pregnant may make your sick or pregnancy symptoms get worse. As a result, you may be tempted to look for an option (such as medication) for a quick fix. But actually, the treatment is not always necessary even though during pregnancy.
If you do need to take medication, it’s important to make sure that it’s safe for both of you and your baby. Because there are also some that could be counterproductive or even dangerous to take during pregnancy!
The infection in sinusitis can be caused by virus, bacteria, or fungi. But in most cases, viral infection is to blame. In fact, sinusitis often occurs after a common cold event.
Sinusitis causes inflammation and obstruction in the lining of the nasal cavities, inhibiting the mucus that normally drains out into the nose. This usually leads to nasal symptoms (nasal congestion or runny nose). You may also have other symptoms such as pressure /pain over the affected nasal cavity, bad breath, changes in smell, cough, headache, or fever.
With all of these discomforts, it’s not uncommon to ask how long it will last in pregnancy! The answer can vary from woman to woman.
The following chart may help you figure out how long it takes to go away: