Managing Allergies in Pregnancy
Allergies affect 18-30% of women in the childbearing age groups. Allergic diseases that complicate pregnancy include conjunctivitis, acute urticaria (hives, rash), anaphylaxis, food and drug allergy. These disorders represent the most common group of medical conditions that complicate pregnancy. The diagnosis of an allergy in pregnancy is often found through a detail medical history and assessing the symptoms experienced. Once the diagnosis is made there are many things that can be done to treat the condition.
Avoid triggers. Limit your exposure to anything that triggers your allergy symptoms.
Try saline nasal spray. Over-the-counter saline nasal spray can help ease nasal dryness, bleeding and congestion. Use the spray as often as needed.
Rinse your nasal cavity with a neti pot. Neti pots are available in most pharmacies. Once or twice a day, fill the neti pot with an over-the-counter saline nasal solution. Then tilt your head over the sink, place the spout of the neti pot in your upper nostril and gently pour in the saline solution. As you pour, the saline solution will flow through your nasal cavity and out your lower nostril. Repeat on the other side. If you’d rather make your own irrigation solution, use water that’s distilled, sterile, previously boiled and cooled, or filtered using a filter with an absolute pore size of 1 micron or smaller. Also be sure to rinse the neti pot after each use with similarly distilled, sterile, previously boiled and cooled, or filtered water. Leave the rinsed neti pot open to air-dry.
Include physical activity in your daily routine. Exercise helps reduce nasal inflammation.
· Use nasal strips at night. Over-the-counter adhesive nasal strips — such as Breathe Right and Breathe.
If none of these work, allergy medications are often given safely to women and include Claritin, Alavert and Benadryl. Before you take any medication always discuss alternatives with your obstetrician or healthcare provider.