Sinus Infections While Pregnant: Risk factors, Causes, Symptoms, and Testing
Reoccurring sinus infections during pregnancy are a common condition where mucus builds-up around the nasal passages (sinuses). Chronic sinusitis is also known as chronic rhinosinusitis. With the build-up of fluids, swelling causes the area around the face and eyes to feel puffy or tender. A viral, bacterial, or fungal infection can be the cause of mucus build-up. The three most common sinus infection symptoms of chronic or acute sinus infections are:
- Drainage of mucus from the nose or down the back of the throat (postnasal drip).
- Congestion or nasal obstruction, that may make it difficult to breathe.
- Pain, swelling, tenderness or pressure in the sinuses.
Restriction on antibiotic medications due to pregnancy and effects on fetal development can make it challenging to treat patients suffering from reoccurring sinus infections while pregnant. If you do have a bacterial infection, your doctor will carefully choose what antibiotic should be prescribed, as all medications are different.
While many medications are entirely safe to take for sinus infections while pregnant, others can cause severe birth abnormalities. Aperiomics Xplore-PATHO testing kits include deep nasal swabs, urine collection kits, and breast Milk testing. From there, we can analyze your sample for every pathogen known to modern science.
Causes and Symptoms of Sinus Infections
Symptoms of a sinus infection while pregnant are similar to those of acute or reoccurring sinus infections. Viruses that come into contact with your nasal cavity can lead to a viral sinus infection. Most often, viral upper respiratory infections (the common cold) are the cause. Bacteria in the lining of your nasal cavity can also cause sinus infections. The bacteria Streptococcus pneumonia, known as strep throat, is the most common cause of sinus infections. Another common cause is the bacteria Haemophilus influenzae, which, despite its name, can cause illnesses other than influenza. According to the CDC’s guidelines, a sinus infection is more likely to be caused by bacteria than a virus if any of the three following sinus infection symptoms are present:
- The infection lasts for at least ten days without any evidence of clinical improvement.
- Infection is severe, including fever exceeding 102°F, and post nasal drip and tenderness in the face lasting for at least three to four consecutive days at the beginning of an illness.
- Symptoms or signs worsen, with new fever or headache developing or nasal discharge increasing, typically after a viral upper respiratory infection that lasted five or six days and initially seemed to improve.
Current Methods of Testing for Reoccurring Sinus Infection
Most often, diagnoses of bacterial sinus infections are based on medical history and examination by a doctor. Your doctor will check for tenderness in your nose and face, and look inside your nose. Methods for diagnosing chronic sinusitis include:
- Looking into your sinuses. A thin, flexible tube with a fiber-optic light inserted through your nose allows your doctor to see the inside of your sinuses and check for physical abnormalities.
- Imaging tests. Images taken using CT or MRI can show details of your sinuses and nasal area. These can pinpoint a deep inflammation or physical obstruction that’s difficult to detect using an endoscope.
- Allergy test. If your doctor suspects that allergies might be triggering your chronic bacterial sinusitis, they may recommend an allergy skin test.
- Sinus secretion (cultures). Your doctor may swab inside your nose to collect samples that might help determine the cause, such as bacteria or fungi.
Culture testing may lead to chronic infection by not identifying the full infection. This means current standard methods of culture testing leave a vast majority of possible infections completely undiagnosed. In some cases, it is difficult to determine whether a bacterium, fungi, or a virus is causing your reoccurring sinus infection. When it comes to a chronic sinus infection, what happens in the biome of your nose may be complicated. In most cases, Xplore-PATHO deep swab collection kit can be of use. This collection kit can be used to determine if any known sequenced pathogen is within the sample.