Hay fever does not come from pregnancy, but it can develop in people who are pregnant. However, it is more likely that they have pregnancy rhinitis, which is a type of nasal illness. People who are expecting may have hay fever or other allergic conditions. Because of this, they may experience fewer symptoms or none at all. If a woman is pregnant and taking allergy medications, she should speak with her doctor about it.
Is Hay Fever Caused By Pregnancy?
Commonly referred to as allergic rhinitis, hay fever is characterized by a series of symptoms that can affect the nose. It does not require people to be in close contact with hay to experience its effects.
Hay fever is triggered by the body’s immune system reacting to harmless substances, such as pollen. These substances can then trigger an allergic response. Symptoms of hay fever can include stuffy or runny nose, sneezing, and fatigue. It can also cause itching on the skin and in the mouth and eyes.
About 1 in 100 pregnant women experience asthma during their pregnancy. Many also have allergic reactions to hay fever. A more common cause of nasal distress is pregnancy rhinitis, which is characterized by inflammation of the mucous membranes. It usually lasts for several weeks. This can mimic the symptoms of hay fever. It is important to note that neither of these conditions will harm the baby.
Pregnancy and Allergies
Although some people may develop allergies that they haven’t previously dealt with during pregnancy, it’s more common for people who are already allergic to have them before conceiving. The way allergies affect pregnant women can vary. Some will have worse symptoms and other will not notice any changes.
Depending on the cause, the severity of hay fever can vary. For instance, people may experience the symptoms when they breathe in mold or pollen. Some of the most common symptoms of hay fever include a runny nose, watery eyes, and nasal congestion. It can cause swelling in the eyelids. Various substances can also trigger allergic reactions resulting in hay fever.
There are two hay fever types. Perennial is one type that can occur throughout the year. Allergens that cause this type include things like mold, cockroaches, and dust. Seasonal allergies are caused during certain seasons, such as fall and spring. Allergens may include pollen from certain plants, trees, or grass.
Hay Fever Diagnosis
Pregnant women who are experiencing allergic-like symptoms should consult a doctor. If they have not previously had allergies, then the symptoms might be caused by pregnancy rhinitis. A formal diagnosis should be made by a doctor. If the doctor suspects that hay fever is the cause of the illness, they might refer the patient to an allergist for advice and safe treatments.
Taking over-the-counter antihistamines may not be safe for pregnant women. Some of these products are not approved for use during pregnancy. A skin prick or scratch test may be used for a diagnosis. The doctor will use a small sample of the possible cause of the illness and then scratch or prick it into the skin to get the results.
Does Hay Fever Hurt a Fetus?
Although hay fever and pregnancy rhinitis do not affect a developing fetus, they can still cause a reduction in the amount of sleep that pregnant women get. This can cause them to feel drowsy and have other symptoms at night.
People who are worried that they may not get enough sleep during their pregnancy should speak with their doctor. They can help them find ways to improve their quality of sleep.
Treating and Managing Hay Fever
Hay fever treatment and management during pregnancy may be different than when not pregnant. Certain medications may harm the developing fetus. People who are expecting should talk to their doctor about their medications. Although antihistamines are not approved for use during pregnancy, some over-the-counter products can be safely used.
Pregnant women may want to avoid taking medication for hay fever. Taking non-prescription or OTC medications can help decrease the severity of their symptoms. Some strategies to try include using nasal strips, saline nasal spray, and nasal irrigation. However, any remedy should be cleared by a doctor first.