Sinus Infection / Headache

Updated on January 21, 2009
M.D. asks from Orange, CA
37 answers

I am thirteen weeks pregnant and have been really sick for over a week. I went to the doctor yesterday and they said i have a sinus infection. I am literally wiped out and cant get out of bed, horrible migraine like headache, fever off and on, congestion, cough,etc. They said sinus infection is common in pregnancy but im wondering if anyone else has experienced this and how long did it take to recover?? Im kinda worried as to why I cant get better.

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So What Happened?

Thanks moms for all your advice and concern. After the doc. appt, they gave me omoxicilian, tylenol w/ codeine for the headaches and im also taking tylenol sinus and mucinex. I think the congestion and coughing and nose issues are improving slowly and not really bothering me so much. However, i am still completely wiped out and have not left my bed since Thursday...that is the frustrating and scary part..why am i sooo out of energy? Im not sure if that is typical of a sinus infection as well, or , if that is just pregnancy stuff.... or im thihking i must have the flu too...since i am running a fever on and off. So, i guess im also wondering if those of you who suffer with the sinus infections-- do you also have the exhaustion and fever too?

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C.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

I have been pregnant 4 times-I was congested-and couldn't breathe through my nose for all of them. Chalk it up to another uncomfortable part of pregnancy. The gas will start soon enough, be thankful you can't smell it.

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M.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

A couple of years ago I suffered with a sinus infection, it seemed to go on for quite some time. My friend recommended that I see her Chiropractor. I did (mind you I was very skeptical) I had to see him daily for about 3 or 4 days then once a week for a couple of weeks). I noticed a HUGE difference after my first appt. I was headache free after the second appt (felt worse after the first appt, but I guess that is normal). I've not had a migraine or sinus infection since. I highly recommend it. You just have to find someone that is good and you trust.
Hope you are feeling better soon,
M.

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J.W.

answers from San Diego on

I don't understand how an infection would be anymore likely while pregnant but there is a great liquid immunity product that is organic and would build you up. You can get it at www.we-us.mychoices.biz They are called Twist Tubes and there are 4 types, Immunity, Joint Health, Antioxidants and Post Workout. They are all organic and you can take them while pregnant. Hope oyou feel better.

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K.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Good suggestions here....There's a product called Xlear..It's a nasal spray/wash..It's property is Xylitol,which is a natural anti bacterial.It was recommended to me,and I've had great success.Good luck!

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M.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

After 2 sinus surgeries and many rounds of antibiotics, I have a lot of experience with sinus infections. I haven't taken antibiotics for a sinus infections in over 6 years, because I finally figured out how to resolve it on my own. I personally prefer Ayr Sinus Rinse Kit to the neti pot. You can get it at any drug store. It includes saline mix packets, so it's super easy to use. I would boil water and then let it cool to being nice & warm to the touch. Using warm water makes a HUGE difference. Doing this 3x per day always does the trick for me. It may take a few days to get everything knocked out, so don't think it's a quick fix. Good luck!

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N.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I used to get walking pneumonia every year as a result of sinus infections until I started taking Ester-C and using saline spray (basically salt water). Ester-C is better than regular C as the Ester acts as a buffer and metabolizes faster and easier. It really boosts your immunity. The saline spray helps clear all the mucus that runs down your throat and lands in your lungs. Because you are pregnant, always check with your doctor first before taking anything. I have also been giving my kids Ester-C since they were little. Good luck, I know how tired you must be!

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S.P.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hello M.,

I am currently having this sinus thing going on too!! It won't seem to go away!! I have allergies to Dust's, Molds, and smokes, however the weather keeps changing, and causing our bodies alittle cofusion I think!! When I was pregnant last year I had gotten a real bad cold/flu, then sinus infection!! It seemed to never go away!! As, is my current sinus infection too!! I love the Saline nasal sprays/washes.. I also was told from my obg, to use zicam, which helps get rid of the cold like nasal symtoms faster. Ever sense I love it, and always use it.. Also the E-mergen-C vitamin drink is great to boost your immune system too!! Humidifiers work and help too!! Or a nice warn/hot shower w/ steam!! Good luck to you, and congrats on your little one!! Happy New Year, and Best Wishes!
Get well soon Mommy to be!! =)

Kind Regards,
S.~

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T.C.

answers from San Diego on

HI M.,
I have been getting sinus infections since I had my 7th birthday, it runs in the family and I have never been able to get rid of it from coming back again and again. What I have found is the best and is not harmful to your pregnancy is a sinus rinse and Zicam nose swabs. The sinus rise can be found at any drug store and so can the Zicam. I know sinus infections are the worst and can really exhaust every part of you. I would try the sinus rinse first because it is a natural way to clean your sinus out, and you feel so much better after it. Also with a migraine my mother used to put jean nate on a cold washcloth and lay it over my forehead and during my first pregnancy I couldn't live without it. I hope this helps. God Bless

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S.A.

answers from Honolulu on

Yes, I had a bad sinus infection when pregnant (at about 20 weeks). My doctor told me to do this: boil a pot of water with vicks vapor rub in it (he says a Halls or whatever will also work), then place a damp towels over your head and over the pot of water and inhale the steam through your nose (take the pot off the stove first of course, lol). It gave me almost immediate relief and after like 3 days it was completely gone. Plus it's safer than taking drugs since you're pregnant!
Get well soon!!

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C.S.

answers from Las Vegas on

Hi M., everyone says the netti pot...i can't do it. my daughter uses one because she has severe nasal problems and says i will love it if i would just try it.

Make sure your air filters are clean, vacuum and sweep the floors and try to get all the dust out of you house.

Then try boiling at all at once, lemon, honey, and oregonal in a cup of water. Remove the oregonal and drink it hot. It sounds gross, but I am usually clear after about 3 days of drinking that twice a day. Don't know why it works, but it does.

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J.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi M.:
Sorry to hear your down with a sinus infection. I've had a few, and I still remember vividly the horrible headache and pain I experienced. SH is absolutely right about the Neti Pot. It works great.Those with bad alergies use it as well,and it helps relieve those symtoms.May I suggest another little trick I learned to relieve the pain. I filled myself a pan,with hot water,got a wash cloth,and kept applying the hot wash rag to the back of my neck,and forehead. My sinus infection was so bad, I could hear and feel it breaking up. It relieved the pressure tremendously.It worked so well, that I did it the following day and it really helped.Let me know,if you try it,and if it helps relieve the pain.Hope your feeling better soon Take care. J. M

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T.A.

answers from Visalia on

Hi M.,

When I was pregnant with my daughter, I had the worst sinus infection, so bad that I couldn't even tolerate any kind of light. Back then, the answer was antibiotics. There are many nayural ways to avoid sinus infections now. Someone here already mentioned the neti-pot. Also here's some more info on the Xylitol that was mentioned... http://www.fitmouth.com/web%20pages/What%20is%20Xylitol.htm

Making hot lemonade is probably one of the best natural cures for a sinus infection that you could easily do at home. What you do is follow all the instructions that you usually do when making lemonade, but only this time, to make it more comforting and soothing, use hot water and a little less sugar but more lemon juice. Because of the antibacterial and antiviral properties of a lemon, drinking lemonade when you are feeling under the weather and having a severe case of sinus infection would instantly make you feel better.

Hope this helps you out,

T.
www.sharethecause.com/T.

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K.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi, M..

My pregancy was so horrible, God took it upon himself to make sure that I didn't have allergy or sinus issues.

But coming from a person who always gets URI and sinus infections, it's going to take you a couple of weeks to fully recover. Especially, since I'm assuming the doctor didn't give you any medicine.

The best thing you can do is just rest and sleep a lot. You're body is going to have to fight the infection. It just takes time.

K.

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J.M.

answers from Los Angeles on

When I was pregnant with my first daughter I had a terrible sinus infection, which I get often if I don't take daily meds for but when I was pregnant I couldn't take any so it was bad and I do remember it because I was so sick on my birthday that I was home in bed crying! It lasted like 3 weeks! Then when I was pregnant with my second daughter I got the flu! I have never been so sick in my life! I actually ended up in ER and was out for a week! Being pregnant and having a toddler to take care of while your sick really wipes you out! I hope you get to feeling better soon! Best of luck to you M..

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S.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Oh M.! I'm so sorry you are sick! I was sick like this in my pregnancy with my daughter. Your body is already working over time and doesn't have the "umph" to fight off this infection! It will take longer. What also sucks is the meds you are allowed to take are so minimal! Try flushing with warm salt water. Lean over the sink and put it in one nostril and let it flush to the other side. I know it sounds gross but it works!

Sincerely,
S.
www.contentmommy.com

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R.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Since it is not good to be on antibiotics you can do a safe treatment yourself. Buy an over the counter nasal spray made to flush out your sinus'. It's kind of gross at first but I have to g=friends that are Doctors and they do it for all family members. Not just the saline spray but a flush!

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S.G.

answers from Reno on

M.,
I got two sinus infections after my pregnancy and they lasted for two weeks! Awful!
Something that did help me was using a nettie pot, that you can buy at a health food store. I put this stuff in it called sinus genie, the pots normally come with a salt that you add to the water. It feels weird, but it helps clear out the infection.
I did run a fever on and off and was really exhausted, but I also had a baby that was sick and waking all hours of the night.
Speedy recovery,
S. G

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J.A.

answers from San Diego on

Hi! You should try acupuncture if you haven't already. It is very effective for sinus infections and migraines, and very safe for pregnancy. Also, take a step back and see if there is anything in your life that is irritating you emotionally. If there is something keeping you from freely expressing yourself on a consistant basis, that can cause a type of emotional stress that leads to problems like migraines and sinus infections. An acupuncturist might be able to help you figure that out. Good luck!

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J.H.

answers from Los Angeles on

Ugh! I remember going through the same thing when I was about 2-3 months along. Not a lot of fun when you add it morning sickness and all the other ailments with being newly pregnant. My doctor advised that I could only take tylenol and sudafed (spelling?). Stay hydrated and eat plenty of fruits and veggies to help rebuild your immune system. I don't remember how long it lasted but you will get better!!

Best of luck and I hope you feel better soon!!!

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A.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

THe best way to avoid a sinus infection and the best way to get rid of one is to use a Neti pot. You can find them on line or at Whole Foods or at any health food store. It is a small ceramic pot that you fill with a salt water solution. Lean over the sink, keep your mouth open and breathe through your mouth for a little bit before you start to pour. Tilt your head to one side and pour up one nostril. Be sure to relax and continue to breathe through your mouth. It may take a little practice, but after doing it a couple of times you'll get it.
Pour about half the solution and gently blow through your nose over the sink. Do the same thing to the other nostril. With a sinus infection as you are describing it will take several goes at it and a couple of days, but you will clear it out. People get turned off just at the thought of it, but it will change your life if you suffer from allergies.

You can also get Simply Saline from any drugstore. It has no preservatives and is just what it says, just salt solution. You can do the same thing with that. Steam over a pot of hot water with a towel over your head. Steam in the shower. Put hot compresses over your face taking care not to burn your skin. All of these things will get the infection moving out of your sinus cavities. There is so much pressure built up that you are getting headaches.

Get to the chiropractor. When you neck is out of alignment, the drainage tubes from the sinuses get clogged. Things get backed up. Infection.

Sinus infection happens when the sinus cavities get clogged up. Anything you can do to get things moving will take care of it. The key is stay on top of it. There are so many pollutants and allergens in the air that we are constantly under attack. On the side of your thumbs, on the outside of the thumbs away from the rest of the hand about midway down the top phalanx (level with the base of the nail) there is a reflex point for the sinuses. You will know it when you find it because it will be sore to pressure. You probably will feel it in your sinuses. You can apply light pressure for 10-15 seconds at
a time throughout the day. This really will help and is the easiest thing you can do.

Don't worry. A sinus infection can knock you out cold. Being pregnant, your body is already doing double duty. Pregnancy is a lot of work on your system. Beef up your immune system with superfood. You can get it at any health food store and it is a great thing to give your daughter. Add it to juice. It is packed with nutrients. By the way, limit your intake of juice to one a day. Get your vitamin C elsewhere, the sugar is too much. Sugar will take down your immune system faster than anything else. Herbal teas are good. Water is great. Lots of fluids.

Feel better. You'll get through this.

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K.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

There are some things you can do that work really well. I used to get sinus infections and now I don't. While your pregnant, there is a soup recipe. It's so simple, tomato sauce, diced garlic, fresh lemon juice, and a little hot sauce. Also, even though you probably are already, drink a lot of water. For the headaches, if you can have someone put a hand towel on your forehead and then blow air onto it for about five minutes, it can clear your headache. It might look like head CPR. Also peppermint aromatherapy oil works for headaches.

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L.W.

answers from Los Angeles on

When I was pregnant last year and got the flu, it took an entire month to get over it. I did not take any medication however since I didn't want any of it to get to the baby (even though it was 'safe' to take). All your defenses are going to the protection of your baby. I had fevers too, but no sinus infection. It depends on the strain of the virus.

I am sick right now with a sinus infection and it has been over a week. I got the fevers and headaches too. I'm not on any medication nor am I pregnant, but I am nursing so I still have to watch what I take. This thing that's going around is just really narly. Others I have talked to have been sick for 2-3 weeks. Sinus infections are bacterial and since you are now on an antibiotic, it should go away soon. I remember reading that when you get sick while pregnant it take 2-3 times longer to get over it.

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R.J.

answers from San Diego on

I was sick at least one week a month while I was pregnant until my son was born. Super sick.

According to the microbiologists & docs in my family not everyone does this, but that it is a fairly common thing. Essentially, the quick version, is that your body intermittently lowers your immune response so that you catch EVERYTHING that is going around, then beefs up...fights it off, then lowers it. This builds up the immunities you'll be passing to your baby. Some people don't have this response, some do. Phooey.

So too, we're using a tremendous amount of energy growing a person AND we can't take most of the medicines we're used to imbibing to mask the symptoms.

Also, some people are super sensitive to too many vitamins. I had never had migraines prior to being pregnant, but come to find, prenatal vitamins were too much for my system. I was surprised to find out that about 1 in 5 of my OB's patients (according to her) had this response. The simple solution was to chew Flintstones (or the equivalent) a couple times a day...but the better solution was actually to rearrange my diet so that I was getting all the vitamins from food sources.

good luck!

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E.R.

answers from Los Angeles on

M.,

I had a chronic sinus infection during my pregnancy. Some sinus infections can take up to 12 weeks to clear up. I felt awful with headaches and run down. I had an irritating drip in the back of my throat for almost the whole duration of the infection which made me cough all the time. It was annoying. I realize that this all doesn't sound very good, but at least you can get a gauge as to what to expect. They linger so long because the blood vessels and capillaries in your nose are so constricted because all the blood flow is being diverted to your baby.

If it's any consolation, during my last trimester, I was sinus infection free and felt the most energized than any other point during my pregnancy. There is an upside. :)

Hope that helps,

E.

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M.L.

answers from Los Angeles on

Neti Pot, Neti Pot, Neti Pot...run out and get one now! I had horrible sinus migraines with my pregnancy complete with vomiting and light sensitivity. I was miserable! The Neti Pot was a life saver. I also found that if I ate too much salt that would also bring them on, so watch your diet. I remember reading their were other dietary things that could trigger them along with the hormones so you might google diet & migraines. Finally, I started getting adjusted by a chiropractor who also did a lot of accupressure on my sinuses. She specialized in something that I cant remember the name of (chiropractors please jump in on this one). But after she adjusted me she would do a lot of pressing on my face and the back of my head (sometimes it was kind of painful) but within a half-an-hour of her doing this I would feel little popping sensations in my head and my sinuses would drain. It was amazing! Good luck.

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E.N.

answers from San Diego on

Sinus colds are horrible! Drink plenty of water (:

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B.B.

answers from San Luis Obispo on

if it gets bad enough they'll give you antibiotics. until then, robitussin dm, psuedophed pe, and benadryl are about all you can take, plus tylenol of course. i drank lots of hot tea, took hot showers for the steam effect on my sinuses, and used vicks chest rub (just put a tiny dab under your nose and it will keep you nice and clear without using nasal spray or the pseudophed, plus you can use it as often as needed). other than that, just try to rest. i had three in a row with my last pregnancy, and only one with this one. regardless, they aren't fun and just are more miserable when pregnant because there isn't much you can do for them. if you have a humidifier, use it when you sleep, i promise it will help. also, they have menthol additives for humidifiers which will do the same thing as the chest rub does. feel better.

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M.E.

answers from Los Angeles on

Expect 2-3 weeks of it. I've had it since 2 days before Christmas.

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D.L.

answers from Las Vegas on

I had a sinus infection too when I was pregnant. Actually it's how I found out I was pregnant. The doctor said good news is you're pregnant, bad news I can't give you much to treat the sinus infection. Sorry to say that. It will get better. Try using hot towels on your forehead and steam to release the pressure. Saline solutions are also helpful.
I hope you feel better soon.

all the best to you and your family :)

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P.A.

answers from Los Angeles on

Please try a neti pot. If you can't find it at your local grocery or drug store, try a health food store. I used to get sinus infections around this time every year, and antibiotics wouldn't even work. Now, when I feel one coming on, I use my neti pot, and I'm cured! Hope this helps. - P.

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H.S.

answers from Los Angeles on

I am sorry to hear that your are sick. It is difficult with a little one and one on the way. Have you tried steaming your head...heat water in a pan and drape a towel over your head (be careful not to get the towel in the flame/coil). Or take a long hot shower, get a humidifier like they use for children. Another thing that helps me is using saline spray... it helps clean out the sinuses.
I don't know if you can have any antibiotics...perhaps local ones like a nasal spray may be helpful and not detrimental to the pregnancy...ask the doctor about it.
Take care..hope you are feeling better soon.
H.

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S.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

I don't have info on your sinus infection, BUT where do you teach at. I am also a part ime teacher (5th grade) in garden grove! For needing to work it truly is the best job ever for a mommy!

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S.H.

answers from Honolulu on

My Hubby gets lots of sinus infections and the same symptoms as you.
He uses saline nasal sprays.
Also, rinsing his nose with a "neti pot" which flushes out the bacteria from the nasal cavity.
here's a link about it:
http://www.squidoo.com/Nasal_Neti_Pot
http://astore.amazon.com/nasnetpotsinc-20

The nasal rinsing with a neti pot is very widely used and helpful. My husband does it on a daily basis.

It DOES take awhile to recover from it...unfortunately.
But again, if it worsens or does not get better, see your Doctor.

All the best, I know it's really uncomfortable,
Susan

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C.U.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi there....check with your doctor, but I bet you could use the nedi pot......a way to get warm salt water up into your sinuses without too much discomfort. I have had sinus infections for nearly 40 years...but when I get them now, I use that medi pot (get at any pharmacy) and follow directions. I also have a facial steamer where I can sit over it and that warm moist air can get up into my sinuses and it helps, too. I also drink alot of warm chicken broth or chicken soup.....all of these should not be problems for you and your pregnancy. I take Cold Eze and Zicam, too.....but be sure to check with your OBGYN first. Good Luck!

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L.C.

answers from Los Angeles on

Hi M.,
I have sinus infections and sinus headaches all the time. I don't usually have a fever so you may have a virus as well. One thing that helps keep the sinus infections away is saline spray. I buy Simply Saline at the drug store. It is just salt water but I spray it several times a day and it really helps keep the infections away. You can also get a netti pot which sort of does the same thing but it takes time to prepare the salt water in it.

Also, keep a cold air humidifier in your bedroom at night - that will help too.

Good luck with everything. I hope you feel better soon. I hope this helps.

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M.O.

answers from Los Angeles on

I experienced sinus infections during all 3 of my pregnancies...they are not fun, I am so sorry! Mine lasted sometimes up to 3 weeks. I was able to take Claritin D and Zyrtec, available over the counter. My dr. perscribed a nasal spray as well (Flonase, I think) which helped. You can even just get a salene spray over the counter. Hot decafinated tea helped my throat and lots of water to flush out your system. Try & rest as much as you can, take a warm bath, not hot...Or even just a long shower...the steam helps drain your sinuses. I know it's hard, hang in there!

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M.H.

answers from Las Vegas on

I had the same problem when I was pregnant with my daughter. My doctor put me on an antibiotic. It did take a while for me to recover. Also treat yourself like you have a bad cold. Lots of fluids and rest. Hopefully you should feel better soon. Good Luck!