Woman's Nasal Health

Woman And Nasal Congestion

Most women develop some degree of nasal congestion during their pregnancy because of pregnancy rhinitis, a benign, temporary butothersome condition. It's just another way that hormones change life for women who are expecting. Swelling of the sinuses is a common symptom during pregnancy.

In addition to the fact that a pregnant woman's blood volume increases by 40%, hormones like estrogen also cause swelling of the nasal membranes and excess mucus production. Estrogen may change the consistency of mucus, causing it to become either very thick or very thin. All of these changes can get worse as pregnancy advances, interfering with proper breathing and restful sleep.

Medications are not always a safe option but according to scientific evidence, hypertonic nasal washes can address this uncomfortable and irritating issue safely and effectively.

Regular use of warm saline irrigation helps the mom-to-be breathe easier without potentially harmful medications. Just as a daily swim is safe during pregnancy, so is washing the nose.

In 2007, the New England Journal of Medicine published a study involving nearly 66,000 postmenopausal women. Researchers examined the association of cardiovascular events (heart problems) with long-term exposure to tiny particulate matter. They found a strong correlation, showing that exposure to fine grit in polluted air boosts the risk of heart disease in women.

It has long been known that air pollution contributes to lung and heart disease, with women possibly more susceptible than men. This study looked at deaths as well as heart attacks, coronary disease, strokes and clogged arteries. These problems were 24% more likely with every 10-unit rise in pollution particles.

The tiny unit particles (vehicle exhaust, factory dust, soot and various chemicals) are so small that 30 bits equal the width of a strand of human hair. This is an example of a situation where nasal irrigation can remove these particles from the nose, before they can enter the lungs and cause long term damage. We can lower the pollution level in our nose while we work on lowering the pollution level in our communities.