Dust Allergies – More Than An Irritant

Having a baby is hard enough on its own, but combine nine months of normal aches and pains with dust allergies and asthma, and it could be downright dangerous. Almost eight percent of pregnant women are susceptible to the chronic inflammatory disease, with a third of that amount suffering worse symptoms after becoming pregnant. Even women without a history of allergies may develop reactions to dust mites while pregnant.

Most patients who suffer from asthma almost always have allergic reactions to mold, dust, pollens or pet hair. Asthma attacks, if not controlled, can result in hypertension, high blood pressure and if serious, premature birth, low birth weight or stillbirth. In severe cases, the chance increases for fetal development abnormalities. Many women however successfully bear healthy children with the help of a tightly controlled medication plan and lifestyle changes.

Remove the Trigger

Asthmatic women are advised to limit the causes of allergic reactions during the entire pregnancy. This means refraining from outdoor activities when pollen counts are most prevalent, usually mornings up until 10 a.m., Dogs and cats carrying pet dander should be confined to a section of the home if outdoor housing is not an option. Special pillows protectors are recommended to stave off dust allergies while sleeping. Microfiber seals are also available for mattresses and comforters. Bedding should be washed regularly in hot water to kill dust mites, at least once a week. Mites also thrive in humid temperatures, so air conditioning is suggested to keep the house constantly cool.

Although most medications are strictly off limits during childbearing months, especially the first trimester as the fetus develops, pregnancy and albuterol use is not uncommon. Unlike ingested or injected medicines, albuterol is inhaled. Effects take place immediately within the lungs, with a small percentage eventually entering the bloodstream. Doses are taken only as needed, however, and should never exceed what your doctor prescribes as excessive dosage may make symptoms worse.

To control allergies, a doctor may use antihistamines and allergy shots during pregnancy under strict supervision. Decongestants are rarely recommended. In general, any over-the-counter products for dust allergies must be doctor approved. All medications carry some risk, but the risks associated with uncontrolled asthma attacks are far more complicated.

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