Are Ear Infections Common During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy is a joyous experience. It brings about a lot of happiness but the woman also has to face a number of challenges. The type of difficulty varies from person to person. The symptoms also depend on the stage of the pregnancy. It is a common fact that during the first three months i.e., the first trimester, women face nausea and vomiting. These are the most commonly occurring symptoms that occur in women during their pregnancy. Other common symptoms can include lower back pain, mood swings, food aversions, nasal congestion, etc. These are common pregnancy challenges. During pregnancy, the immune system of the body is weaker. Infections occur under such conditions. Hence an ear infection during pregnancy can occur. In fact, an ear infection when pregnant is quite common.
Causes of Ear Infection While Pregnant
Pregnancy and ear infections occur simultaneously for some women. If earaches or ear infections occur to a woman occasionally, it is most likely she will get ear pain during pregnancy. This earache during pregnancy can occur at any time during the pregnancy period. The common causes of this condition include a few of the below reasons.
- Common Cold
- Buildup of earwax in the ear
- Sinus Infection
- Escalated pressure on the ear due to extensive sleeping
- Adenoid Infections.
Symptoms of an Ear Infection During Pregnancy
The commonly occurring symptoms of an ear infection during pregnancy include the following.
- Hearing loss
- Severe earaches
- Swelling inside the ear
- Discharge of fluid from the ear
- Feeling of pressure inside of the ear
Treatment of an Ear Infection During Pregnancy
The ear pain during pregnancy or an ear infection during pregnancy can be treated with over-the-counter ear drops and antibiotics. However, pregnant women should be careful of the medications they take. Hence, consulting a doctor before administration of medications or ear infections or earaches while pregnant is advisable. This is necessary and vital because certain medications can harm the fetus. Consequently, it is always recommended to take the medications upon consultation with a doctor with a proper prescription.
Swimmer’s Ear During Pregnancy
It becomes necessary to avoid being diagnosed with swimmer’s ear during pregnancy. Infections like this can lead to more serious complications. This condition is mostly contracted by swimming in a public pool. It is an infection that affects the outer ear canal. Medically, the condition is called acute otitis externa. Along with fever, the other symptoms include itchiness in the ear, clogged ears, swollen lymph nodes around the ear, reduced hearing power, etc. If you go swimming while you are pregnant, you should take certain precautions in order to avoid this medical condition. You should always try to keep the ears dry while swimming. Use earplugs and a swimmer’s cap during your swim. After your swim remove the excess water from your ears by tilting your head on both sides. Also, clean your ears with a clean dry towel.
Home Remedies for Ear Infections and Ear Aches During Pregnancy
You can try certain home remedies for ear infections and earaches during pregnancy. These remedies have shown effective results.
- Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar and white vinegar are known for their antibacterial and antifungal properties. For treating ear infections during pregnancy, you can take a teaspoonful of vinegar along with a teaspoonful of water and mix them well in a small bowl. Keep a cotton plug with you and lie down on your side with the affected ear on the top. Dip the cotton plug into the mixture and place it over your ear. Let the cotton plug rest there for around 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, remove the cotton plug and slowly turn your ear in the other direction. This will drain the liquid off the ear. Let the ear dry naturally. This procedure should be repeated twice a day to treat the ear infection.
- Garlic Oil: Garlic oil has anti-inflammatory and antibacterial properties. Use it in the following way; lie down on your side so that the affected ear is on top. Using a dropper, drop three to four drops of garlic oil in the affected ear. Let it rest for around 10 minutes.
- Olive Oil: If you have blocked ears during pregnancy due to accumulation of ear wax or ear stuffiness, you can use mineral oil. The methodology to use this oil is the same that is mentioned for garlic oil. Mineral oil can easily break down the wax. Results will not be achieved immediately. You will have to repeat the procedure two to three times to attain beneficial results.
- Salt Bag: A warm salt bag can be used to treat earache and other types of ear infections during pregnancy. This home remedy is effective when the pregnant woman has a cold. The methodology is quite simple. Take around 100 grams of salt and heat it up for a couple of minutes. Place this heated salt on a piece of cotton cloth and tie it up. Let this pack of salt in the cotton cloth become a little warm. Now place the cloth over the affected ear. Dab it over the affected ear till the warmth of the salt is diminished. This process will help to reduce the pain in the ear and also the feeling of pressure in the ear.
- Steam Inhalation: If you have a sore throat and earache while pregnant, you can use the steam inhalation home remedy. It is an effective way to treat cold and ear infection. It works by loosening up the mucous in the ear.
Precautions to Take to Keep an Ear Infection Away During Pregnancy
Next, we mention a few precautions that must be taken to avoid an ear infection when pregnant.
- Clean your ears thoroughly at regular intervals of time. Use a good quality cotton swab to do so.
- Don’t let water enter the ear. The entry of water into the ear makes it moist. This in turn makes it easy for the microbial content to rise.
- Don’t use earphones if you have a wax build-up in the ear. There is a possibility that the wax will be further pushed inside due to the use of earphones.
- If you feel that you have ear pain while pregnant, consult an ENT specialist immediately.
While taking the above-mentioned precautions, it is also necessary to follow a healthy diet during pregnancy. Also, keep yourself well hydrated during your pregnancy.
How long does it take for an ear infection during pregnancy to go away?
Normally, ear infections take up to three days to be healed.
Can an Ear Infection Hurt Your Fetus?
Normally, an ear infection does not hurt the fetus. If the infection passes into the bloodstream, there is a possibility that the fetus might be affected. To prevent any mishaps from happening, always consult your doctor before administering any medications for an earache, ear infection, or a sore jaw during pregnancy.
You can develop an ear infection while you are pregnant. Try not to catch a cold as it can lead to an ear infection. Also, do not smoke while you are pregnant and avoid being between people who smoke. An ear infection can develop due to the smoke. Developing an upper respiratory infection can also put you at risk to be diagnosed with an ear infection.
Normally, an ear infection can be healed within three to four days with the right medications and care. Some types of ear infections even get well on their own in a few days. If you experience any ringing in your ears while pregnant or any symptoms which relate to a development of an ear infection, you can try out any of the home remedies mentioned above or consult an ENT specialist.