What Are The Common Earache Symptoms During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy brings happiness in many women’s life. The idea of becoming a mother and creating a new life inside of her seems nothing less than a blessing to a woman. However, pregnancy is not easy to go through. This natural phenomenon comes with a lot of hardships and health problems for a woman which can raise serious concerns. A woman feels many changes happening in her body with a pregnancy, and all sorts of symptoms present during this period, plus, creating room for the developing baby means all the organs are being affected one way or another, as well. The most common symptoms during pregnancy are:
- Missed period
- Slight spotting or bleeding
- Nausea and vomiting
- Swelling in the feet
- Mood swings
- Peculiar cravings
- Headaches and dizziness
- Breast tenderness
- Increased body temperature
- Frequent urination
All these symptoms may present in every woman someday during the time of their pregnancy. But what many women do not know is that an ear infection is also a very common symptom during pregnancy. And as for those women who had an ear infection before their pregnancy, they become more susceptible to getting an ear infection during their pregnancy, as well.
How does an ear infection occur?
Ear infection, just like all other infections, is caused by a bacteria or a fungus that has invaded your ear. It can occur during any trimester and can be acute, where the ear becomes very painful and the infection persists for a short period only, or chronic, where there is infrequent pain and lasts for a very long time.
The common causes for an ear infection to occur may include:
- Adenoid infection
- Outer ear impacted with earwax
- Sinus infection
- Common cold
- Sleeping on the ear that has increased pressure
All these lead to inflammation of the inner ear and causes blockage of the Eustachian tube, which a tube like structure that connects the pharynx to the middle ear. When this tube is blocked, fluid starts to accumulate in the ear which results in an infection.
What is a swimmer’s ear?
It is also a very common type of ear infection caused by content presence of water in the ear canal. This infection is of the outer ear where the presence of water aids in the growth of the bacteria because of the moist environment. This mostly occurs in women who are swimmers or while bathing. There is an Additional risk of developing swimmer’s ear if the water you were in was contaminated or dirty.
What are the symptoms of an ear infection?
- Severe ear pain
- Hearing loss
- Pus discharge from the ear
- Feeling of fullness in the ear
What can I do for an ear infection?
Ear infections usually subside on their own if it is of mild state. There are a couple of home remedies you
can do to reduce the symptoms of the infection, such as:
Olive oil – is often used to soften the impacted earwax which then comes out of the ear after 2 to 3 uses of olive oil. You can use a dropper to drop the oil in your ear. But if the wax is too hard, you will have to see a doctor to get it removed.
Vinegar – is known to fight off any fungal infection. You can mix apple cider and white vinegar with water to dilate it. Then soak a cotton in this mixture and plug it in your infected ear for 15 minutes. You can also use a dropper for this mixture. After 15 minutes, let the air dry your ear
and then clean it off your ear using an earbud.
Garlic oil – has antibacterial properties and it is believed that garlic oil and can fight off infections. You can use this by putting a few drops of garlic oil in your ear using a dropper.
Salt – is used in a warm state to relieve the earache. You can warm a tablespoon full of salt in a pan and pour it in a small cotton cloth and tie the ends. Put this warm salt bag on the infected ear for effective pain relief. If you do not want to use salt, then you can also use a warm towel on your ear for the same effect.
What medical treatment can I take for an ear infection?
If your ear infection is not clearing out with all the home remedies that you may have tried, then it might be best for you to see a doctor about this. Ear infections can become nastier if not treated on time, so it is crucial that the proper treatment is taken before the infection spreads or gets complicated. Your doctor would do a thorough examination on you by looking inside your ear with special instruments. Then depending on your condition, the doctor may advise you:
- A nasal spray or a decongestant to reduce the inflammation of the nasal lining and also reducing the blockage of the Eustachian tube.
- Antibiotics that are safe during pregnancy and does not harm your baby. Many ear infections do get resolved after a proper antibiotic course.
- Though it is rare for an ear infection to last even after all the treatment, but if it still does, then you might need a surgery. In this surgery, your doctor would put an incision your eardrum to drain the fluid that had accumulated in your middle ear. This will help relieve your symptoms and eliminate the infection.
Is Ofloxacin otic safe during pregnancy?
Ofloxacin is an antibiotic in the form of drops used for ear infections. The drug is very effective, however
whether or not it should be used during pregnancy is debatable. Although there is no record of fetal abnormality with the use of Ofloxacin during pregnancy, but since there is no study found on its side effects in pregnancy, it is hard to say if it is safe during this period. But if the ear infection is so severe that you are left with no other option of relieving your symptoms, then it might be better for you to take Ofloxacin.
This means if the advantages of using Ofloxacin are greater than its disadvantages, then your doctor would recommend you using it. Should be noted that the use of this drug during breastfeeding is not recommended, you would be advised to either stop breastfeeding while using this drug or to not take this drug while breastfeeding.
You can use this drug as prescribed by the doctor or how the label on the drug explains it. Make sure you know your allergy status with this drug, if you are allergic to it, do mention it to your doctor. The use of this drug is not complex. All you have to do is to lie down on your side with your effected ear pointing upwards and pull your earlobe to put the recommended number of drops in the ear. It is important that you lie in the same position for another 5 minutes so the drug has its time to trickle down the ear. Make sure you keep the dropper in a clean way so that it can be reused.
What are the complications of an ear infection?
Ear infection do not cause complications in a case and they also clear out on their own unless it is left untreated which is the worst possible case. It is imperative to treat this infection on time to stop it from causing severe symptoms like:
- Permanent hearing loss.
- The infection may spread to the bones present behind the ear to cause mastoiditis.
- The infection may also spread to the layers of the brain and spinal cord to cause meningitis.
- It can also cause brain abscess which is basically accumulation of pus in the brain.
- Facial paralysis, as the nerve that supplies your face runs from within the ear, so the infection can damage that nerve and cause symptoms.
- Ruptured eardrum due to excessive fluid accumulation in the middle ear.
Can an ear infection harm the baby?
It is unlikely that the Ear infection will reach such a stage where it gets severely complicated. Most ear infections are diagnosed and treated before it can get worse and are not known to cause any systemic problem. Hence, ear infections do not tend to harm your baby in any way as long as it restricted to your ear. But in case the infection spreads in the blood, the situation becomes different, and there are chances that the baby may be effected by the infection in blood.