Just because you are pregnant, doesn’t mean that suddenly you are immune to everyday illnesses. Unfortunately, pregnancy actually causes your immune system to weaken, which puts you at a higher risk of developing infections such as the flu, ear infections, and upper respiratory infections.
If you develop any type of infection during pregnancy, it is vital that you call your OB/GYN and let them know. Some infections can be incredibly serious for you and the baby, so it is important that you see your OB/GYN while you are sick. Fortunately though, ear infections aren’t dangerous for the baby, but they can make you pretty miserable.
How Ear Infections Begin
Ear infections occur when bacteria becomes trapped in your middle or outer ear. This often occurs via the spread of an upper respiratory infection or through swimming. Outer ear infections are commonly caused by water that gets stuck in your ear after you swim.
Water that becomes stagnant in your ear after you swim is a breeding ground for bacteria. If you are an avid swimmer, then always make sure that you clean your ears out after you get out of the pool. Excess water can lead to a lot of unnecessary pain and suffering.
Middle ear infections can lead to dizziness, high fevers, and ear pain. These ear infections occur through the spread of upper respiratory infections or sinus infections. They can be bacterial or viral in nature, and can cause pregnant women a lot of extra suffering.
Pregnancy is already a difficult time medically speaking, so you don’t want to add an ear infection to your pregnancy. Ear infections can be nasty in adults even if you aren’t pregnant, and when pregnant, they can just be more of a pain than anything else.
Symptoms of Ear Infections During Pregnancy
Ear infections during pregnancy have the same symptoms as ear infections when you aren’t pregnant. The most common symptoms include:
- Throbbing earaches
- Hearing loss
- Pressure inside of your ears
- Mild to moderate fever
Ear Infection Treatment Options
Fortunately, a lot ear infections are viral in nature, meaning that they will clear up on their own without any medications. This is great for pregnant women, because that means that you won’t have to take any extra medications during your pregnancy.
If your ear infection continues for many days, then your doctor can prescribe an antibiotic for you in case the ear infection is due to a bacterial infection. There are many safe antibiotics that women can take when they are pregnant. Ask your OB/GYN about your options and she will provide you with the best option for your infection.
For pain relief during your ear infection you can use Tylenol. This drug is safe during pregnancy and won’t harm your baby if you take the pain reliever during your infection.
Home Remedies for Ear Infections
Home remedies are also a good option for ear infections during pregnancy. Vinegar and olive oil are both ingredients found in most homes that can be placed in the ear in order to fight infection and dry up any excess water.
Vinegar is wonderful at drying up excess water in your ear. If your ear infection is due to swimming frequently, or due to water stuck in your ear then vinegar may be your best option. Simply mix equal parts vinegar and water and place a cotton ball into the mixture to soak the mixture up. Place the cotton ball in your ear for 15 minutes, then allow your ear to air dry. After 2 to 3 days your infection should feel much better.
Two or three drops of olive oil in the affected ear can also help clear up your infection. Oil works by breaking down any waxy buildup in your ear and help clear your ear of wax and infection.
A warm compress can also help relieve the pain of an earache and get you through the few days of pain that it takes for your body to heal the infection. Place a warm washcloth or towel on your affected ear to help relieve the pain.
Blow drying your ear canal can also work wonders to help clear an infection. Blow drying your ears on low heat can dry up any excess water and keep your ears dry and clean.
Preventing Ear Infections
Throughout your pregnancy, it is essential to eat healthy and stay hydrated. Doing so will help keep you and your baby safe and healthy. Any type of illness during pregnancy can be miserable, so its essential to eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and lean meats to keep your body healthy and strong.