6 Effective Precautions To Keep Ear Infections At Bay During Pregnancy

6 effective precautions to keep ear infections at bay during pregnancy

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An earache can be annoying at any time. During pregnancy, it can be downright dangerous. There are a number of complications that may arise if the ear infection becomes too intense or spreads to other areas of the ear.

Treatment of ear infection during your pregnancy is tricky as well. For instance, some medicines that can easily be administered for ear infection treatment are harmful to the fetus. So it is important that the medication is prescribed with caution and proper knowledge of its effects on the unborn baby.

Causes Of Ear Infections During Pregnancy:

Some of the main causes of ear infection during pregnancy are:

1. Inflammation:

When ear infection is caused due to inflammation, the root of the problem is usually bacteria or virus.

  • The pathogens cause inflammation, which, in drastic cases, can even cause temporary hearing loss.
  • The infections usually affect the Eustachian tube (a narrow tube connecting the middle ear and pharynx). One of the functions of Eu
    stachian tubes is draining the secretions from the middle ear. Blockage in the Eustachian tubes leads to build up of these secretions.

[ Read: Pregnancy Bacterial Infection ]

2. Build-Up Of Ear Wax:

The deposition of un-drained secretions of the middle ear can create pressure on the ear drum.

  • This affects your hearing ability.
  • Bacteria and viruses that cause cold, sinus infections and cold may start growing in numbers in these ear wax deposits.


The main symptoms of ear infections are:

  1. Earache
  2. Reduced hearing ability
  3. Otitis interna or inflammation of inner ear
  4. Otitis media or inflammation of middle ear
  5. Otitis externa or inflammation of outer ear

These symptoms may be pronounced if you already have cold or flu or sinus infection.


Treating pregnancy ear infection is not difficult, but when you are pregnant, proper caution must be exercised so as to not cause any distress to the fetus.

1. Antibiotics:

Doctors may prescribe antibiotics, but the possible risk of the drug has to be carefully studied before consumption.

  • Food and Drug Administration or FDA has placed some drugs under the pregnancy category system to specify the drugs that can be safely taken by you during pregnancy.
  • Amoxicillin and Tylenol fall into category B and can be taken while you are pregnant and are suffering from an ear infection.
  • While category B drugs are quite safe, category A drugs are the safest.

[ Read: Infection During Pregnancy ]

2. Home remedies:

While drugs need to be administered with caution during pregnancy, home remedies can be easily applied for ear infections.

  • Apply warm, moist heat to the ear. Warm salt bags or hot water bottle covered in wet washcloth are effective in relieving pregnancy ear ache.
  • Apply a few drops of garlic oil or garlic extract in the ear by using a Q tip.
  • A few drops mineral oil or olive oil can relieve pressure on the ear drum due to build-up of ear wax.
  • Diluted solution of vinegar and water can help clear the ear and prevent infection.


There are some precautions you may adopt in order to keep ear infections in pregnancy at bay:

  1. Do not let water enter your ears.
  2. If you go swimming, use ear plugs to prevent bacterial invasion. If you already have an ear ache, do not use ear plugs. An earache may be due to secretion build up; pushing ear plugs in may force the wax further inside.
  3. Maintain good ear hygiene and use a Q tip to clean it regularly.
  4. Try not to catch cold or flu as these bacteria can aggravate the infection.
  5. While you may worry that an ear infection may be reason of concern during pregnancy, it is not always the case. Yes, an ear infection can indeed cause considerable pain, however, it may not always cause harm to your baby.
  6. It is important that an ear infection be attended to with no delay. You can also opt for more natural therapies like homoeopathy to combat with ear infection.

[ Read: Eye Infection During Pregnancy ]

Remember, what you ingest goes to your baby too, so be sure to consult a doctor before you begin any course of medication.

Do share your experiences if you had any ear infections during pregnancy with us.

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