Earache and Pregnancy: Symptoms, Remedies, and Medication
I'm Pregnant and Have Earache: What Can I Do?
I am nearly 17 weeks pregnant and last night, at about 10:30 p.m., I came down with the most painful earache which is still throbbing as I write. (I have taken paracetamol/acetaminophen which enables me to write this.)
As any pregnant women will know, when you get ill it's difficult to know what's safe to do and take. This article details how I've coped with my earache, as well as what home remedies, natural cures, and painkillers you can take. It also explains what a doctor can do for a pregnant woman with this condition.
Hopefully it will be helpful to any other pregnant woman who are suffering as well.
I have found lots of resources, videos, and links which my be useful for women in the same predicament and they are featured in the article, below.
My Earache and Pregnancy Story
I am just coming to the end of a cold. My ears have been getting blocked up all week, but then going back to normal, with no pain.
However, last night I started to feel a blocked sensation in my ear. This quickly became painful. I went to bed about 11:30 p.m. and dozed in and out of sleep. An hour later, the pain woke me up properly. I think that lying down made my condition worse. My symptoms included:
- slight loss of hearing
- muffled hearing
- pain and throbbing in ear
- a pressurised feeling in ear
- hearing my pulse (quite loudly)
- some pain along my jaw
I couldn't lie in bed for any longer, so I went downstairs and researched some home remedies.
Heat to Numb the Pain
There are lots of home remedies out there for earache. For the pain, a lot of people recommend using heat to help numb the pain. Some ways of doing this include:
- Holding a warm towel, or flannel, against your ear—Heat the towel on the heater, or perhaps in the tumble dryer. Make sure its warm and not hot. Otherwise, you may burn your face.
- Using a hairdryer on a low heat—Hold it about eight to ten inches away from your ear. (I have not tried this, so can't vouch as to whether it works.)
- Wrap a warm, hot water bottle with a towel and hold it next to your ear. (This is what I did, and the heat really did help.)
- Warm up an oven-safe plate, wrap it in a towel, and rest your aching ear right on it.
Please note, when using heat, exercise caution. Otherwise, you may burn your face and have even more pain to worry about.
More Home Help for Earache During Pregnancy
Here are some more tips for helping earache without medication:
- Sit upright: This helps decreases swelling and pressure. It also helps aid your eustachian tubes in draining themselves out. (I think that this is one of the reasons earache can get worse at nighttime).
- Warm olive oil: Warm a few drops and put it into your ear using an ear dropper. I have not tried this because I was a bit worried about putting something into my ear when it was so sore, but a lot of people seem to use it with positive effect. An important note: You should not use olive oil if your eardrum has burst.
More Home Remedies for Earache
There are lots of home remedies for earache. I haven't tried any others as many of them involved putting olive oil or other substances such as garlic in your ear. I didn't really want to put anything in my ear and to be honest didn't have the energy to try any other remedies so I can't recommend any.
How to Get Rid of Ear Infections Without Antibiotics
A useful video on a technique you can use right away to try to get rid of an ear infection without antibiotics.
What Medications to Take for Earache Pain During Pregnancy
My midwife has already advised me that its okay for me to take paracetamol/acetaminophen during pregnancy, but I don't like taking any medication, so I suffered all night with hardly any sleep and just heat against my ear.
However, this morning I had had enough and my husband went and purchased some paracetamol. It has offered me some relief. My ear still feels pressured and blocked, and my hearing is not great at the moment, but the pain has eased somewhat.
Paracetamol/acetaminophen is okay for most pregnant women to take. However, it is important to check with your health provider (midwife, doctor) before taking it as every pregnant women is different, and there may be reasons why you can't take it.
Visit to the Doctors
As soon as my doctor's office opened I was on the phone. Again, I'm not one to see the doctor if I can help it, but the pain was so bad. I got an appointment for 11:10 am. Thank God for the National Health Service in the UK. (Check out advice from the NHS on earache!) In my experience, I never have any problem getting an appointment with my doctor when needed one, and I am so thankful every time.
The doctor looked in my ear and told me it looked red and was infected. The doctor confirmed taking paracetemol/acetaminophen is fine, although its always best to take it only when it is absolutely essential. I have been given antibiotics which I have started to take. Hopefully they will have some effect in 48 to 72 hours.
Links Between Earache and Pregnancy
Since having earache during pregnancy, I have wondered whether there may be some kind of link between being pregnant and this condition. All I have is anecdotal and personal experience, with no hard evidence, but I suspect there may be some kind of link. I have read that the amount of fluid your body retains when your are pregnant could lead to earache and blocked ears.
From personal experience, I never had an earache before being pregnant, or since being pregnant, that I can remember. There are a lot of discussions on pregnancy forums about women having this condition during pregnancy so it is quite common but I couldn't say it's more common than earache among non pregnant women.
My sister-in-law had blocked ears for the last two weeks of her pregnancy, which drove her crazy. But as soon as she gave birth her ears unblocked.
Also, this article currently receives over 700 visits each week! So there are a lot of pregnant women out there with this issue.
Have You Suffered From Earache During Pregnancy?
Do you have any feedback, tips, or comments regarding suffering with earache during pregnancy? Please feel free to comment below.