Since our ears are very sensitive organs, exposure to any kind of pathogens can lead to inflammation and infections, taking place in all three parts of our ear – the outer, the middle or the inner ear. These conditions are medically known as otitis externa, otitis media and otitis interna.
Ear Infections and Infants
Infants are quite prone to ear infections, due to the fact that their immune system is not completely developed. However, adults can easily develop ear infections too, because of various reasons. Since ear infections are commonly treated with medications, some pregnant women might be worried whether this kind of treatment is safe for their baby or not.
Ear Infections during Pregnancy
This kind of infection appears once viruses or bacteria manage to reach one's ear. Initially, this encounter results in inflammation of the ear, evolving into temporary hearing loss and many other side effects. As far as adults are concerned, ear inflammation affects them due to a blockage of the Eustachian tube, being a part connecting the middle ear to the pharynx.
When this tube gets blocked, it can no longer drain all the ear secretions and infected fluids out. This condition may lead to excessive pressure on the eardrum. Since the viruses or bacteria get entrapped inside the ear, they multiply and initiate infection.
So, for all these reasons, pregnant women need to protect themselves from illnesses. However, if they have already developed an infection, manifesting through headaches, earaches, hearing impairment or ear discharge, pregnant women need to seek medical assistance, have their ears examined and, if any problems are found, have them treated.
Treatment for Ear Infections during Pregnancy
If the infection affecting the ears is severe and caused by bacteria, the treatment will involve antibiotics. These medications will prevent further progression of ear infection. Yet, the doctor taking care of the pregnant woman needs to prescribe medications which are completely safe for both the mother and the child inside of her.
There are specially designed drugs for treating ear infections in pregnant women, such as Amoxicillin and Tylenol. However, no antibiotics come without potential dangers for the baby. Be careful about the dosage and follow your doctor's instructions carefully, if you are having an ear infection treated during your pregnancy.
Alternatively, placing warm compresses on the affected ear can reduce the pain. Additionally, putting several drops of pleasantly warm olive oil inside the ear, can be very beneficial as well, balancing the pressure which may be triggered by excessive amounts of earwax. Filling a sock with salt and warming it up in the microwave, placing it on the affected ear later can have the same effect. Nevertheless, do not try anything on your own, without first consulting with your doctor.