Pregnancy is an exciting time for an expecting woman. Several changes will take place within the body of the mother to be over the course of pregnancy. Sometimes even weird symptoms can appear during this time. One such phenomenon is a medical condition known as ears popping. While this is quite normal and common, ears popping can also be a symptom of some underlying condition. To know more, continue reading.
- What Is Ears Popping?
- How Does Ears Popping Happen?
- Causes Of Ears Popping During Pregnancy
- Symptoms Of Ears Popping During Pregnancy
- Treating And Managing Ears Popping During Pregnancy
- Home Remedies For Popping Ears Due To Infection
What Is Ears Popping?
Ears popping refers to muffled or crackling sounds and pain inside the ear. It is a pressure-related ear pain, which is also known as Ear barotrauma. The reason can be as simple as an excess formation of earwax or more significant as Eustachian tube dysfunction. Even though normally this condition does not bring about any complications, frequent ear popping can cause damage to the ear, or it can be an indication of some underlying issues that needs medical attention
How Does Ears Popping Happen?
Normally, the air pressure inside the ear and outside is the same. The Eustachian tube is a small ear canal that joins the middle ear to the posterior part of the nose and the upper throat. Its role is to balance the air pressure in the middle ear with the pressure outside it. However, many reasons can block the Eustachian tube. When this happens, the Eustachian tube will be unable to equalize the air pressure. This difference between the air pressure inside and outside the middle ear causes ear popping.
Causes Of Ears Popping During Pregnancy
There are several reasons that can bring about ear popping during pregnancy.
- Change in altitude can trigger ear popping. If you are traveling to higher altitudes, ear popping can kick in
- Nasal congestion due to allergies, which a lot of pregnant women are prone to, can trigger ear popping
- A sinus infection can cause ear popping
- Cold or upper respiratory Infections can trigger ear popping during pregnancy
- Any defect in the Eustachian tube can cause ear popping during pregnancy
Symptoms Of Ears Popping During Pregnancy
In addition to an uncomfortable feeling of popping sound inside the ear, ears popping during pregnancy can bring about:
- Feeling of clogging inside the ear
- Discomfort and pain in ear
- Symptoms that cannot be eased by gulping, yawning or chewing
- Vertigo, a medical condition when an individual feels the objects around them are moving, swaying or spinning
- Difficulty hearing
- Moderate to severe hearing loss
- Bleeding from the nose
Treating And Managing Ears Popping During Pregnancy
Ear popping during pregnancy is to a greater degree an irritation than a reason of worry. Stay away from using any over-the-counter (OTC) drugs or poking the ears with a sharp object, which can damage eardrum bringing about permanent hearing loss.
There are some measures that can help to ease the feeling of clogging, discomfort, or pain:
- Swallowing, yawning or chewing gum helps to reduce the pressure inside the ear
- Inhale, and then slowly exhale while holding the nostrils closed and the mouth shut. This will help to alleviate some of the pressure
- Try blowing up balloons
- Drink water while you pinch our nose. Swallowing action will help open the Eustachian tubes if that is the cause of ears popping
- If the ear popping is due to excessive earwax formation, the doctor will suggest an ear wash for clearing out the wax
If the symptoms do not go away even after trying the above measures, or if they aggravate as time goes by, consult your doctor immediately. The doctor usually suggests:
- Oral antihistamines if allergies are present
- Nasal steroids to get rid of nasal blockage and nasal inflammation. This will help the Eustachian tube to open, thereby, relieving pressure
- Pain medications which are safe during pregnancy
- Using heating pad by pressing it over the ears helps to ease the pain and discomfort
- Nasal or oral decongestants
- Inhaling steam will help to relieve the ear popping if it is caused due to a sinus infection
- In rare cases, a myringotomy may require. Myringotomy is a surgical method, in which, a tiny incision is made in the eardrum to relieve pressure if excessive fluid or puss is formed. The incision will allow the pressure to equalize by draining excessive pus and fluid from the middle ear
Home Remedies For Popping Ears Due To Infection
Here are some simple tried and tested home remedies that can provide you relief from ears popping due to any kind of infection. They are safe enough to use during the pregnancy period.
- Water gargling: If ear infection is the cause of ears popping, then gargling with warm water can provide you some relief. Take a glass of warm water and add a pinch of salt in it. Gargle with this water few times in a day to get some relief from any blockage
- Steam inhalation: Inhaling steam also helps to get rid of clogged ears due to cold which can cause ears popping. The steam helps to loosen the mucous and any ear wax and provide you relief. You can also add a few drops of eucalyptus oil
- Olive Oil with garlic: We have seen our mothers and grandmothers use this remedy on us while we were young and suffering from any discomfort in the ears. This age old remedy can provide you relief from ears popping too, as garlic is natural antiseptic. All you need to do it heat a spoon of olive oil. Add 2-3 cloves of peeled garlic to it. Bring this oil to room temperature and apply it to the ear with the help of a cotton pad
A lot of pregnant women define the feeling of ears popping as a sensation which you get when you get bubble from the bath in your ears and hear them “popping”. Did you have any such experience during your pregnancy? What did you do you treat it? Do share your experience in the comments section below.