Ears Popping During Pregnancy - 3 Causes & 5 Symptoms You Should Be Aware Of

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Pregnancy can lead to many health problems, which are more often than not a part of the process. But, sometimes you experience weird symptoms like a popping sound in your ears. While this is quite normal, and not unheard of, the symptoms might indicate an underlying condition. If you find yourself identifying with these problems, you aren’t alone. Read our post here and learn all about ears popping during pregnancy.

What Is Ears Popping?

Ear popping refers to muffled sounds inside the ear due to differences in the air pressure. Ear popping may mean you suffer from some Eustachian tube dysfunction (ETD). It may also mean that your ear is full of wax, and you need to clean it.

Normally, the air pressure inside the ear and outside is the same. But many reasons can block the Eustachian tube, which connects the middle ear to the back of the nasal passage and throat. When this happens, the Eustachian tube is unable to maintain the right air pressure in the air. It is then you may feel the need to pop your ears to clear the stuffiness inside or hear a popping sound may come from your ears.

The medical for ears popping is ear barotrauma or barotitis media. Ear popping is a generic name for the problem  (1).

[ Read: Ear Infections During Pregnancy ]

Causes Of Ear Popping During Pregnancy:

Ear popping is not a symptom of pregnancy. If you are pregnant and suffer from ear problems, the buildup of ear wax or any respiratory infections, you may experience a popping sound inside your ears.

Ear popping sounds may occur due to many reasons.

  • Ear popping normally occurs during air travel, at higher altitudes or underwater when the outside air pressure constantly changes.
  • It can also occur due to an ear or sinus infection. Eardrum can rupture and cause problems in the Eustachian tube. Cold, allergies and other respiratory infections can also cause ear popping sounds.
  • A defect in the Eustachian tube can also be congenital (since/before birth) (2).

Symptoms Of Ears Popping While Pregnant:

Here are some symptoms that may indicate ear problems and the source of the popping sounds inside the ears:

  • Earache
  • Discomfort inside the ear
  • Feeling of stuffiness in the ear
  • Dizziness
  • Temporary hearing loss

[ Read: Hearing Problems In Pregnancy ]

Managing Ears Popping During Pregnancy:

Your ear problems during pregnancy can be for any number of reasons. But the important thing is to consult your doctor to rule out any severe medical reasons for the same.

For popping sounds due to mild problems inside the ear, your doctor may suggest some easy treatment options such as chewing gum, yawning or stretching. If the problem is ear wax or may be trapped water inside your ears, simple cleanup with an ear bud may help (3).

Your doctor may also suggest other treatments depending on your pregnancy health.

  • Oral decongestants
  • Nasal sprays

There are also other measures you can try.

  • Steam inhalation may provide you relief from sinus infections or allergies and thus any popping sounds.
  • Use of heating pads over your ears can ease the pain.
  • Chewing gum or yawning can also help you with minimizing any problems in your Eustachian tube and prevent popping sounds in case you need to air travel during your pregnancy.

[ Read: Jaw Pain During Pregnancy ]

Ear popping during pregnancy is more of a nuisance than a cause of worry. Talk to your doctor about it to rule out any major worries concerning popping sounds from your ear. Refrain from using any over-the-counter (OTC) drugs for your ear infections or poking your ears with a sharp object.

Did you suffer from ears popping when pregnant? How did you tackle this problem? Please share your experience and tips with our readers.