Pressure, Stuffiness, and Clog in Ears During Pregnancy?

One of the most annoying things in pregnancy that comes and goes for me is “hearing my own heartbeat” in my ears. It feels like I’m on a plane and the pressure is developing and I can hear myself talk, hear my heart beat, or water got into my ears during swimming. I don’t know if you explain it as “pressure,” “stuffiness”, “a clog,” or whatever but those of you pregnant out there know what I mean if you have it.

Today I had the pleasure of having it for a a full day, yesterday for half a day, and other times on and off. I have it when the weather gets warm or after I walk around a bit, or for no good reason. Why is there this pressure? It could be due to several reasons. Some people really do have ear infections but for preggies, it could also be due to:

  • Excess fluid retained in the body during pregnancy
  • Increase in blood volume during pregnancy
  • Hormone changes and pressure baby is putting on your organs
  • The increase in estrogen that causes sinus problems by increasing swelling in the mucous membranes. This coupled with the blood volume mentioned above will also cause the blood vessel in the nose to swell and cause congestion.

I don’t feel like I’m congested but maybe I am and don’t even know it. One of my friends got congestion so bad during pregnancy she was using nasal sprays all day (which by the way is NOT recommended because you could end up relying on it and it losing it’s potency). Any medication to me is a big “no” during pregnancy if it’s not life or death situation. I read that some woman took prednisone (a strong steroid) to get rid of this during pregnancy and I ask the question “why would you increase any risk to your baby just to get rid of some small annoyance everyday that’s not life threatening but could be detrimental to your child?” I don’t understand some women. My suggestion to those women is please think again. It’s only 40 weeks but it could have lifetime effects to your child. Do you really want to see your child suffer?

Anyway, so many women are looking for ways to get rid of this. Some may work and others may not but these are safe suggestions you could at least try. If they all don’t work…sorry, please be patient. If it’s due to pregnancy, then it will go away right after birth. Hang in there!

Here’s the list of safe remedies:

  • Yawn – this could equalize any uneven pressure in your ears just like how you would on the plane to get rid of uneven pressure. Yawn long and hard several times.
  • Use Ear Candles – these are at some specialty health stores and they clean out your ear wax really good. Some women have had relief just by using this.
  • Blow Your Nose – get rid of that sinus or clear that pressure of your nose if you do have that sinus. Even if you don’t feel like you have clogged sinus, just do it and see if it would equalize the pressure or stir up something in there.
  • Use Vick’s Vaporizer – steam your sinus away. I haven’t tried this but worked for some.
  • Lean Forward and Invert Your Head a Bit and Breathe Deeply – this one sounded funny but it worked for some women! Doesn’t hurt to try! It may move the mucous around I guess.
  • Drink Lots of Water – if your problem is caused by water retention, drinking plenty of water makes sure you’re getting rid of excess water retention in the body and therefore, decrease that pressure in your ears.
  • Breathe in Fast and Deeply – do this like sniffing your snot down when you are sick. Do it a couple times in repetitive motion and see if it goes away.

I hope this helped somewhat. It was driving me crazy today to try to find out what it is. Please share any other remedies you guys may have!

This entry was posted in General, Pregnancy, Treatments and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

58 Responses to Pressure, Stuffiness, and Clog in Ears During Pregnancy?

  1. Modi says:

    This happens to me all the time with this pregnancy. So frustrating!

  2. T says:

    It’s easy to be critical of those who are willing to take the meds for relief when you yourself might no be prone to severe panic attacks like some of us are when our ears are blocked up, or perhaps our noses are 100% blocked w/ congestion. This is compounded by the fact that some of us are are having to hold down a full time job supporting our family while we’re suffering horribly from this and losing a ton of sleep every day because these issues make it extremely difficult to achieve a quality of quantity of sleep. Don’t you dare judge.

    • hoghugs says:

      But wouldn’t it be worse if you found out your baby may be unhealthy because you wanted relief? For me, that would cause me a lifetime of pain rather than 3 to nine months of temporary relief. I wouldn’t feel guilty but I’m just super careful. May be too careful. You’ll have to use your own best judgement. 

      • A says:

        I agree completely with T. Until you’ve been in someone else’s situation, there is no need for judgment. Prednisone bursts to help with congestion are completely safe. Granted it is temporary relief (2-3 weeks) since hormones are causing the congestion and that won’t resolve until after the baby is born, it can be extremely helpful (not to mention beneficial to both mom and baby) for someone experiencing congestion that is not alleviated by any method hoghugs suggests. Hoghugs, consider yourself very lucky that you have not experienced any extremely uncomfortable pregnancy related conditions that have necessitated medication. If you were completely congested for 6 months, requiring you to be a mouth breather and becoming a zombie due to inadequate sleep, I’m sure you would consider medications as well. There are plenty of safe medications for pregnancy issues and to say that all medications are a big “no” is inaccurate.

      • hoghugs says:

        How would you know it is completely safe? Because the doctor said so? The doctor told me to give up an ovary once to cut out endo and said it is the only way to have a baby with the other ovary…obviously I didn’t do it….

        Anything that goes to the bloodstream goes to the baby as well. I have symptoms from pregnancy that still is with me after 10 months! Anyway, I believe the choice is yours but if it is short term, I will try to bare it. Then again, I have an extremely high pain and stress tolerance… So yes, my comments aren’t really for everyone.

      • Emma says:

        I agree with A & T as well. Until the last two weeks, I’ve dealt with it. However, with allergy season in full swing, it feels more like a bad ear infection. I’ve had two migraines as a result, and also can’t hear (which is necessary as my job as a professor). I am choosing not to take my regular allergy medicine since it is listed as category C (although the two articles that made it category C used a dose MUCH higher than what humans take, and the studies were done in humans). Will I seek professional help? I already have and have yet another appointment. It’s not a minor inconvenience if it is easily remedied with safe medication, without which would lead to other problems.

        Will I research everything before I take anything? Of course. Just like I did for Zofran- Zofran allowed me to keep my very necessary thyroid meds in my system. Without Zofran, I would have not been able to keep the thyroid meds down long enough for them to absorb. Without the thyroid meds, I probably would have had another miscarriage or done serious long term harm to my child. The benefits completely outweigh the risks.

    • I’ve managed to avoid meds thus far, but I do agree – the panics attacks I get when my ears get blocked are pretty severe. Considering I already have hypertension, the effects on the baby aren’t good either way. I feel so guilty for not enjoying this pregnancy, but wow does it get hard some day 😦

      • hoghugs says:

        try to feel good that there is an end date! However once your baby is born, they don’t have end dates…stuck with them forever….hahaha….

    • Susan says:

      I agree my daughter has had blocked ears for 6 weeks she is 21 weeks pregnant and this is making her very anxious and depressed . She is not handling it well it’s very frustrating. Especially when it won’t go away and she wonders if it will

  3. Courtney says:

    I’ve had this problem for three days and it still hasn’t went away! What do i do? I think it’s because i’m pregnant but I don’t know. Can someone tell me why this is happening? This is my first pregnancy and i can’t find anything to get it to go away.

  4. ariel says:

    my ears are clogggggggeddd as we speak and imonly 4 weeks ! such a long ride ahead of me

    • hoghugs says:

      Yikes! Hang in there! Maybe it will go away. Have you gone to the ob and make sure it is pregnancy related? 

  5. bubble_girl says:

    OMG! Thank you for this post. Stuffy ears was one of my first symptoms. It’s been difficult teaching my classes because I can’t hear what the kids are asking me. The bending forward tip really worked for me. Thank you Thank you Thank you.

  6. kelly says:

    You really should know what the hell you’re talking about before you’re so quick to judge. Prednisone stopped my asthma attacks when nothing else would. If baby doesn’t get enough air, he won’t develop enough to survive.leaving certain maladies untreated is FAR worse than taking medication. And as many others have pointed out, not all medicine is bad in pregnancy. It’s all about whether it crosses the placenta barrier, which prednisone does not. Some people just look for reasons to judge. Make sure you aren’t spouting anti-scientific crap next time before you do.

    • hoghugs says:

      I did the site to help women… You are mad because you think I insulted you which is not my intention. I am just trying to share my result and research with other women and making information “free”… I am glad to hear you helped your baby breath better and if you are not breathing and putting your baby in danger, then yes, seek help! As a mom I would do what is best for baby… That is all what my intentions were… Why do some people always take good intentions the wrong way? If you read my blog, you will know I had so much trouble trying to conceive and I did this blog to help…

      • Megan Francescon says:

        Some people are bored and feel they have no purpose so they search for reasons to argue with others on social media. I think this is a very helpful and informative article and I appreciate you.

  7. April says:

    Vicks is not supposed to be good during pregnancy.

  8. HK says:

    I’m five months and my right ear (and it is always the right one) is getting clogged rather frequently, and sometimes it gets real bad. First time I got it, I mistook as am impacted wax and got it cleared up by an ENT. Eventhough he diagnosed my case as foreign wax impaction, I have not really had any ears troubles all my life. I was rather surprised when I saw this coming again in less than a week and wondered if it could be related to pregnancy. I found out it was due to overaccumulation of ear fluid due to oestrogen and progesterone. Also, since it is related tomy posture, movement of face etc., I know it is fluid imbalance and nothing else. Foreign wax won’t move with you, afterall! Now I am only learning to bear with this becasue I know I can do with this and clearing up woon help, as clogging can happen again and again! Just a few homoeopathic ear drops for temporary relief, and nothing else!

  9. J says:

    I get this every month after ovulation and it gets worse and worse until my period starts. It is definitely related to hormones. It is getting worse as I get older too. This month, I got it for a few days after my period ended. I’m concerned it will stick with me one day and just never go. Having had this a number of years now, I have researched and it is called “patulous Eustachian tube”. It has a wiki page, and some other info, like this:
    Unfortunately, especially for me (for whom this is unrelated to an end date like pregnancy), there are few solutions. Some are trialling things and some have found some success.

    • hoghugs says:

      try the estrogen free diet on my site. we call it endometriosis diet. If it is hormone related, then it should help.

  10. topher says:

    Um, ear candling not only doesn’t work, but can be quite dangerous. I’d say take that off the list! Google it!

  11. Lara says:

    My ears have been getting clogged lately at my 6th month of pregnancy. This is my fourth preganacy and I have never felt like this before. My forehead aches too and when I lean forward my forehead has pressure in it. I thought is was due to allergies but now that I read everyones comments it could be due to drinking less water than usual. The things we go through to have a baby.

  12. We’re a bunch of volunteers and starting a brand new scheme in our community. Your site offered us with valuable information to work on. You’ve performed a formidable activity and our
    whole neighborhood shall be thankful to you.

  13. Victoria Lessing says:

    Thank you for sharing this information. I am 39 weeks pregnant and I have all symptoms listed here stuffy nose/ears and I have had several panic attacks. I have been vomiting for about 5 – 10 hours on average and I went in and out of hospital 6 times now as doctor put an injection to give me a fluid and it worked well. I think it is because its my second pregnancy and it is getting heavier on my body. Also I have a job to do and look after my 1 years and half old boy. But we are so happy that the end of pregnancy is coming very soon… Yay. Thanks for sharing and best wishes to you all. Blessings 🙂

    • hoghugs says:

      So brave of you to take care of your baby and be pregnant!!! You’re almost there! Hurray! Have a great delivery !

  14. Amazon07 says:

    I have the same problem and it is annoying the hell out of me! For me 100% natural sea water nasal spray (called Sterimar) really helps and acupuncture helped too – might need repeat treatments though as it does come back.

  15. Amy Heise says:

    Im 3 months pregnant and I have this problem. It feels like I have a cold in my head. Pressure in my head and I get that darn tunnel hearing crap. It feels like I have fluids in my left ear. I hate it cause when it happens I cant think. Im gonna call my doc monday and see what he says.

  16. Jaime says:

    Omg I’m having this right now at 26 weeks and so thankful I’m not alone. Never had ear problems before and man do I feel like I really under appreciated my hearing before! Started with just the left ear, and now it’s both. No wax or anything just pressure/ringing/popping sounds and an occasional heart beat sound. I was scaring myself reading online horror stories about people dealing with this for 15 plus years with no relief so I feel better knowing it could be pregnancy relate. I actually went to the dr and was put on those meds because I was having panic attacks about it but they didn’t even work :/ due in December so hoping it lets up before then…if not I hope soon after delivery it will!

    • hoghugs says:

      It will! Maybe it will go away before delivery! Hormones change all the time.

    • Missy says:

      Hi!!! I’m going thru this right now with the same aniety! Needed to go on on Zoloft.
      Did this go away after delivery & how long postpartum did it last? Thank you!

  17. ナイキ フリー 靴 スエード

  18. Rainier Wolfcastle says:

    Ear candling is pseudoscientific, dangerous, and ineffective. Don’t waste your time with this “folk” remedy.

  19. Caite says:

    I personally have always tried it avoid any medication during pregnancy-just my personal choice. However, there are a great many risks to the baby during pregnancy resulting from a mother being in pain, excess stress, etc. Excessive pain or stress that go untreated could cause any number of issues, including increased blood pressure, which certainly can have an adverse effect on the baby!

  20. Anu Ratha says:

    I am pregnant now.. 9 weeks. and my ears n nose are blocked up. I am feeling difficult to sleep everyday.My uncle is an ENT specialist n he told me to use the menthol crystal.. thats the only safe thing to use during your pregnancy. in fact he advised me to not take any medication if possible.drink more WARM water n workout. I was told that all those ear n nose block will go away within a week after ur delivery. 🙂 . I personally dont prefer to take any medicine. and to those pregnant ladies out there, if you can hang on, please dont take any medication unless if u cant take it.. or u cant breath,please refer to your ENT/OB to get the proper n safe medication.

    PS: this is my first pregnancy tho =)

  21. I must tell you that it’s hard to find your posts in google,
    i found this one on 12 spot, you should build some quality backlinks
    in order to rank your site, i know how to help you,
    just type in google – k2 seo tips

  22. User says:

    After weeks of suffering, I just did a sinus rinse and it’s better! I’ll use a sinus rinse that’s natural over anything else. Not judging but def try it before going to steroids, if you can.for me it was an easy fix and I thiughtni had to live with it. I thought I was under water 24/7. Awful!

    I can hear better too. Relieved 🙂

  23. Sioxke says:

    HogHugs: You seem so sweet! I’m still TTC but I will definitely refer to your website again.
    I’ve been ttc for a bit with my husband. I feel like this time could be it because I feel a little ‘strange’. Trying to keep cool and not get overexcited until I know BUT last night and this morning my ear feels like I’ve been swimming all day! Clogged up and I can’t shake it out. This never NEVER happens to me for no reason. Hoping it’s a good sign 🙂

    Anyway, thank you for your web page on this subject as there isn’t all too much about it online at-a-glance.. This website is a great read so far!

    I love what you’re doing here. ❤ ❤ ❤ Keep it up!


  24. CB says:

    I have had this problem for 4 months now, it really gets me down sometimes as it is always there when I’m breathing, swallowing and talking. I understand how hard it is and how tempting it is to take meds, I really want to but so far have only taken natural remedies – all of which are mentioned in your article above and none have worked long term. putting my head between my legs or head back has worked for a little relief but then it comes back fairly quickly. I have contemplated taking half a Piriton each day to reduce the swelling as a friend said it worked for her in pregnancy but so far I haven’t. I may try to sit out the final 3 months as much as it pains me to say so.

    • hoghugs says:

      Hang in there! Babies change our hormones so much but in the end when you see them in person, you know the pain of pregnancy and delivery was worth it.

  25. Natalie says:

    I know exactly what you are talking about, for me the only relief I have found is to lie down. Sometimes it will clear it up for a few minutes and sometimes for hours!

  26. Rebecca B. says:

    Thanks for the info! And sorry for all the butt hurt commentors. Geez, why can’t people just move along when they come across something they don’t like?
    That being said, I’ve had this stupid ear plugged action for 3-4 months now, daily! Have not taken anything except natural drops, both garlic oil and grapeseed oil. The grapeseed works much better for me. Also have gone the chiropractor for adjustments, yes they do ear adjustments to help things drain, and she also recommended to get a prenatal massage so as to help with relieving pressure in the neck. In the mean time I’ve done lymphatic draining self massages to help and it looks weird but, it works. Before they were plugged I was getting migraines that were lasting 1-3 days and at least one a week. I have 2 young children running underfoot and still never took more than essential oils and ice packs. Not to be self glorifying, but my point is that many people just turn to allopathic meds as a first and only resort and get up-in-arms when alternatives are presented as better, not easier, but better.

  27. Brittany says:

    I’m 34wks pregnant and I’m having these problems my ear got clogged first then the stuffy nose and the anxiety is scary but I don’t want to put my child at harm so I will wait!! Its bad but I’m going to try these remedies hopefully they work!!

  28. Melissa says:

    Get some quality peppermint essential oil and breathe it in deep! I have awful sinus and ear pressure during every pregnancy. I just had an ear attack and both ears were throbbing so bad! I sat down and held the oil bottle near my nose for about 30 seconds while breathing deep and within about 10 minutes the pain was completely gone and I can feel my ears clearing out.
    I also agree with drinking lots of water. That usually reverses my hearing-myself-speak-inside-my-head issue within a few minutes.

  29. martha says:

    This has been happening too me For a month i got sick with a bad cold after the whooping cough shot the doc gave me And the cold was so bad My ears were clogged or not clogged just felt pressure very Annoying im using sudafed it works at times but Now i have to use it constante y im trying not to but yes with My first pregnanacy i Don’t remember this at all.

  30. Mary says:

    I have a remedy it’s worked every time but you just need about 10-15 minutes…which is tough if you’re at work etc. Basically you have to lie on the bed or couch and let your head hang over the side so all the blood/fluids (whatever have you) rushes to it. The symptoms will immediately stop. The trick is that you have to hang out on this position for at least ten min otherwise it’ll come back after you get up. Good luck to all!

  31. Carina says:

    Hi im 10 weeks pregnant and ive had this problem for three days now. Only my left ear but my right is fine. What do i do? Should i tell my doctor about this?

  32. Bronwyn Rees says:

    I have had this since I had my ears cleaned at 16 weeks a few days later the problems started… Infection , clogged water feeling , sometimes a ringing noise and a feeling of pressure! Now at 33 weeks the docs and ENT say my ears are clear yet they are sore itchy with a full sensation constantly ! I really hope it gets better after I have baby otherwise at least I can start taking thing that may help or getting scans

    • Caroline says:

      If it helps at all my ear issues all cleared up after the birth of my daughter. I was going insane through pregnancy, my ears were popping constantly and I felt like I was underwater. The doctor said my ears were fine and I was worried what to do if it didn’t go away but thank goodness it did.

      • maycuz2017 says:

        Hi Caroline…Nice to know that everything was fine after your daughter´s birth…I am 32 weeks, and it has happened mainly to my left ear but sometimes to my right …and It was really ” peaceful” knowing I am not the only one…and hopefylly ít´ll gets better with the delivery…

  33. Heather says:

    Thank you all for your comments! It’s so comforting to know I’m not alone. My left ear was pretty clogged or felt like fluid was in there and I did something that made it pop and I thought I would share. I stood up and bent over to touch my toes for maybe 30 seconds, tip I got on this site, but that’s not all. It was still clogged. So, I think I read this in another site, I yawned really hard and then after that I pinched my nose and tried to blow out through my nose. My ear popped and it feels so much better. I feel like the fluid balanced out and I no longer hear my heart beating! I am also going to try and drink more water because I know I haven’t been drinking enough. I used to drink a ton of water before I got pregnant but in my first trimester I had so much nausea that when I drank water it made it worse and it made my throw up (prob because I didn’t have enough food in my belly, I’m not quite sure). Now that the nausea is gone I’m going to try drinking water again. It’s tough because of the negative experience I went through with water because it’s in my head that water equals throwing up. I have to convince myself to push through because I’m a huge believer that drinking a lot of water is highly beneficial ☺

  34. Holly says:


    Did any of you have crackling/popping noises when you swallowed/yawn with your pregnancies ?


  35. I have a question I am pregnant and I am 4 months and 17weeks pregnant and both of my ears are stopped up and this just happen last night I have tryed everything. And it still want nothing come out my ears and I’m hoping I don’t have a ear infection and my ears are not hurtin me of some one can please Help me.

    • maycuz2017 says:

      Hi Chisty, how is everything going with your ears? I am experiencing the same at my 32 week , so I really expect and hope that it quit qith the delivery…because at least with my first pregnancy I did not suffer of anything).

  36. Stacey says:

    I lean forward and invert my head a bit. It really helps. I may look funny but it works! I had this problem with my second pregnancy and I have it with this pregnancy as well. Glad I am almost due and I wont be having funny symptoms that are very annoying anymore 🙂

  37. S R patel says:

    Same problem was there in my first pregnancy time for four months at the time of vomiting and all and in the second time it’s my 22 weeks it goes some time and come again some of time but common thing is that whenever it comes again vomiting is olso there on that particular day so I think it relates with vomiting.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s