Abstract

Background: A substantial number of changes occur throughout the entire body of a female during pregnancy. Although most of these changes produce no harm to the expectant mother or foetus, as many are benign and get to the normal during the postpartum period, but some don’t. The hormonal and physiological developments that take place during this period may affect the ear, nose and throat of to be mothers and often cause considerable amount of uneasiness, discomfort and anxiety. Therefore, the pregnancy should take special attention due to changes that affect both the expectant mother and her foetus and the relation between these fluctuations and ENT difficulties. It is also important for the Physician to have information of these common changes and treat them with precaution seeing the possible effects to both the mother and developing foetus during this vital period.
Objective: The objective of this study is to find out the Otorhinolaryngological health issues of pregnant women.
Material and Methods: It was a cross sectional study carried amongst 200 consenting pregnant women. Ethical supports were seeked from the hospital’s ethical team. The questionnaire was given among consenting pregnant women. Data acquired was analysed using the Epi info version 6. Qualitative data were plotted using frequencies and percentages. Barnard's exact test was used for categorical data, and the P ≤ 0.05 was considered statistically significant.
Results: A total of 200 pregnant women were recruited during the study (August 2017 to August 2018). The age range was from 18 – 44 years. The maximum no. of pregnant women i.e., 45% was Primigravida, 38% were Gravida 2, and 17% were Gravida 3 or more. Out of 200, the maximum no. of pregnant women i.e. 47% reported in 3rd trimester, 32% in 2nd and 21% in the 1st trimester. Out of 200 pregnant women most common otological complaint was ear itching (32.5%) followed by vertigo (6.5%), Tinnitus (6%), Autophony (5.5%), Aural Fullness (5%), Otalgia (4.5%), Hearing loss (3.5%), Ear discharge (2%). Least common was facial weakness (0.5%). Most common nasal complaint was Headache (50.5%) followed by Nasal discharge (35%), nasal congestion (32%), Excessive sneezing (25.5%), snoring (22.5%), Postnasal dripping (15.1%), Nasal itch (14.5%), Atopy (10%) Sleep apnoea (8.5%). Least common were Anosmia (1%) and Facial pain / heaviness (0.5%). Most common Oral and Throat complaint was Heartburn-GERD (60%) followed by Excessive salivation (17.5%), Sore throat (11.5%), Hoarseness (6.5%), Nasal regurgitation (5.5%), Gum swelling (5%), Loss of voice (4%). Least common were Gum pains (3.5%) and Nocturnal aspiration (0.5%).
Conclusion: The shared Otorhinolaryngological complaints reported in this study showed eminence of features of likely otomycosis, rhinitis and gastroesophageal reflux disease. Most of the above-mentioned disorders are a direct consequence of the physiological variations of pregnancy. Thorough information of these conditions and their safe handling would be beneficial both to the expectant mother and the growing foetus.