It’s an amazing and incredible experience, having a child. But it can also be sort of… uncomfortable, at least at times, and at least when it involves how it can make you feel. There’s the morning sickness, the changes to your body, the health challenges, and all sorts of weird side effects. Getting there can be a bit of a process, but that doesn’t take anything away from the happiness of being a parent.
And now we can add hearing loss to that list of disadvantages.
Most people don’t immediately associate hearing loss with pregnancy. But pregnancy-associated hearing loss is actually more common than most individuals may think. It’s not a bad idea to watch out for these symptoms. Pregnancy-induced hearing loss isn’t something you should be concerned about in most cases. Unfortunately, sometimes the cause is a more serious problem that could require swift medical attention. Will pregnancy-related hearing loss subside? Well, the answer sort of depends on the root cause, and how rapidly you address it.
Pregnancy-induced hearing loss symptoms
Hearing loss during pregnancy doesn’t appear on many sitcoms or in many romantic comedies. Things like morning sickness are much more cinematic. This means that, generally, people may be less likely to expect pregnancy-related hearing loss. So knowing what to watch out for can be helpful.
After all, the symptoms of pregnancy-related hearing loss go beyond turning up the volume on your television. The most common symptoms include the following:
- Dizziness and imbalance: In many cases, pregnancy-induced hearing loss can affect the inner ear (or, in some instances, whatever is affecting the inner ear is also causing hearing loss). Your hearing loss might be accompanied by dizziness and balance problems if you have a problem with your inner ear. Pregnancy-related hearing loss isn’t an exception.
- Headaches and migraines: Regular headaches and migraines can also be more frequent.
- A plugged feeling in your ears: Pregnancy-related hearing loss could in some cases be accompanied by a feeling of stuffiness or fullness in your ears.
- Tinnitus: A ringing in your ears, known as tinnitus, is often associated with pregnancy-related hearing loss. The rhythm and sound of your tinnitus symptoms can, in some circumstances, sound like your own heartbeat which is known as “pulsatile tinnitus”. You should talk to your doctor about your tinnitus, whether hearing loss is also present or not.
- Everything seems quieter: Sure, this is likely the most apparent sign of hearing loss. But if it comes on suddenly, it’s something known as “sudden sensorineural hearing loss”. You should report any sudden hearing loss during pregnancy to your doctor as soon as you can. You may require emergency treatment to prevent the sudden hearing loss from becoming permanent.
These aren’t universal symptoms. You will most likely experience some symptoms and not others depending on the underlying cause of your pregnancy-related hearing loss. Either way, it’s a good plan to consult your doctor if experience any of these hearing loss symptoms. That’s because these symptoms can sometimes be an indication of some rare but bigger problems.
What causes pregnancy-induced hearing loss?
Does being pregnant impact hearing? Well, maybe, sometimes. But other parts of your body are impacted by pregnancy and those parts of your body can then impact your hearing.
So how can pregnancy-related hearing loss possibly be caused? Well, the causes differ… but some of the most common include:
- High blood pressure: While you’re pregnant, high blood pressure can cause tinnitus and hearing loss. So telling your physician about your hearing loss symptoms is really important. High blood pressure can be a symptom of preeclampsia and other serious ailments. These are issues that should be tracked carefully throughout your pregnancy.
- Bone growth: There’s a rare affliction called otosclerosis where the tiny bones in your ear begin growing more rapidly, and this accelerated growth blocks the ability of sound to pass through your ears. In pregnant individuals, this quicker bone growth may be caused by alterations in your hormones or other changes in your body. Otoscerlosis research is still an ongoing process, and scientists are still figuring out just how much it impacts hearing.
- Changes in your circulatory system (and hormones): When you become pregnant, your body is doing an exceptional amount of work. Your hormones and circulatory system are experiencing lots of changes, as an outcome.
- Some of the typical things: If you get an ear infection, a sinus infection, or any type of blockage in your ear (like earwax), this can trigger hearing loss whether you’re pregnant or not.
- An iron deficiency: Your health, and the health of your child, can both be impacted in lots of ways by an iron deficiency. Hearing loss can sometimes be one of those impacts for the pregnant woman.
Sometimes, the cause of your hearing loss may be hard to identify. The essential thing will be to keep track of your symptoms and be in regular communication with your doctor.
How do you manage this form of hearing loss?
Treatment of this type of hearing loss will likely depend on the root cause. Will my hearing return to normal? This is the most prevalent question people will have. Once your pregnancy is over, your hearing should return to normal, or maybe even sooner.
But it’s also important to get treatment for any symptoms you notice because getting your hearing back isn’t always a given. You might require additional treatment if bone growth is blocking your ear canal, for example. Likewise, if you suffer from abrupt sensorineural hearing loss, the outcome will depend on how fast you receive treatment.
For this reason, reporting any symptoms to your doctor is so essential. The next step will probably be a complete hearing evaluation to rule out any more serious conditions and try to diagnose the inherent cause.
Protect your hearing
Even when you’re pregnant, while you’re managing so many other things, it’s important to make sure you pay attention to and protect your hearing. One of the best ways to do that is to stay in touch with us and with your care team. Give us a call today to set up a hearing assessment.
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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive a personalized free hearing test and hearing loss consultation, call today to set up an appointment.