Of course, pregnancy is amazing and fantastic. But it can also be sort of… unpleasant, at least sometimes, and at least when it involves how it can make you feel. There’s the morning sickness, the difference in your body, the health hazards, and all kinds of weird side effects. None of this takes away from the delight of being a parent… but it’s a whole process to get there.
And now there’s another possible little disadvantage to add to the list: hearing loss.
Pregnancy isn’t normally the first thing you think of when someone is talking about hearing loss. So it may be a surprise to learn that pregnancy-related hearing loss is somewhat prevalent. This means that these symptoms are worth watching out for. Pregnancy-induced hearing loss isn’t something you need to be concerned about in most cases. In other cases, the cause is a serious issue and might call for immediate medical attention. Will pregnancy-related hearing loss clear up? Well, it could be, depending on how quickly you address it and what the root cause is.
Pregnancy-related hearing loss symptoms
Hearing loss during pregnancy doesn’t show up on a lot of sitcoms or in very many romantic comedies. It isn’t nearly as cinematic as things like morning sickness. People usually don’t expect pregnancy-related hearing loss, because of this. So knowing what to look out for can be helpful.
After all, the symptoms of pregnancy-related hearing loss are about more than turning the volume up on your television. The most prevalent symptoms include the following:
- Tinnitus: Pregnancy-related hearing loss is frequently linked to tinnitus, or a ringing or buzzing in the ears. The rhythm and sound of your tinnitus symptoms can, in some instances, sound like your own heartbeat which is called “pulsatile tinnitus”. You should consult your physician about your tinnitus, whether hearing loss is also present or not.
- A plugged feeling in your ears: A feeling of fullness in the ears often accompanies pregnancy-related hearing loss.
- Everything seems quieter: Of course, this indication of hearing loss is the most apparent. But if it occurs all of a sudden, it’s something called “sudden sensorineural hearing loss”. You need to report any sudden hearing loss during pregnancy to your physician as soon as you can. In order to stop sudden hearing loss from becoming irreversible, you may require emergency treatment.
- Headaches and migraines: Regular headaches and migraines can also be more frequent.
- Dizziness and imbalance: In many cases, pregnancy-induced hearing loss can impact the inner ear (or, in some instances, whatever is affecting the inner ear is also causing hearing loss). Whenever your inner ear isn’t functioning correctly, you might have issues with balance and dizziness with your hearing loss. And that also applies to pregnancy-induced hearing loss.
These aren’t universal symptoms. You will probably experience some symptoms and not others depending on the underlying cause of your pregnancy-induced hearing loss. Either way, it’s a good idea to talk to your doctor if experience any of these hearing loss symptoms. That’s because these symptoms can sometimes be a sign of some rare but larger issues.
What causes pregnancy-related hearing loss?
Does being pregnant affect hearing? In some cases, maybe. But being pregnant might also impact other parts of your body that will then go on to affect your hearing.
So how can pregnancy-induced hearing loss possibly be caused? Here are several of the most prevalent causes:
- Hormone and circulatory changes: When you get pregnant, your body is doing an extreme amount of work. Your hormones and circulatory system are experiencing lots of changes, as a result.
- Bone growth: The ability for sound to pass through your ears can be blocked by an ailment called otosclerosis which causes the tiny bones in your ear to grow too quickly. In pregnant women, this faster bone growth might be caused by changes in your hormones or other changes in your body. Otoscerlosis research is still an ongoing process, and scientists are still working out just how much it impacts hearing.
- An iron deficiency: Your health, and the health of your baby, can both be affected in a wide variety of ways by an iron deficiency. Hearing loss can sometimes be one of those impacts for the pregnant person.
- Some of the typical things: Whether you’re pregnant or not, typical things like obstructions, sinus infections, and ear infections can cause hearing loss.
- High blood pressure: Hearing loss and tinnitus can be the result of high blood pressure which can be caused by pregnancy. And this is, in part, why it’s extremely important to tell your provider about your hearing loss. High blood pressure can be a symptom of preeclampsia and other severe ailments. These are issues that need to be monitored carefully throughout your pregnancy.
In some situations, the cause of your hearing loss just won’t be all that well comprehended. The essential thing will be to be mindful of your symptoms and be in regular communication with your provider.
How is this form of hearing loss managed?
Treatment of this form of hearing loss will likely depend on the underlying cause. Will my hearing go back to normal? This is the most prevalent question individuals will have. Once your pregnancy has ended, your hearing should go back to normal, or possibly even sooner.
But it’s also important to get treatment for any symptoms you observe because getting your hearing back isn’t always certain. For example, if bone growth is obstructing your ear canal, you could require additional treatment. The results will also depend on how rapidly you get treatment when it comes to abrupt sensorineural hearing loss.
That’s why it’s so essential to make sure you report these symptoms to your provider. The next step will most likely be a comprehensive hearing evaluation to rule out any more severe conditions and try to diagnose the underlying cause.
Protect your hearing
Safeguarding your hearing is something you should watch out for particularly when you’re pregnant. Getting regular evaluations with us is one of the best ways to do that. Give us a call today to schedule a hearing evaluation.