Sure, pregnancy is awesome and fantastic. But it can also be sort of… unpleasant, 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. 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 drawback to add to the list: hearing loss.
Pregnancy isn’t usually the first thing you think of when somebody is talking about hearing loss. But pregnancy-induced hearing loss is actually more prevalent than most individuals may presume. This means that these symptoms are worth keeping on your radar. Pregnancy-induced hearing loss isn’t something you should be worried about in most cases. Unfortunately, sometimes the cause is a more serious issue that could require swift medical attention. Will pregnancy-related hearing loss clear up? Well, the answer kind of depends on the root cause, and how fast you treat it.
Pregnancy-induced hearing loss symptoms
You typically won’t hear about pregnancy-induced hearing loss in pop-culture. It’s not nearly as cinematic as something like morning sickness. People usually don’t expect pregnancy-related hearing loss, because of this. So, it might be useful to know what to look out for.
After all, the symptoms of pregnancy-related hearing loss are about more than turning up the volume on your television. Here are a few of the most common:
- Tinnitus: A ringing in your ears, called tinnitus, is frequently 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”. Whether this tinnitus exists by itself or with hearing loss, it’s worth consulting your care team about what you’re feeling.
- A feeling of fullness in your ears: Pregnancy-related hearing loss could in some cases be accompanied by a feeling of being plugged or fullness in your ears.
- Headaches and migraines: Regular headaches and migraines can also be more consistent.
- Dizziness and imbalance: In many instances, pregnancy-induced hearing loss can affect the inner ear (or, in some cases, whatever is impacting the inner ear is also causing hearing loss). Your hearing loss may be accompanied by dizziness and balance problems if you have a problem with your inner ear. Pregnancy-related hearing loss isn’t an exception.
- Everything seems quieter: Of course, this indication of hearing loss is the most apparent. But if it happens suddenly, it’s something called “sudden sensorineural hearing loss”. You need to convey 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 might require emergency treatment.
None of these symptoms are fundamentally universal. Depending on the root cause of your pregnancy-induced hearing loss, you might experience some symptoms but not others. Either way, it’s a good plan to consult your doctor if experience any of these hearing loss symptoms. Because these symptoms could be an indication of a more serious problem.
The causes of pregnancy-related hearing loss
Is hearing impacted by pregnancy? Well, perhaps, in some cases. But being pregnant might also impact other parts of your body that will then go on to impact your hearing.
So how can pregnancy-induced hearing loss possibly be caused? Well, the causes differ… but some of the most prevalent include:
- High blood pressure: While you’re pregnant, high blood pressure can cause tinnitus and hearing loss. So telling your doctor about your hearing loss symptoms is really important. Serious conditions, including preeclampsia, can cause high blood pressure. Throughout pregnancy, these issues should be monitored.
- Some of the typical things: If you get an ear infection, a sinus infection, or any type of obstruction in your ear (like earwax), this can cause hearing loss whether you’re pregnant or not.
- An iron deficiency: An iron deficiency while you’re pregnant can have a wide variety of consequences for your health and your child’s health. Hearing loss can sometimes be one of those impacts for the pregnant person.
- Bone growth: There’s a rare affliction known as otosclerosis where the tiny bones in your ear start growing more quickly, and this accelerated growth prevents sound from passing through your ears. In pregnant individuals, this quicker bone growth might be caused by alterations 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.
- Hormone and circulatory changes: When you get pregnant, your body is doing an extreme amount of work. Your hormones and circulatory system are going through lots of changes, as a result.
In some situations, the cause of your hearing loss simply won’t be all that well comprehended. Routinely talking to your physician and keeping track of your symptoms is the key here.
How is this form of hearing loss managed?
The underlying cause of this kind of hearing loss will generally determine the course of treatment. The question that many individuals have is: will my hearing return to normal? In most instances, yes, your hearing will go back to normal once you’re no longer pregnant, or possibly even before.
However, this is not always the default, so it’s important to be proactive when you detect symptoms. For example, if bone growth is obstructing your ear canal, you might require additional treatment. The outcome will also depend on how rapidly you get treatment in the case of sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
For this reason, reporting any symptoms to your doctor is so important. The next step will probably be a comprehensive hearing evaluation to eliminate any more severe conditions and try to diagnose the inherent cause.
Protect your hearing
Safeguarding your hearing is something you need to 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 set up a hearing assessment.