Hearing Loss While You’re Pregnant

Pregnant woman who's suffering from sudden hearing loss having her blood pressure checked

Sure, pregnancy is awesome and incredible. But when it comes to how it can make you feel, it can be pretty unpleasant, at least sometimes. There’s the morning sickness, the changes to your body, the health hazards, and all sorts of strange side effects. None of this detracts from the joy of being a parent… but it’s a whole process to get there.

And now we can add hearing loss to that list of disadvantages.

Pregnancy isn’t normally the first thing you think of when someone is talking about hearing loss. But pregnancy-related hearing loss is actually more common than most people might think. This means that these symptoms are worth watching out for. Pregnancy-related hearing loss isn’t something you should be worried about in most cases. In other cases, the cause is a serious concern and may call for immediate medical attention. Is hearing loss during pregnancy permanent? Well, it could be, depending on how quickly you address it and what the root cause is.

Pregnancy-induced hearing loss symptoms

Hearing loss during pregnancy doesn’t appear on a lot of sitcoms or in many romantic comedies. Things like morning sickness are much more cinematic. People generally don’t expect pregnancy-related hearing loss, because of this. So knowing what to watch out for can be helpful.

After all, the symptoms of pregnancy-related hearing loss are about more than cranking up the volume on your television. Here are some of the most common:

  • A plugged feeling in your ears: Pregnancy-related hearing loss could sometimes be accompanied by a feeling of stuffiness or fullness in your ears.
  • Tinnitus: A ringing in your ears, known as tinnitus, is frequently linked to pregnancy-induced hearing loss. 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.
  • Headaches and migraines: Regular headaches and migraines can also be more frequent.
  • Everything seems quieter: Certainly, this is likely the most obvious indication of hearing loss. But a condition called “sudden sensorineural hearing loss” comes on all of a sudden and can be more apparent. You should convey any sudden hearing loss during pregnancy to your doctor as soon as possible. In order to prevent sudden hearing loss from becoming irreversible, you may require emergency treatment.
  • Dizziness and imbalance: The inner ear can be affected by pregnancy-related hearing loss, or sometimes a pre-existing issue with the inner ear can be the cause of that hearing loss. Your hearing loss might be accompanied by dizziness and balance problems if you have an issue with your inner ear. Pregnancy-related hearing loss isn’t an exception.

None of these symptoms are fundamentally universal. You will most likely experience some symptoms and not others depending on the root cause of your pregnancy-related hearing loss. In any event, if you experience hearing loss or any of the related symptoms while you are pregnant, it’s usually a good idea to talk to your doctor. Because these symptoms might be an indication of a more serious issue.

What causes pregnancy-induced hearing loss?

Is hearing affected by pregnancy? Well, possibly, in some cases. But other parts of your body are affected by pregnancy and those parts of your body can then affect your hearing.

So how can pregnancy-related hearing loss possibly be caused? Well, the causes differ… but some of the most prevalent include:

  • Some of the typical things: Whether you’re pregnant or not, typical things like blockages, sinus infections, and ear infections can cause hearing loss.
  • Changes in your circulatory system (and hormones): Your body is performing an exceptional amount of work when you become pregnant. Your hormones and circulatory system are experiencing lots of changes, as an outcome.
  • Bone growth: The ability for sound to pass through your ears can be obstructed by a disorder called otosclerosis which causes the tiny bones in your ear to grow too fast. In pregnant women, this faster bone growth may 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 exactly 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. One of those impacts can in some cases be hearing loss in the person who is pregnant.
  • High blood pressure: While you are pregnant, high blood pressure can cause tinnitus and hearing loss. So telling your physician about your hearing loss symptoms is very important. Serious conditions, including preeclampsia, can cause high blood pressure. These are issues that should be watched carefully throughout your pregnancy.

In some instances, 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 frequent communication with your provider.

How do you manage this kind of hearing loss?

Treatment of this form of hearing loss will usually depend on the underlying cause. The question that most people have is: will my hearing return to normal? In most instances, yes, your hearing will return to normal once you’re no longer pregnant, or maybe even before.

But it’s also essential to get treatment for any symptoms you detect because getting your hearing back isn’t always a given. You might need additional treatment if bone growth is blocking your ear canal, for instance. Similarly, if you experience sudden sensorineural hearing loss, the results will depend on how quickly you receive treatment.

For this reason, reporting any symptoms to your physician is so essential. You may then go through a comprehensive hearing screening or evaluation to help figure out your symptoms (or at least eliminate any of the more severe possible impacts).

Protect your hearing

Protecting your hearing is something you need to watch out for especially when you’re pregnant. Getting regular evaluations with us is one of the best ways to do that. Schedule a hearing examination with us right away.

The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.

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