Hearing Solutions - Yukon, OK

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

It’s an amazing and wonderful experience, having a child. But it can also be kind of… unpleasant, at least sometimes, and at least in terms of how it can make you feel. There are all kinds of weird side effects, including morning sickness, health challenges, and changes to your body. None of this detracts from the happiness of being a parent… but it’s a whole undertaking 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. So it may be surprising to learn that pregnancy-related hearing loss is rather common. This means that these symptoms are worth watching out for. Pregnancy-related hearing loss isn’t something you need to be worried about in most cases. In other cases, the cause is a serious concern and could require immediate medical treatment. Will pregnancy-related hearing loss go away? Well, it could be, depending on how rapidly you treat it and what the root cause is.

Pregnancy-induced hearing loss symptoms

You usually won’t hear about pregnancy-induced hearing loss in pop-culture. Things like morning sickness are much more cinematic. This means that, generally, people might be less likely to anticipate 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 the volume up on your television. The most common symptoms include the following:

  • Headaches and migraines: You may also experience an increase in the number of headaches or migraines you have on a regular basis.
  • You feel plugged in your ears: A feeling of fullness in the ears frequently accompanies pregnancy-induced hearing loss.
  • Tinnitus: A ringing in your ears, called tinnitus, is often linked to pregnancy-related hearing loss. The rhythm and sound of your tinnitus symptoms can, in some cases, 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.
  • Dizziness and imbalance: In many cases, pregnancy-induced hearing loss can affect the inner ear (or, in some cases, whatever is affecting the inner ear is also causing hearing loss). Your hearing loss may be accompanied by dizziness and balance issues if you have a problem with your inner ear. And that also goes for pregnancy-related hearing loss.
  • Everything seems quieter: Sure, this is probably the most apparent indication of hearing loss. But a condition called “sudden sensorineural hearing loss” happens suddenly and can be more obvious. You need to convey any abrupt hearing loss during pregnancy to your provider as soon as you can. You may require emergency treatment to stop the sudden hearing loss from becoming permanent.

None of these symptoms are inevitably universal. Depending on the root cause of your pregnancy-related hearing loss, you may experience some symptoms but maybe not others. Either way, it’s a good idea to contact your doctor if experience any of these hearing loss symptoms. That’s because these symptoms can in some cases be an indication of some rare but bigger issues.

The causes of pregnancy-induced hearing loss

Is hearing affected by pregnancy? Well, perhaps, sometimes. But being pregnant might also impact other parts of your body that will then go on to affect your hearing.

So, what are the possible causes of pregnancy-induced hearing loss? Well, the causes differ… but some of the most prevalent include:

  • An iron deficiency: Your health, and the health of your baby, can both be impacted in a wide variety of ways by an iron deficiency. Hearing loss can sometimes be one of those impacts for the pregnant woman.
  • Some of the typical things: Whether you’re pregnant or not, typical things like obstructions, sinus infections, and ear infections can trigger hearing loss.
  • High blood pressure: While you’re pregnant, high blood pressure can trigger tinnitus and hearing loss. And this is, to some extent, why it’s very important to tell your doctor about your hearing loss. Serious ailments, including preeclampsia, can trigger high blood pressure. These are issues that should be monitored carefully throughout your pregnancy.
  • Bone growth: The ability for sound to pass through your ears can be obstructed by an ailment called otosclerosis which causes the tiny bones in your ear to grow too fast. In pregnant women, this quicker bone growth might be caused by alterations in your hormones or other changes in your body. Otoscerlosis research is still a continuing process, and scientists are still working out exactly how much it affects hearing.
  • Changes in your circulatory system (and hormones): Your body is doing an extraordinary amount of work when you become pregnant. As a consequence, all sorts of changes are happening, both in terms of your hormones and your circulatory system.

Sometimes, the cause of your hearing loss could be hard to determine. Regularly consulting your physician and keeping track of your symptoms is the key here.

How is this form of hearing loss managed?

Treatment of this kind of hearing loss will likely depend on the root cause. Will my hearing return to normal? This is the most prevalent question individuals will have. Once your pregnancy has ended, your hearing should return to normal, or possibly even sooner.

However, this isn’t always the default, so it’s essential to be proactive when you detect symptoms. For example, if bone growth is blocking your ear canal, you could require additional treatment. Likewise, if you experience sudden sensorineural hearing loss, the outcome will depend on how rapidly you receive treatment.

That’s why it’s so important to make sure you report these symptoms to your provider. The next step will most likely be a complete hearing assessment to eliminate any more serious conditions and try to diagnose the root cause.

Protect your hearing

Even when you’re pregnant, while you’re juggling so many other things, it’s important to be certain you watch out for and safeguard 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 evaluation.

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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.