It’s an amazing and incredible experience, having a child. But when it comes to how it can make you feel, it can be rather uncomfortable, at least sometimes. There are all sorts of weird side effects, including morning sickness, health challenges, and changes to your body. None of this takes away from the joy of being a parent… but it’s a whole undertaking to get there.
And now we can add hearing loss to that list of drawbacks.
Most people don’t instantly associate hearing loss with pregnancy. But pregnancy-associated hearing loss is actually more prevalent than most people may think. It’s not a bad plan to keep an eye out for these symptoms. Pregnancy-induced hearing loss isn’t something you need to be concerned about in most cases. Unfortunately, sometimes the cause is a more serious issue that could call for swift medical attention. Will pregnancy-related hearing loss go away? Well, it could be, depending on how fast you address it and what the root cause is.
Pregnancy-induced hearing loss symptoms
Hearing loss during pregnancy doesn’t show up on many sitcoms or in many romantic comedies. Things like morning sickness are a lot more cinematic. People usually don’t expect pregnancy-related hearing loss, because of this. So knowing what to watch out for can be helpful.
Pregnancy-related hearing loss goes beyond just cranking the volume up on your devices, after all. The most common symptoms include the following:
- You feel a fullness in your ears: A feeling of fullness in the ears frequently accompanies pregnancy-related hearing loss.
- Dizziness and imbalance: The inner ear can be impacted by pregnancy-induced hearing loss, or sometimes a pre-existing issue with the inner ear can be the cause of that 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: Certainly, this is probably the most evident indication of hearing loss. But if it occurs suddenly, it’s something known as “sudden sensorineural hearing loss”. You should report any sudden hearing loss during pregnancy to your physician as soon as possible. In order to prevent sudden hearing loss from becoming permanent, you may require emergency treatment.
- Headaches and migraines: You might also have an increase in the number of headaches or migraines you get on a regular basis.
- Tinnitus: Pregnancy-related hearing loss is frequently associated with tinnitus, or a ringing or buzzing in the ears. 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 on its own or with hearing loss, it’s worth talking to your doctor about what you’re feeling.
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 idea to consult your doctor if experience any of these hearing loss symptoms. Because these symptoms might be an indication of a more serious issue.
What causes pregnancy-related hearing loss?
Is hearing affected by pregnancy? Well, maybe, in some cases. But other parts of your body are impacted by pregnancy and those parts of your body can then affect your hearing.
So, what are the potential causes of pregnancy-induced hearing loss? Here are several of the most common causes:
- 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.
- Some of the typical things: If you develop an ear infection, a sinus infection, or any type of blockage in your ear (like earwax), this can cause hearing loss whether you’re pregnant or not.
- An iron deficiency: Your health, and the health of your child, can both be impacted 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.
- Bone growth: There’s a rare affliction known as otosclerosis in which the tiny bones in your ear start growing more rapidly, and this accelerated growth blocks the ability of sound to pass through your ears. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes and other body changes that can lead to this type of bone growth. Otoscerlosis research is still an ongoing process, and scientists are still working out just how much it affects hearing.
- High blood pressure: Hearing loss and tinnitus can be the result of high blood pressure which can be brought about by pregnancy. And this is, in part, why it’s very important to tell your doctor about your hearing loss. High blood pressure can be a symptom of preeclampsia and other serious conditions. Throughout pregnancy, these problems should be monitored.
In some cases, the cause of your hearing loss may be hard to identify. Regularly consulting your physician and keeping an eye on your symptoms is the key here.
How do you manage this type of hearing loss?
The root cause of this form of hearing loss will largely determine the course of treatment. The question that most people have is: will my hearing return to normal? Once your pregnancy is over, your hearing should go back to normal, or maybe even sooner.
However, this is not always the situation, so it’s important to be proactive when you detect symptoms. You may require extra treatment if bone growth is blocking your ear canal, for instance. The outcome will also depend on how fast you get treatment when it comes to abrupt sensorineural hearing loss.
For this reason, reporting any symptoms to your physician is so essential. The next step will probably be a complete hearing assessment to eliminate any more severe conditions and try to diagnose the underlying cause.
Protect your hearing
Protecting 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.