It’s an amazing and wonderful experience, having a baby. 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 difference in your body, the health challenges, and all kinds of weird side effects. 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 drawbacks.
Most individuals don’t instantly connect hearing loss with pregnancy. But pregnancy-related hearing loss is actually more common than most people might presume. This means that these symptoms are worth watching out for. In some cases, the source of pregnancy-associated hearing loss is harmless and insignificant. In other cases, the cause is a serious issue and might call for immediate medical attention. Will pregnancy-related hearing loss go away? Well, the answer kind of depends on the underlying cause, and how quickly you address it.
Pregnancy-related hearing loss symptoms
You usually won’t hear about pregnancy-related hearing loss in pop-culture. It’s not nearly as cinematic as something like morning sickness. People typically don’t expect pregnancy-related hearing loss, because of this. So, it may be useful to know what to watch out for.
After all, the symptoms of pregnancy-related hearing loss are about more than turning up the volume on your television. The most prevalent symptoms include the following:
- Headaches and migraines: Regular headaches and migraines can also be more consistent.
- Everything seems quieter: Of course, this indication of hearing loss is the most obvious. But if it comes on suddenly, it’s something called “sudden sensorineural hearing loss”. You need to convey any abrupt hearing loss during pregnancy to your provider as soon as possible. In order to prevent sudden hearing loss from becoming irreversible, you may need emergency treatment.
- A feeling of fullness in your ears: Pregnancy-induced hearing loss might in some cases be accompanied by a feeling of stuffiness or fullness in your ears.
- Tinnitus: A ringing in your ears, called tinnitus, is often associated with pregnancy-related hearing loss. In some situations, this tinnitus might even sound like or take on the rhythm of your own heartbeat (this is known as pulsatile tinnitus). You should talk to your physician about your tinnitus, whether hearing loss is also present or not.
- Dizziness and imbalance: In many cases, pregnancy-related hearing loss can impact the inner ear (or, in some instances, whatever is affecting the inner ear is also causing hearing loss). Your hearing loss might be accompanied by dizziness and balance issues if you have a problem with your inner ear. Pregnancy-related hearing loss is no exception.
None of these symptoms are necessarily universal. You will probably experience some symptoms and not others depending on the root cause of your pregnancy-induced hearing loss. In any event, if you experience hearing loss or any of the related symptoms while you are pregnant, it’s generally a good plan to talk to your provider. Because these symptoms might be an indication of a more serious problem.
The causes of pregnancy-induced hearing loss
Does being pregnant impact hearing? Sometimes, possibly. But being pregnant may also affect other parts of your body that will then go on to impact your hearing.
So, what are the possible causes of pregnancy-related hearing loss? Here are several of the most prevalent causes:
- Changes in your circulatory system (and hormones): Your body is performing an exceptional amount of work when you get pregnant. Your hormones and circulatory system are going through lots of changes, as an outcome.
- 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: When you are pregnant, high blood pressure can trigger tinnitus and hearing loss. So telling your physician about your hearing loss symptoms is very important. High blood pressure can be a symptom of preeclampsia and other severe conditions. Throughout pregnancy, these issues should be tracked.
- 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 figuring out exactly how much it affects hearing.
- An iron deficiency: An iron deficiency while you’re pregnant can have a wide variety of consequences for your health and your baby’s health. One of those impacts can sometimes be hearing loss in the person who is pregnant.
In some cases, the cause of your hearing loss may be hard to identify. Regularly consulting your physician and keeping track of your symptoms is the key here.
How is this kind of hearing loss managed?
Treatment of this kind of hearing loss will likely depend on the underlying cause. Will my hearing go back to normal? This is the most prevalent question people will have. In most cases, yes, your hearing will return to normal once your pregnancy is over, 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. For instance, if bone growth is blocking your ear canal, you might require additional treatment. Similarly, if you suffer from sudden sensorineural hearing loss, the results will depend on how fast you receive treatment.
For this reason, reporting any symptoms to your physician is so important. The next step will most likely be a thorough hearing assessment to rule out any more serious conditions and try to diagnose the underlying 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 schedule a hearing evaluation.