It’s an amazing and incredible experience, having a baby. But it can also be kind of… uncomfortable, at least at times, and at least in terms of how it can make you feel. There’s the morning sickness, the changes to your body, the health hazards, and all sorts of weird side effects. Getting there can be somewhat of a process, but that doesn’t detract from the joy of being a parent.
And now we can add hearing loss to that list of drawbacks.
Most people don’t instantly connect hearing loss with pregnancy. So it may be surprising to learn that pregnancy-related hearing loss is somewhat common. It’s not a bad plan to keep an eye out for these symptoms. In some cases, the cause of pregnancy-induced hearing loss is innocuous and insignificant. Unfortunately, sometimes the cause is a more serious issue that could require swift medical attention. Will pregnancy-related hearing loss go away? Well, it could be, depending on how rapidly you address it and what the underlying cause is.
Pregnancy-related hearing loss symptoms
You typically won’t hear about pregnancy-related hearing loss in pop-culture. It’s not nearly as cinematic as things like morning sickness. This means that, generally, individuals 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 are about more than turning up the volume on your television. Here are a few of the most common:
- You feel plugged in your ears: A feeling of fullness in the ears frequently accompanies pregnancy-induced hearing loss.
- Tinnitus: Pregnancy-related hearing loss is frequently linked to tinnitus, or a ringing or buzzing in the ears. The rhythm and sound of your tinnitus symptoms can, in some instances, sound like your own heartbeat which is called “pulsatile tinnitus”. You should speak with your doctor about your tinnitus, whether hearing loss is also present or not.
- Dizziness and imbalance: In many instances, pregnancy-induced hearing loss can affect the inner ear (or, in some situations, whatever is impacting the inner ear is also causing hearing loss). Whenever your inner ear isn’t functioning properly, you may have issues with balance and dizziness accompanying your hearing loss. And that also goes for pregnancy-induced hearing loss.
- Headaches and migraines: Regular headaches and migraines can also be more frequent.
- Everything seems quieter: Sure, this is probably the most apparent indication of hearing loss. But if it happens all of a sudden, it’s something called “sudden sensorineural hearing loss”. You need to report any abrupt hearing loss during pregnancy to your doctor as soon as possible. You might require emergency treatment to stop the sudden hearing loss from becoming irreversible.
None of these symptoms are fundamentally universal. Depending on the root cause of your pregnancy-related hearing loss, you may experience some symptoms but not others. In any case, 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 may be an indication of a more serious concern.
The causes of pregnancy-induced hearing loss
Is hearing affected by pregnancy? Well, maybe, in some cases. But other parts of your body are affected by pregnancy and those parts of your body can then impact your hearing.
So how can pregnancy-induced 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, common things like blockages, sinus infections, and ear infections can cause hearing loss.
- An iron deficiency: An iron deficiency while you’re pregnant can have a wide variety of repercussions for your health and your baby’s health. Hearing loss can sometimes be one of those effects for the pregnant person.
- Hormone and circulatory changes: Your body is doing an extraordinary amount of work when you become pregnant. Your hormones and circulatory system are going through lots of changes, as an outcome.
- Bone growth: The ability for sound to pass through your ears can be obstructed by a condition called otosclerosis which causes the tiny bones in your ear to grow too quickly. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes and other body changes that can cause this type of bone growth. It should be noted that research into otosclerosis during pregnancy, and just how much it affects hearing, is continuing.
- 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 really important to tell your doctor about your hearing loss. Serious ailments, including preeclampsia, can trigger high blood pressure. These are problems that need to be monitored carefully throughout your pregnancy.
In some instances, the cause of your hearing loss just won’t be all that well comprehended. Regularly talking to your physician and keeping an eye on your symptoms is the key here.
How do you treat this kind of hearing loss?
Treatment of this form of hearing loss will likely depend on the root cause. Will my hearing go back to normal? This is the most common question individuals will have. In most instances, yes, your hearing will go back to normal once your pregnancy is over, or maybe even before.
However, this isn’t always the situation, so it’s essential to be aggressive when you detect symptoms. You might require extra treatment if bone growth is obstructing your ear canal, for instance. The outcome will also depend on how fast you get treatment in the case of sudden sensorineural hearing loss.
For this reason, reporting any symptoms to your doctor is so essential. The next step will most likely be a thorough hearing evaluation to eliminate any more serious conditions and try to diagnose the root cause.
Protect your hearing
Even when you’re pregnant, while you’re managing so many other things, it’s essential to make sure you pay attention to and safeguard your hearing. Getting regular evaluations with us is one of the best ways to do that. Schedule a hearing examination with us as soon as possible.