It’s an awesome and incredible 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 sorts of peculiar side effects, like morning sickness, health challenges, and changes to your body. Getting there can be a bit of a process, but that doesn’t detract from the happiness of being a parent.
And now there’s another possible small disadvantage to add to the list: hearing loss.
Most people don’t immediately connect hearing loss with pregnancy. So it may be surprising to learn that pregnancy-related hearing loss is fairly prevalent. This means that these symptoms are worth watching out for. Pregnancy-related hearing loss isn’t something you need to be concerned about in most cases. Unfortunately, sometimes the cause is a more serious problem that could call for swift medical treatment. Will pregnancy-related hearing loss clear up? Well, it could be, depending on how rapidly you address it and what the root cause is.
What are the symptoms of pregnancy-induced hearing loss?
You usually won’t hear about pregnancy-related hearing loss in pop-culture. 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 simply cranking the volume up on your devices, after all. Here are a few of the most common:
- Everything seems quieter: Of course, this indication of hearing loss is the most obvious. But a condition called “sudden sensorineural hearing loss” comes on abruptly and can be more obvious. Any type of abrupt hearing loss during pregnancy should be conveyed to your healthcare team as soon as you can. In order to prevent sudden hearing loss from becoming permanent, you may need emergency treatment.
- Headaches and migraines: Regular headaches and migraines can also be more consistent.
- 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 circumstances, sound like your own heartbeat which is called “pulsatile tinnitus”. Whether this tinnitus exists on its own or with hearing loss, it’s worth consulting your doctor about what you’re feeling.
- A plugged feeling in your ears: A feeling of fullness in the ears frequently accompanies pregnancy-related hearing loss.
- Dizziness and imbalance: In many instances, pregnancy-induced hearing loss can impact the inner ear (or, in some situations, whatever is impacting the inner ear is also causing hearing loss). Whenever your inner ear is not working properly, you might experience problems with balance and dizziness accompanying your hearing loss. Pregnancy-related hearing loss is no exception.
These aren’t universal symptoms. Depending on the root cause of your pregnancy-related hearing loss, you may experience some symptoms but maybe not others. 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 provider. Because these symptoms could be an indication of a more serious problem.
The causes of pregnancy-induced hearing loss
Does being pregnant impact hearing? Well, possibly, in some cases. But being pregnant might also affect other parts of your body that will then go on to affect your hearing.
So, what are the possible causes of pregnancy-related hearing loss? Here are some of the most common causes:
- Some of the typical things: Whether you’re pregnant or not, common things like blockages, sinus infections, and ear infections can cause hearing loss.
- Bone growth: There’s a rare affliction called otosclerosis where the tiny bones in your ear begin growing more rapidly, and this accelerated growth prevents sound from passing through your ears. Pregnancy causes hormonal changes and other body changes that can lead to this kind of bone growth. Otoscerlosis research is still a continuing process, and scientists are still figuring out exactly how much it affects hearing.
- Changes in your circulatory system (and hormones): Your body is doing an exceptional amount of work when you get pregnant. Your hormones and circulatory system are going through lots of changes, as a result.
- High blood pressure: When you are pregnant, high blood pressure can cause tinnitus and hearing loss. And this is, in part, why it’s really important to tell your doctor about your hearing loss. High blood pressure can be a symptom of preeclampsia and other severe ailments. Throughout pregnancy, these issues should be monitored.
- 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.
In some cases, the cause of your hearing loss simply won’t be all that well comprehended. The essential thing will be to keep an eye on your symptoms and be in frequent communication with your doctor.
How is this type of hearing loss treated?
Treatment of this type of hearing loss will usually depend on the underlying cause. The question that many individuals have is: will my hearing return to normal? Once your pregnancy is over, your hearing should return to normal, or maybe even sooner.
But it’s also essential to get treatment for any symptoms you detect because getting your hearing back isn’t always a given. You may require extra treatment if bone growth is blocking your ear canal, for instance. The results 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 doctor is so essential. The next step will probably be a complete hearing evaluation to rule out any more severe conditions and try to diagnose the underlying cause.
Protect your hearing
Even when you’re pregnant, while you’re juggling so many other things, it’s essential to be certain you watch out for and protect your hearing. Getting regular evaluations with us is one of the best ways to do that. Schedule a hearing assessment with us as soon as possible.