Of course, pregnancy is awesome and incredible. But in terms of how it can make you feel, it can be rather uncomfortable, at least sometimes. There’s the morning sickness, the difference in your body, the health hazards, and all kinds of strange side effects. Getting there can be a bit of a process, but that doesn’t detract from the happiness of being a parent.
And now we can add hearing loss to that list of disadvantages.
Most individuals don’t instantly connect hearing loss with pregnancy. But pregnancy-induced hearing loss is actually more common than most people may think. This means that these symptoms are worth keeping on your radar. Pregnancy-related hearing loss isn’t something you should be concerned about in most cases. In other cases, the cause is a serious issue and may require immediate medical treatment. Is hearing loss during pregnancy permanent? Well, the answer kind of depends on the root cause, and how rapidly you address it.
Pregnancy-induced hearing loss symptoms
Hearing loss during pregnancy doesn’t show up on a lot of sitcoms or in very many romantic comedies. It’s not nearly as cinematic as something like morning sickness. This means that, generally speaking, individuals might be less likely to expect pregnancy-related hearing loss. So, it may be useful to know what to look out for.
Pregnancy-related hearing loss goes beyond just turning up the volume on your devices, after all. The most prevalent symptoms include the following:
- Headaches and migraines: You might also experience an increase in the number of headaches or migraines you have regularly.
- You feel a fullness in your ears: Pregnancy-related hearing loss may in some cases be accompanied by a feeling of being plugged or fullness in your ears.
- Tinnitus: A ringing in your ears, known as tinnitus, is frequently 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”. Whether this tinnitus exists by itself or with hearing loss, it’s worth talking to your doctor about what you’re feeling.
- Dizziness and imbalance: In many instances, pregnancy-related hearing loss can affect the inner ear (or, in some situations, whatever is impacting the inner ear is also causing hearing loss). Your hearing loss might be accompanied by dizziness and balance problems if you have an issue with your inner ear. Pregnancy-related hearing loss isn’t an exception.
- Everything seems quieter: Certainly, this is probably the most apparent sign of hearing loss. But a condition called “sudden sensorineural hearing loss” happens suddenly and can be more noticeable. You need to report any sudden hearing loss during pregnancy to your physician as soon as possible. In order to stop sudden hearing loss from becoming permanent, you might require emergency treatment.
None of these symptoms are inevitably universal. You will probably experience some symptoms and not others depending on the underlying 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 idea to talk to your provider. That’s because these symptoms can sometimes be a sign of some rare but bigger problems.
The causes of pregnancy-induced hearing loss
Does being pregnant impact hearing? Well, perhaps, in some cases. But other parts of your body are affected by pregnancy and those parts of your body can then 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, typical things like blockages, sinus infections, and ear infections can cause hearing loss.
- Bone growth: There’s a rare affliction known as otosclerosis where 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. It should be mentioned that research into otosclerosis during pregnancy, and exactly how much it impacts hearing, is ongoing.
- Hormone and circulatory changes: Your body is performing an exceptional amount of work when you get pregnant. As a consequence, all kinds of changes are happening, both in terms of your hormones and your circulatory system.
- An iron deficiency: An iron deficiency while you’re pregnant can have a wide variety of consequences for your health and your child’s health. Hearing loss can sometimes be one of those impacts for the pregnant person.
- High blood pressure: Hearing loss and tinnitus can be the outcome of high blood pressure which can be brought about by pregnancy. So telling your physician about your hearing loss symptoms is very important. High blood pressure can be a symptom of preeclampsia and other serious ailments. These are problems that should be watched carefully throughout your pregnancy.
In some cases, the cause of your hearing loss may be hard to identify. The important thing will be to be mindful of your symptoms and be in regular communication with your doctor.
How is this form of hearing loss treated?
The root cause of this kind of hearing loss will largely determine the course of treatment. The question that most individuals have is: will my hearing loss clear up? In most instances, yes, your hearing will go back to normal once you’re no longer pregnant, or possibly even before.
However, this is not always the default, so it’s important to be aggressive when you observe symptoms. You may require extra treatment if bone growth is obstructing your ear canal, for example. Similarly, if you suffer from abrupt sensorineural hearing loss, the results will depend on how fast you receive treatment.
That’s why it’s so important to be sure you report these symptoms to your doctor. The next step will probably be a comprehensive hearing assessment to eliminate 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 important to be certain 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 test with us right away.