Pregnant woman who's suffering from sudden hearing loss having her blood pressure checked

Sure, pregnancy is awesome and wonderful. But it can also be sort of… uncomfortable, at least at times, and at least when it involves how it can make you feel. There are all sorts of weird side effects, including morning sickness, health hazards, and changes to your body. Getting there can be somewhat of a process, but that doesn’t take anything away from the joy of being a parent.

And now there’s another potential little drawback to add to the list: hearing loss.

Most people don’t instantly connect hearing loss with pregnancy. So it may be a surprise to learn that pregnancy-related hearing loss is somewhat prevalent. It’s not a bad plan to keep an eye out for these symptoms. In some cases, the source of pregnancy-associated hearing loss is innocuous and insignificant. Sadly, sometimes the cause is a more serious issue that could call for swift medical attention. Will pregnancy-related hearing loss go away? Well, the answer kind of depends on the underlying cause, and how rapidly you treat it.

Pregnancy-induced hearing loss symptoms

Hearing loss during pregnancy doesn’t appear on a lot of sitcoms or in many romantic comedies. Things like morning sickness are much more cinematic. People generally don’t expect pregnancy-related hearing loss, because of this. So, it might be helpful to know what to watch out for.

Pregnancy-related hearing loss is about more than simply cranking the volume up on your devices, after all. Here are a few of the most common:

  • Everything seems quieter: Certainly, this is probably the most evident sign of hearing loss. But if it happens all of a sudden, it’s something known as “sudden sensorineural hearing loss”. You should convey any abrupt hearing loss during pregnancy to your physician as soon as possible. You might need emergency treatment to prevent the sudden hearing loss from becoming permanent.
  • Tinnitus: Pregnancy-related hearing loss is often associated with tinnitus, or a ringing or buzzing in the ears. 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 consulting your care team about what you’re feeling.
  • Dizziness and imbalance: In many cases, pregnancy-induced hearing loss can impact the inner ear (or, in some situations, whatever is affecting the inner ear is also causing hearing loss). Whenever your inner ear is not working properly, you may have problems with balance and dizziness with your hearing loss. And that also goes for pregnancy-related hearing loss.
  • Headaches and migraines: You may also have an increase in the number of headaches or migraines you have regularly.
  • A plugged feeling in your ears: Pregnancy-induced hearing loss may in some cases be accompanied by a feeling of stuffiness or fullness in your ears.

None of these symptoms are fundamentally universal. You will probably experience some symptoms and not others depending on the underlying cause of your pregnancy-related hearing loss. In any event, if you experience hearing loss or any of the related symptoms while you are pregnant, it’s typically a good idea to talk to your doctor. That’s because these symptoms can sometimes be an indication of some rare but larger problems.

The causes of pregnancy-induced hearing loss

Does being pregnant impact hearing? Sometimes, maybe. But being pregnant might also impact 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 common causes:

  • Some of the typical things: Whether you’re pregnant or not, typical things like obstructions, sinus infections, and ear infections can cause hearing loss.
  • High blood pressure: Hearing loss and tinnitus can be the result of high blood pressure which can be caused 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 severe ailments. These are issues that should be monitored carefully throughout your pregnancy.
  • Bone growth: The ability for sound to pass through your ears can be obstructed by an ailment called otosclerosis which causes the tiny bones in your ear to grow too quickly. Pregnancy produces hormonal changes and other body changes that can cause this kind of bone growth. Otoscerlosis research is still a continuing process, and scientists are still working out exactly how much it affects hearing.
  • Changes in your circulatory system (and hormones): When you get pregnant, your body is doing an exceptional amount of work. As a result, all sorts of changes are afoot, 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 baby’s health. Hearing loss can sometimes be one of those impacts for the pregnant woman.

In some cases, the cause of your hearing loss could be difficult to identify. Regularly consulting your doctor and keeping an eye on your symptoms is the key here.

How is this type of hearing loss managed?

The root cause of this form of hearing loss will largely dictate the course of treatment. The question that most individuals have is: will my hearing return to normal? In most cases, 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 important to be aggressive when you detect symptoms. For instance, if bone growth is blocking your ear canal, you could require additional treatment. Similarly, if you experience abrupt sensorineural hearing loss, the outcome will depend on how fast you receive treatment.

For this reason, reporting any symptoms to your physician is so essential. The next step will probably be a comprehensive hearing evaluation to rule out any more severe conditions and try to diagnose the root cause.

Protect your hearing

Protecting your hearing is something you should watch out for particularly when you’re pregnant. One of the best ways to do that is to remain in touch with us and with your care team. Schedule a hearing test with us as soon as possible.

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The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive personalized advice or treatment, schedule an appointment.
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