Hearing Loss While You’re Pregnant

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

It’s an amazing and wonderful experience, having a baby. But it can also be kind of… unpleasant, at least at times, and at least in terms of how it can make you feel. There are all sorts of weird side effects, including morning sickness, health hazards, and changes to your body. None of this takes away from the delight of being a parent… but it’s a whole undertaking to get there.

And now there’s another possible small drawback to add to the list: hearing loss.

Most individuals don’t immediately connect hearing loss with pregnancy. But pregnancy-related hearing loss is actually more common than most individuals may think. This means that these symptoms are worth keeping on your radar. Pregnancy-induced hearing loss isn’t something you should 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 subside? Well, it could be, depending on how rapidly you treat it and what the underlying cause is.

Pregnancy-induced hearing loss symptoms

You typically won’t hear about pregnancy-induced 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, it might be beneficial to know what to watch out for.

After all, the symptoms of pregnancy-related hearing loss go beyond turning up the volume on your television. Here are a few of the most common:

  • Tinnitus: A ringing in your ears, called tinnitus, is often associated with pregnancy-induced hearing loss. The rhythm and sound of your tinnitus symptoms can, in some instances, sound like your own heartbeat which is known as “pulsatile tinnitus”. You should consult your physician about your tinnitus, whether hearing loss is also present or not.
  • Headaches and migraines: Regular headaches and migraines can also be more frequent.
  • Everything seems quieter: Of course, this indication of hearing loss is the most obvious. But if it occurs abruptly, it’s something called “sudden sensorineural hearing loss”. You should report any abrupt hearing loss during pregnancy to your provider as soon as you can. In order to prevent sudden hearing loss from becoming permanent, you may need emergency treatment.
  • Dizziness and imbalance: In many cases, pregnancy-induced hearing loss can affect the inner ear (or, in some situations, whatever is affecting the inner ear is also causing hearing loss). Whenever your inner ear isn’t working properly, you might experience problems with balance and dizziness accompanying your hearing loss. Pregnancy-related hearing loss isn’t an exception.
  • You feel a fullness in your ears: Pregnancy-related hearing loss might in some cases be accompanied by a feeling of being plugged or fullness in your ears.

None of these symptoms are fundamentally universal. Depending on the root cause of your pregnancy-induced hearing loss, you might experience some symptoms but not others. Either way, it’s a good plan to talk to your doctor if experience any of these hearing loss symptoms. That’s because these symptoms can in some cases be an indication of some rare but bigger problems.

The causes of pregnancy-induced hearing loss

Is hearing impacted by pregnancy? Well, possibly, sometimes. But other parts of your body are impacted by pregnancy and those parts of your body can then impact your hearing.

So how can pregnancy-induced hearing loss possibly be caused? Here are some of the most common causes:

  • High blood pressure: When you are pregnant, high blood pressure can trigger tinnitus and hearing loss. So telling your doctor about your hearing loss symptoms is really important. High blood pressure can be a symptom of preeclampsia and other severe conditions. These are problems that need to be monitored carefully throughout your pregnancy.
  • Some of the typical things: Whether you’re pregnant or not, typical things like blockages, sinus infections, and ear infections can trigger hearing loss.
  • An iron deficiency: An iron deficiency while you’re pregnant can have a wide variety of repercussions for your health and your child’s health. One of those impacts can in some cases be hearing loss in the person who is pregnant.
  • Hormone and circulatory changes: Your body is doing an exceptional amount of work when you become pregnant. Your hormones and circulatory system are experiencing lots of changes, as an outcome.
  • Bone growth: There’s a rare condition called otosclerosis in which the tiny bones in your ear begin growing more quickly, and this accelerated growth blocks the ability of sound to pass through your ears. Pregnancy induces hormonal changes and other body changes that can cause this kind of bone growth. Otoscerlosis research is still an ongoing process, and scientists are still working out exactly how much it impacts hearing.

In some cases, the cause of your hearing loss simply 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 manage this kind of hearing loss?

Treatment of this form of hearing loss will usually depend on the underlying cause. Will my hearing go back to normal? This is the most common question individuals will have. In most situations, yes, your hearing will go back to normal once your pregnancy is over, or maybe even before.

But it’s also important to get treatment for any symptoms you notice because getting your hearing back isn’t always a given. For instance, if bone growth is obstructing your ear canal, you might require additional treatment. Similarly, if you experience sudden sensorineural hearing loss, the results will depend on how quickly you receive treatment.

For this reason, reporting any symptoms to your physician is so essential. You may then undergo a complete hearing screening or assessment to help figure out your symptoms (or at least rule out any of the more severe possible impacts).

Protect your hearing

Even when you’re pregnant, while you’re juggling so many other things, it’s essential to be certain you pay attention to and protect your hearing. One of the best ways to do that is to remain in touch with us and with your care team. Give us a call today to schedule a hearing assessment.

The content of this blog is the intellectual property of MedPB.com and is reprinted here with permission. The site information is for educational and informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. To receive a hearing aid consultation, call today to schedule an appointment.