Audiology & Hearing Care of SWFL - Bonita Springs, FL

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

Sure, pregnancy is amazing 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 kinds of peculiar side effects, including morning sickness, health challenges, 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 we can add hearing loss to that list of disadvantages.

Most individuals don’t instantly associate hearing loss with pregnancy. But pregnancy-associated hearing loss is actually more prevalent than most individuals may presume. It’s not a bad idea to keep an eye out for these symptoms. Pregnancy-induced hearing loss isn’t something you should be worried about in most cases. In other cases, the cause is a serious issue and could require immediate medical attention. Is hearing loss during pregnancy irreversible? Well, it could be, depending on how quickly you address it and what the root cause is.

Pregnancy-related hearing loss symptoms

You typically 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, it may be helpful to know what to watch out for.

Pregnancy-related hearing loss is about more than simply cranking up the volume on your devices, after all. The most common symptoms include the following:

  • A plugged feeling in your ears: Pregnancy-related hearing loss might sometimes be accompanied by a feeling of stuffiness or fullness in your ears.
  • Dizziness and imbalance: In many cases, pregnancy-related hearing loss can impact the inner ear (or, in some instances, whatever is affecting the inner ear is also causing hearing loss). Whenever your inner ear is not working correctly, you might experience problems with balance and dizziness accompanying your hearing loss. Pregnancy-related hearing loss is no exception.
  • Everything seems quieter: Of course, this indication of hearing loss is the most obvious. But a condition called “sudden sensorineural hearing loss” occurs suddenly and can be more obvious. Any form of abrupt hearing loss during pregnancy should be reported to your healthcare team as soon as possible. You may need emergency treatment to stop the sudden hearing loss from becoming permanent.
  • Headaches and migraines: You might also have an increase in the number of headaches or migraines you get on a regular basis.
  • Tinnitus: Pregnancy-related hearing loss is frequently associated with tinnitus, or a ringing or buzzing in the ears. In some cases, this tinnitus might even sound like or take on the rhythm of your own heartbeat (this is called pulsatile tinnitus). Whether this tinnitus exists by itself or with hearing loss, it’s worth consulting your doctor about what you’re feeling.

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 case, 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 bigger issues.

The causes of pregnancy-related hearing loss

Is hearing affected by pregnancy? Well, maybe, sometimes. But being pregnant might also impact 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? Well, the causes vary… but some of the most prevalent include:

  • An iron deficiency: Your health, and the health of your child, can both be affected in lots of ways by an iron deficiency. Hearing loss can sometimes be one of those effects for the pregnant person.
  • Some of the typical things: Whether you’re pregnant or not, common things like blockages, sinus infections, and ear infections can cause hearing loss.
  • High blood pressure: When you’re pregnant, high blood pressure can cause tinnitus and hearing loss. So telling your physician about your hearing loss symptoms is really important. Serious ailments, including preeclampsia, can cause high blood pressure. These are problems that need to be tracked carefully throughout your pregnancy.
  • Bone growth: There’s a rare affliction called otosclerosis in which the tiny bones in your ear start growing more quickly, and this accelerated growth blocks the ability of sound to pass through your ears. In pregnant individuals, this faster bone growth may be caused by alterations in your hormones or other changes in your body. 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. Your hormones and circulatory system are experiencing lots of changes, as an outcome.

In some instances, the cause of your hearing loss simply won’t be all that well comprehended. The important thing will be to be mindful of your symptoms and be in frequent communication with your provider.

How do you manage this type of hearing loss?

Treatment of this form of hearing loss will usually depend on the root cause. The question that many individuals have is: will my hearing return to normal? Once your pregnancy is over, your hearing should go back to normal, or possibly even sooner.

However, this isn’t always the situation, so it’s important to be proactive when you detect symptoms. For instance, if bone growth is obstructing your ear canal, you could require additional treatment. The results will also depend on how fast you get treatment in the case of sudden sensorineural hearing loss.

That’s why it’s so essential to be certain that you report these symptoms to your provider. The next step will probably be a thorough hearing evaluation to eliminate any more serious conditions and try to diagnose the underlying cause.

Protect your hearing

Protecting your hearing is something you should watch out for especially when you’re pregnant. One of the best ways to do that is to stay in touch with us and with your care team. Give us a call today to schedule a hearing assessment.

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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.