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

Of course, 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 peculiar side effects, including morning sickness, health hazards, and changes to your body. Getting there can be a bit of a process, but that doesn’t take anything away from the joy of being a parent.

And now we can add hearing loss to that list of drawbacks.

Most individuals don’t instantly associate hearing loss with pregnancy. So it might be surprising to learn that pregnancy-related hearing loss is somewhat prevalent. It’s not a bad idea to keep an eye out for these symptoms. Pregnancy-induced hearing loss isn’t something you need to be worried about in most cases. Sadly, sometimes the cause is a more serious problem that could call for swift medical attention. Is hearing loss during pregnancy permanent? Well, the answer kind of depends on the underlying cause, and how rapidly you address it.

Pregnancy-induced hearing loss symptoms

You generally won’t hear about pregnancy-induced 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 might be useful to know what to watch out for.

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

  • Dizziness and imbalance: The inner ear can be impacted by pregnancy-induced hearing loss, or sometimes a pre-existing problem with the inner ear can be the cause of that hearing loss. Your hearing loss may be accompanied by dizziness and balance problems if you have an issue with your inner ear. Pregnancy-related hearing loss is no exception.
  • Everything seems quieter: Certainly, this is probably the most evident indication of hearing loss. But a condition called “sudden sensorineural hearing loss” occurs all of a sudden and can be more noticeable. Any type of sudden hearing loss during pregnancy should be reported to your healthcare team as soon as you can. You may require emergency treatment to stop the sudden hearing loss from becoming irreversible.
  • A feeling of fullness in your ears: A feeling of fullness in the ears often accompanies pregnancy-induced hearing loss.
  • Tinnitus: Pregnancy-related hearing loss is frequently linked to tinnitus, or a ringing or buzzing in the ears. In some situations, this tinnitus may even sound like or take on the rhythm of your own heartbeat (this is known as pulsatile tinnitus). Whether this tinnitus exists on its own or with hearing loss, it’s worth consulting your doctor about what you’re feeling.
  • Headaches and migraines: You may also have an increase in the number of headaches or migraines you get regularly.

These aren’t universal symptoms. You will most likely experience some symptoms and not others depending on the root cause of your pregnancy-related hearing loss. Either way, it’s a good plan to talk to your doctor if experience any of these hearing loss symptoms. Because these symptoms may be an indication of a more serious issue.

What causes pregnancy-induced hearing loss?

Is hearing affected by pregnancy? In some cases, maybe. 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 likely causes of pregnancy-induced hearing loss? Here are some of the most prevalent causes:

  • Some of the typical things: Whether you’re pregnant or not, typical things like blockages, sinus infections, and ear infections can trigger hearing loss.
  • High blood pressure: When you’re pregnant, high blood pressure can cause tinnitus and hearing loss. And this is, to some extent, why it’s extremely important to tell your doctor about your hearing loss. Serious conditions, including preeclampsia, can cause high blood pressure. These are problems that need to be tracked carefully throughout your pregnancy.
  • Changes in your circulatory system (and hormones): When you become pregnant, your body is doing an exceptional amount of work. Your hormones and circulatory system are going through lots of changes, as a result.
  • An iron deficiency: Your health, and the health of your baby, can both be affected in a wide variety of ways by an iron deficiency. One of those impacts can sometimes be hearing loss in the person who is pregnant.
  • Bone growth: The ability for sound to pass through your ears can be blocked by a disorder called otosclerosis which causes the tiny bones in your ear to grow too fast. In pregnant women, this faster bone growth may be caused by alterations in your hormones or other changes in your body. Otoscerlosis research is still an ongoing process, and scientists are still working out just how much it affects hearing.

Sometimes, the cause of your hearing loss could be difficult to determine. Routinely consulting your doctor and keeping an eye on your symptoms is the key here.

How is this kind of hearing loss managed?

The underlying cause of this type of hearing loss will generally determine the course of treatment. Will my hearing go back to normal? This is the most common question people will have. In most instances, yes, your hearing will return to normal once your pregnancy is over, or possibly even before.

However, this isn’t always the default, so it’s essential to be proactive when you detect symptoms. For instance, if bone growth is blocking your ear canal, you might require additional treatment. Likewise, if you experience sudden sensorineural hearing loss, the outcome will depend on how rapidly you receive treatment.

That’s why it’s so essential to make sure you report these symptoms to your provider. You may then undergo a comprehensive hearing screening or assessment to help figure out your symptoms (or at least eliminate any of the more dangerous possible impacts).

Protect your hearing

Even when you’re pregnant, while you’re juggling so many other things, it’s important to make sure you watch out for 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.

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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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