For many, pregnancy is an exciting time. However, it certainly comes with a long list of unpleasant symptoms like fatigue, nausea, mood swings, headaches, back pain and more. Another symptom many don’t know is associated with pregnancy is tinnitus (a ringing, roaring or whooshing sound in the ears with no external sound source).
Is Tinnitus During Pregnancy Common?
According to the British Tinnitus Association, tinnitus is the most common ear-related problem associated with pregnancy. It affects about one in three pregnant women, compared to just one in ten non-pregnant women of the same age group. Furthermore, two out of three women who have experienced tinnitus before their pregnancy report worse symptoms after they become pregnant. This tends to be worst between the second and third trimesters, around four to six months.
How Are Tinnitus and Pregnancy Linked?
Sometimes normal hormonal and circulatory changes are to blame for tinnitus symptoms during pregnancy. It can also be due to some other underlying condition.
Pregnant women are at an increased risk of iron-deficiency anemia. Without enough iron in your diet, you can experience a range of symptoms that include tinnitus and hearing loss. Make sure your prenatal vitamin has sufficient iron levels, and buy iron-rich foods like spinach, legumes, turkey, red meat, broccoli and dark chocolate at Akin’s Natural Foods.
High Blood Pressure
The inner ears are highly sensitive to changes in blood flow, which means high blood pressure can cause tinnitus and hearing loss.
High blood pressure during pregnancy may indicate preeclampsia or HELLP syndrome, both of which can escalate into a medical emergency for the mother and baby. While not everyone with high blood pressure experiences tinnitus, it’s important to see a doctor right away if you suspect your blood pressure is high, especially if you are pregnant.
During pregnancy, the immune system becomes suppressed, making you more likely to catch a virus. This can lead to ear infections, which can in turn trigger tinnitus and hearing loss.
Migraines cause sound sensitivity and put you at an increased risk of developing tinnitus. Talk to your doctor if you experience frequent migraines or tinnitus. For more information or to schedule an appointment, call Eastern Oklahoma ENT today.