Choosing Better Medical Care
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Choosing Better Medical Care

Do you remember the last time you received truly excellent medical care? Although it isn't always a common thing to find, you can have better luck by doing what you can to research different doctors and medical clinics. I wanted to share this website with the world, since this is what I have been doing for years. It has been a really excellent journey to find different ways to keep great care of myself, and I know that it is all due to the help of my great doctor. Read more about self care on this blog, so that you don't have to settle for anything less than the best.


Choosing Better Medical Care

Pregnancy And Your Ears

Chris Burke

Much is written for the pregnant woman, guiding her through the gestational period and prepping her for what to expect as the pregnancy progresses, labor and delivery, and the postpartum period. One topic that isn't discussed much is pregnancy and hearing. Here is what you need to know.

There are several different hearing issues that can affect a pregnant woman.

  • Tinnitus. Tinnitus isn't so much a condition as it is a symptom. Tinnitus is simply the sensation of hearing things, such as a ringing noise or a hissing sound. It can be incessant, intermittent, or both. While it doesn't cause hearing loss per se, it can interfere with hearing. Often, it is age-related, but many times, no exact cause is determined. Hypertension- high blood pressure- is believed to be a common cause as well. The increased blood volume in pregnant woman may manifest itself in tinnitus.
  • Otalgia. If you have ear pain, you have what ear, nose, and throat doctors refer to as otalgia. Primary otalgia is ear pain that is caused by an ear infection in the ear canal or the middle ear. In other words, there is a diagnosable, treatable reason for the ear pain you are experiencing. Secondary otalgia, or referred otalgia, is ear pain that is non-otological, meaning the pain does not originate in the year. The pain instead originates from a dental issue, for example. Edema, or swelling, during pregnancy can exacerbate conditions like TMJ (temporomandibular joint) disorder. This is turn can cause ear pain.
  • Otosclerosis. Sometimes called otospongiosis instead, this is an overgrowth of bone near the middle ear in some people which causes hearing loss. It may be genetic, and it may also be triggered by a virus, but these are not definitively known. Hormones are also suspected to play a role as more women than men develop the condition, and it is often diagnosed during pregnancy or in the postpartum period following pregnancy.
  • Sudden sensorineural hearing loss (SSNHL). This is sudden hearing loss, usually in one ear. The cause is usually not known, although tinnitus may have been present first. This is an emergency situation, and it can lead to permanent hearing loss. In pregnant women who develop the condition, it commonly occurs in the third trimester.

How these conditions are treated vary depending on the symptoms and the cause. If you have any hearing difficulties while pregnant, be sure to inform your obstetrician so they can schedule an appointment with a hearing test specialist.