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So, you are pregnant! All through your pregnancy journey, you may be wondering how your baby would sound, and you may be eagerly waiting to listen to your baby’s first gentle cries. But, on the other hand, you may come across weird ringing sounds in your ears, which in medical terms, is called tinnitus. Well, there is no doubt that pregnancy makes you susceptible to various kinds of health conditions but is this one of them?
If you are experiencing ringing sounds during pregnancy, and are wondering whether or not they are normal, this article is for you. Read on to know more about ringing in the ears or tinnitus during pregnancy, and also learn about the causes and various remedial measures available.
What Is Tinnitus?
Tinnitus can be described as ringing sounds in the ears. Sometimes, the sounds may be categorised into whistling, hissing or clicking in the ear. This condition can be temporary, chronic or persistent.
Is Tinnitus Common Among Pregnant Ladies?
Tinnitus is predominantly seen in the older population, i.e. in people aged 50 years and above. Also, it is more seen in men than in women. However, you may experience ringing in your ears during pregnancy, due to increase progesterone, which is a common phenomenon too. Therefore, if you hear a weird ringing sound, you are not hallucinating, but you may be suffering from tinnitus. Tinnitus or ringing in the ears in the first trimester is very common, and it could last until the end of your pregnancy.
Causes of Tinnitus During Pregnancy
During pregnancy, you may hear ringing, clicking, whooshing or buzzing sounds. Some women may also hear sounds that resemble sounds like the heartbeat (also called pulsatile tinnitus pregnancy sounds). Here are some health conditions women experience during pregnancy that may cause tinnitus:
- If you have had tinnitus in your previous pregnancy or pregnancies, then there is a high possibility that you may have it in your subsequent pregnancies too.
- Iron deficiency during pregnancy may also cause tinnitus.
- Taking a lot of stress during pregnancy may put you at a higher risk of suffering from tinnitus.
- High blood pressure during pregnancy may put you at a higher risk of having tinnitus.
- Increased progesterone production during pregnancy can also lead to tinnitus.
- Women suffering from migraine also develop tinnitus during pregnancy.
- In some cases, ringing in the ears develops due to dental issues, especially bite problem. Some of the most common symptoms of bite problem are stiff jaw, dull pain in the jaw and headaches. And, sometimes, all these symptoms are accompanied by tinnitus.
- At times, neck injuries can also cause ringing in the ear.
How Long Does It Take to Recover From Tinnitus During Pregnancy?
Pregnancy-induced tinnitus is self-limiting, and you may recover from its symptoms soon after the birth of your baby, or within a few days after that. It is just a matter of time, but in most cases, it will go away. In case it doesn’t, you should seek medical help immediately.
Treatment of Tinnitus During Pregnancy
Tinnitus during pregnancy is mostly because of one of the causes mentioned above. Therefore, there is no effective treatment for the condition, as most of the causes are part-and-parcel of pregnancy. Having said that, if the ringing sounds are due to ear wax build-up, dental bite issues and neck injuries, you may seek immediate treatment and check if there is an improvement in the condition. For other reasons, you may use one of the tips provided below to reduce the effects of tinnitus.
Tips to Manage Tinnitus During Pregnancy
Various factors may lead to ringing in the ears during pregnancy. Here are some tips that can help you manage tinnitus during pregnancy:
1. Manage Your Stress Levels
You may battle with various issues during pregnancy, such as fatigue, sleeplessness, restlessness, etc., which may lead to stress and anxiety during pregnancy. Apart from giving rise to other complications, stress may also lead to tinnitus. Therefore, it is very important to manage your stress levels during pregnancy.
One of the best ways to relieve stress and feel rejuvenated is to practice meditation. Try several meditation techniques and use the one that helps the most for this condition.
3. Stay Away From Loud Noise
Loud noise may aggravate the symptoms of tinnitus and cause more discomfort. Try and avoid all kinds of loud noise during pregnancy.
The importance of exercising cannot be undermined during pregnancy. When you exercise, it has a positive effect on your body and mind. Improved blood circulation also helps in dealing with the symptoms of tinnitus. Avoid rigorous exercises though, as they can aggravate the condition. Yoga, especially pranayama, can provide considerable relief from the ringing sounds.
5. Consume a Balanced Diet
Eat a healthy and well-balanced diet during pregnancy to maintain your fitness and remain energetic. Also, limit your salt intake as it is a possible trigger for high blood pressure which may increase your possibility of tinnitus.
6. White Noise Music or Music Therapy
You may try white noise therapy or music therapy for dimming the ringing sounds in your ears. Listening to white noise or some relaxing music can be very effective in helping you relax and sleep well as well.
7. Stay Away From Possible Food Triggers
At times, your doctor might prescribe supplements, especially zinc supplements, that could help reduce the effects of tinnitus. Usually, your prenatal supplements have the supplementary nutrients; however, it is always a good idea to check with your gynaecologist and an ENT specialist before taking any supplements for tinnitus.
The tips mentioned may or may not help reduce the effects or symptoms of tinnitus. It is, therefore, advisable that you seek medical assistance before you opt for any of these. Let’s also take a look at when you must see a specialist/doctor.
When to Consult a Doctor
If you notice that your symptoms are not subsiding or reducing, then it is suggested that you seek medical help. You may be referred to an ENT specialist, who will conduct a more comprehensive check-up and advise you the best treatment option. If you have had an earlier bout of tinnitus or had this condition during your previous pregnancy, you may like to share the information with your doctor to help him treat it effectively.
Tinnitus during pregnancy can be managed effectively, and it is recommended that you seek immediate medical advice as soon as you notice any symptoms of this condition.