I started getting tinnitus when I was five years before I got pregnant. Since then, the constant ringing in my left ear has gotten progressively worse when I’m bored or under stress. None of my doctors can explain why it’s happening, but their best guess is that it’s probably a temporary issue that will go away if I just work hard enough to make it stop.
Tinnitus is an odd sensation in the ears. It is often also associated with hearing loss because tinnitus alters one’s hearing and thus creates a false impression of what a sound should actually be like. The most common causes of tinnitus are high-decibel noise exposure and health related conditions such as liver disease or cardiovascular issues. Worryingly, tinnitus affects both young and old men with those of older age being more vulnerable.
As published in the Journal of Menopause and Hormone Therapy, in a recent survey by The Royal Institute of Deaf People, United Kingdom (RNID), around 6.5 million women experience tinnitus. Compared to men at 7.5 million, women are more likely to experience this condition between the ages of 13 and 45 years old, during puberty and early menstruation, pregnancy, perimenopause and the changeover from hormonal birth control methods to other hormone-based methods like those containing estrogen after many years of continuous use. Conducted by experts including Prof David Mitchell from University College London, UK (UCL), evidence indicates that changes that occur at puberty trigger all sorts of symptoms related to tinnitus including hearing loss or hyperacusis when it reaches menopause.
Around two out of every three expectant mothers find it hard to deal with the constant ringing in the ears or tinnitus. This condition is aggravated by such factors as nausea, disease, stress, or fatigue.
It was the third trimester in my pregnancy when I began to notice a rise in my tinnitus, which is accompanied by severe headaches. I did not suspect that this was caused by my pregnancy because I had never had any issues with my ears before nor has anyone else in my family.
Experiencing tinnitus is not uncommon during pregnancy and many women who have been experience it claim that as soon as they give birth relief is apparent. Researchers have found several reasons why tinnitus is more likely to occur during this time. For example, the changes in the structure of our bodies during pregnancy triggers our nervous systems to rewire themselves, therefore leading to complications with regards to other bodily processes such as the ability to hear properly.
When I became pregnant, my doctor monitored my blood pressure across my entire term. As blood pressure increased, so did my tinnitus. My obstetrician pointed out a relationship between the two; every time anything changed in regard to my blood pressure, you could completely see and hear it immediately effecting my tinnitus. Translating the change or difference into sound was really easy with this specific disorder. There was something akin to a whoosh replacing the constant ringing sound that had been lurking in my head for years prior to becoming pregnant. The one advantage of this buzzing is that it allowed me to track changes in my body’s well being relatively quickly (especially when taking note of these changes became more of a priority after bringing my pregnancy into play).
When we become pregnant, tinnitus tends to get more severe. As women, the stress of the changes that occur during pregnancy can be hard on us and cause our tinnitus to worsen. While it is normal to have fears about such a lifestyle changing event, it is important for women during this time to make all efforts for their health and wellbeing as well, including avoiding stressful situations as much as possible.
Remember to keep the health of your newborn and your own in mind. Do away with any negative thoughts and create an atmosphere of love, relaxation and comfort. Continue taking your exercise and eating healthy meals, although don’t worry about gaining weight during this time!
As a woman, pregnancy may come with some complications. Increased stress and trouble sleeping are only two examples of the many issues that pregnant women experience. Many women also report hearing strange noises, such as ringing in the ears, while they are pregnant. It’s smart to take steps to reduce your stress as well…