Pregnancy is a time of great expectancy and while it can be a time of joy for many, it also can bring along various health issues due to the changes in the woman’s body such as gestational diabetes, hypertension, etc. Another of the issues that can arise during pregnancy is tinnitus which represents ringing in ears or other sounds being heard in the ears such as whistling, whooshing, heartbeat, static, crackling, etc. If this is an issue for you, here are some tips on how to deal with tinnitus during pregnancy.
Tinnitus during pregnancy
Developing tinnitus during pregnancy is very common and the severity varies from one expectant mother to another as well as the type of sounds heard in one or both ears. This condition is still not very well understood not only about what causes it but also how to deal with tinnitus once it develops.
A pregnant woman may develop tinnitus for various reasons such as;
- If she already suffers from tinnitus, its intensity may increase during pregnancy,
- If she is at risk for developing tinnitus either because of certain medications she took before the pregnancy or medications she takes during the pregnancy, exposure to loud noise, suffers from a tmj disorder, head trauma, etc. Pregnancy may be the trigger in the presence of these and many other risk factors to lead to ringing in the ears.
- A pregnancy can be a stressful time and suffering from chronic stress during pregnancy can increase the chance of developing tinnitus.
- Other emotional issues can develop due to pregnancy that may continue after pregnancy which can increase the chance of developing tinnitus (pre and postpartum depression).
- Some expectant mothers are very sensitive to their surroundings which can also increase the risk of developing tinnitus.
- High blood pressure is a problem that many expectant mothers face as the blood volume triples during pregnancy which places an additional strain on the heart. This increased blood volume can lead to hypertension which then increases the chance of developing pulsatile tinnitus. With pulsatile tinnitus, the sound heard in the ear(s) is usually the sound of your heart beat. This the only sound produced by tinnitus that can be heard by someone else besides the sufferer. Special hearing devices placed on the head can help the doctor to hear these sounds.
In some cases, once the baby is delivered, everything can go back to normal and the sounds can go away on their own so if the sounds do not affect you too terribly, you can just wait out tinnitus to see whether the sounds go away after pregnancy.
Otherwise, it can be a challenge to deal with tinnitus during pregnancy because you do not want to take anything that may harm the unborn child. The following strategies can be implemented to see whether relief can be obtained.
- Reduce or eliminate salt, caffeine, sugar and artificial sweeteners as well as foods that contain MSG as they can lead to high blood pressure which can increase the risk of developing tinnitus. Obviously smoking and alcohol consumption should not be a part of pregnancy as these also increase the risk of developing tinnitus.
- Take other steps besides the above to manage blood pressure such as remaining moderately physically active during pregnancy, learning to relax, etc. Extra calcium can also help maintain blood pressure but do talk to your doctor before adding extra calcium to your diet.
- There are certain vitamins and herbs that can help but before taking any, please talk to your doctor to ensure safety.
- Avoid loud noises including those produced by household appliances such as vacuum cleaners, blow dryers, blenders, etc, which can produce a great deal of noise that can worsen the symptoms of tinnitus. If you have to be around loud noise, do wear ear plugs.
- Use a sound masker such as a CD player or MP3 player to provide some background noise, or even a TV playing in the background as these can help distract you from the sounds of tinnitus.
- If tinnitus is severe and you are unable to concentrate or sleep at night, you may want to invest in “white noise” machines which can help mask the various sounds in your ears.
Do seek medical advice on how to deal with tinnitus during pregnancy before implementing any strategies. If tinnitus continues after pregnancy or for some natural remedies that may be safe during your pregnancy (after talking to your doctor about them!) you may want to consider the Tinnitus Miracle guide which can show you step by step how to get rid of this problem for good using natural methods only.