Most of us are aware of some of the usual problems that will happen to a woman during pregnancy; from morning sickness to cravings and irritability, there is a host of ways that a woman’s body chooses to adapt itself to the process of carrying a child. For some women, however, these traditional symptoms can be followed by some more unusual effects. One such problem can be ringing in the ears, the medical term for which is tinnitus.
What Causes Tinnitus?
Tinnitus is a relatively common condition which affects about one in five people worldwide. Tinnitus symptoms can range from a quiet humming sound in the background to a persistent ringing in the ears to crashing or banging sounds. While tinnitus often disappears naturally after time, for a small percentage of the population tinnitus can become a persistent or chronic condition.
If you have suffered from tinnitus in the past, it is more likely that you will experience a ringing in the ears during pregnancy. Therefore, it is important not to panic. Although tinnitus can be a distressing and quite stressful condition, it is not harmful to you or your baby.
Tinnitus or ringing in the ears can have some potential causes, the most common of which is congestion or pressure in the inner ear.
What Is The Connection Between Tinnitus And Pregnancy?
Although a ringing in the ears may not top the list of five most common side-effects of pregnancy, tinnitus during gestation is quite a common problem. A significant number of pregnant women will see their doctor about tinnitus every year. During pregnancy, your body undergoes a host of hormonal changes, and this can result in some unusual symptoms. Ringing in the ears can be one of these changes, and sometimes it is accredited to the increased blood flow in your body.
Furthermore, an increase in congestion in the ear passages is a known side effect during pregnancy. This congestion can lead to the closure of the Eustachian tube and corresponding pressure in your ear which can result in tinnitus symptoms.
There is some evidence that an iron deficiency can contribute to tinnitus symptoms, so be sure to ask your doctor to check if you are anemic. If you are experiencing dizziness as well, then you may also have low blood pressure. Your healthcare professional will check these symptoms and should always be your first port of call. Therefore, you need to be sure that you know and understand all of the important prenatal vitamins.
Consult a Specialist First
If your tinnitus symptoms are persistent, then you might want to consider seeing a specialist. The specialist of an ear, nose or throat will have a more in-depth understanding of the problem and is better equipped to offer solutions. Be sure to mention that you are pregnant.
How You Can Reduce the Symptoms
Foods with high stimulant properties can sometimes exacerbate the symptoms of tinnitus. Here are some foods that you should avoid while you are experiencing tinnitus symptoms:
- Sugary foods.
- Salty foods.
- Any foods containing MSG.
- Diet sodas and other fizzy drinks.
- Alcoholic drinks.
Smoking is another obvious stimulant that you should already be avoiding regardless. If you avoid all of these substances above, you should see the symptoms of tinnitus begin to subside. Furthermore, it is of vital importance that you shield yourself from loud noises by wearing ear muffs and avoid stressful situations as this can make your tinnitus symptoms worse.
Thinking About Herbal Remedies?
Before using any herbal remedies, consult with your doctor first. While there is a host of alternative or herbal remedies recommended for tinnitus online, it is always important to consult your doctor first before taking any herbal preparations. Some herbs which are usually harmless can set back your baby, so it is vital that you do not take any supplements without discussing them with your doctor beforehand.
If you have been checked out by a medical professional and are sure that there are no apparent physical causes for the ringing in your ears, then you may just have to wait and ride the tinnitus symptoms out until you give birth. With that said, you should not worry too much about it because it is not that uncommon of a problem.
In this case, some relaxation exercises may help reduce the symptoms. Entering a relaxed state of being for long periods can contribute to guide your body towards a peaceful state and aid your body in restoring itself to its natural equilibrium. Yoga could be a great addition during your pregnancy, so be sure to explore that option.
Lie down in a darkened room as often as you can and try to relax your body. Concentrate on your breathing. Meditation would be helpful to deal with the stress of persistent tinnitus and maintain a relaxed state. You can listen to soothing music to blot out the ringing sounds in your ears. Although it can be difficult to relax, by helping your body to get into a calm state for extended periods of time, you can learn to deal better with the symptoms of tinnitus and maintain a peaceful and stress-free environment for your growing baby.
Tinnitus is often just a symptom of your body adjusting to the changes of pregnancy, which is why it can occur as soon as the first trimester. Just try to trust your body and accept the changes you are going through as part of a natural process, and you will have a smoother and more relaxed pregnancy.