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Q: sensory hearing loss caused by pregnancy ( Answered,   2 Comments )
Subject: sensory hearing loss caused by pregnancy
Category: Health
Asked by: surfboy-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 15 Jul 2002 14:52 PDT
Expires: 14 Aug 2002 14:52 PDT
Question ID: 39899
we want to find info on "what causes sudden sensory hearing loss to
the pregnant woman during pregnancy". Could you advise how to best
locate this info.
Subject: Re: sensory hearing loss caused by pregnancy
Answered By: alanna-ga on 19 Jul 2002 09:15 PDT
Hi Surfboy - 

Thanks for asking Google Answers to help you out with your question.

There are  different types of hearing loss that should be
distinguished before your question is addressed. Only one of them is
associated with pregnancy according to the medical sources I have

First, there is "sudden hearing loss."  This is  regarded as the rapid
reduction of at least 30 decibels of hearing over several frequencies
in a 72-hour period.  In other words, the person loses a substantial
amount of hearing within the space of 3 days.  It can be caused by a
viral infection, reduced blood suppy to the ear, breaks in the inner
ear membranes, cancer, and other rare causes.

It is often  associated with other diseases, many of them very rare.
Many of the people who have sudden sensorineural hearing loss also
suffer from ringing in the ears, dizziness, or vertigo.

While sudden hearing loss could possibly occur in pregnant women, it 
usually happens to people between the ages of 30 and 60.

If you are interested in finding out more about sudden hearing loss,
I'd recommend the following website of the American Speech-Language
Hearing Association):

Sudden Hearing Loss


Hearing Loss
(scroll down to Sudden Hearing Loss)


The Bobby R. Alford Department of Otorhinlaryngology and Communicative

Next there is "otosclerosis."  It is the type of  hearing loss
sometimes associated with pregnancy.

Otosclerosis is a disease in which the bones of the inner ear merge
and cease to conduct sound.  This is called conductive hearing loss. 
In the early stages of otosclerosis a "sensory" hearing loss may occur
in which the affected person has difficulty understanding speech while
there is no decrease in loudness.

Quite apart from the "sensory" hearing loss mentioned above,
otosclerosis can involve nerve damage leading to what is called
sensorineural hearing loss.

Otosclerosis usually occurs in teen or young adult people.  Women are
more likely than men to have this form of hearing loss. It is also a
genetic disorder, therefore occurs among family members, although not
everyone with the gene suffers from loss of hearing.  Otosclerosis
often worsens during pregnancy.

Important for you, however, is that otosclerosis does not cause sudden
hearing loss.  It develops gradually, so much so that people who have
it are not even aware of the diminishing of their hearing capacity.

For more on otosclerosis and sensory hearing loss,  you may want to
visit the following websites:

NICDC (National Institute on Deafness and Communicative Disorders) 
Health Information




I just want to close with a word on the medical specialists who deal
with hearing disorders.  They are the otolaryngologists (sometimes
called otorhinolaryngologists) and otologists.  I do hope they are
easier to understand than the pronunciation of their specialties.

I hope you have been helped in your desire to learn about sensory
hearing loss in pregnancy.

Search terms used: "sudden hearing loss"

"hearing loss" pregnancy

"sudden sensorineural hearing loss"

Good luck,
Subject: Re: sensory hearing loss caused by pregnancy
From: starrebekah-ga on 18 Jul 2002 10:48 PDT
Interesting question, surfboy, I have never heard of any pregnant
women with this problem.  We often hear (no pun intended) about the
mother being sick and the child having hearing loss, but generally
there is little information about the mother having sudden hearing

Here's a good article on sensory hearing loss, that describes it (and
the different types of hearing loss as well).  It indicates the things
that may usually cause the hearing loss (diabetes, measles, etc.). 
The link is:

 Is it possible that there is something else affecting the pregnancy,
like an infection?

Also, another reason, otosclerosis is a disease of the bones in the
inner ear.  This article reports that onset usually occurs between
10-30 years old, and women are affected more.  It also states that
pregnancy has an adverse effect, and most women do not realize that
they are affected until they become pregnant.   Here's a quote from
the article:

"Pregnancy often has an adverse effect. . Otosclerosis is often
discovered during or just after pregnancy. The effect of hormone
supplements post-menopause is unknown. Usually both ears are affected,
although in about 10-15% of patients, hearing loss occurs on one side

I encourage you to read this article, which describes various
treatment plans, and tests for otosclerosis.  The link is;

Here's another article on otosclerosis:

Here's one other article, outlining the various other infections and
diseases that could cause hearing loss, and you may want to skim
through it:
  But, it appears that the one above on otosclerosis may be your best
best.  Of course, consulting with the woman's doctor is probably the
only way to be absolutely certain, and to get a professional opinion,

I hope this helped.. Google has not yet approved my researcher
application, so that is why I posted it as a comment, and not an
answer... Please let me know if this was of help to you, and if I can
do anything else for you!   Good Luck with the remainder of the
pregnancy, and of course, the baby!

Subject: Re: sensory hearing loss caused by pregnancy
From: jkl2126-ga on 18 Jul 2002 14:43 PDT
I tried searching "hearing loss" and pregnancy in (provided
to you by the National Library of Medicine).  I found a reference to
an article in a laryngology journal.  The abstract discusses hormonal
changes and increased sensitivity.
There doesn't seem to be a great deal of research in this area.
Good luck.

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