Sudden (reversible) sensorineural hearing loss in pregnancy.
Sudden hearing loss directly associated with pregnancy or birth is a little known and rare occurrence. The temporary, unilateral, low-frequency sensorineural hearing loss in this case was reported after the birth of the patient's first child, and again during the third trimester of her second pregnancy.
This paper discusses the different explanations as to why hearing losses occur due to physical changes within the body during pregnancy and birth. It is probable that this patient had significant anatomical asymmetry with one patent and one non-patent cochlear aqueduct, allowing increased pressure unilaterally. The mechanical restriction of the inner ear hair cells caused the hearing loss that returned to normal, when the pressure returned to normal.
Our case demonstrates that pregnancy can lead to hearing loss in two sequential pregnancies. Mechanisms are discussed in detail. Clinically it appears that the hearing loss and tinnitus associated with pregnancy can spontaneously recover.
Department of Audiology, Sligo General Hospital, Sligo, Ireland, firstname.lastname@example.org.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: Irish journal of medical science
- PubMed Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20665123
- DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s11845-010-0525-z
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Medical and Biotech [MESH] Definitions
Sensorineural hearing loss which develops suddenly over a period of hours or a few days. It varies in severity from mild to total deafness. Sudden deafness can be due to head trauma, vascular diseases, infections, or can appear without obvious cause or warning.
Hearing loss due to damage or impairment of both the conductive elements (HEARING LOSS, CONDUCTIVE) and the sensorineural elements (HEARING LOSS, SENSORINEURAL) of the ear.
Hearing loss resulting from damage to the COCHLEA and the sensorineural elements which lie internally beyond the oval and round windows. These elements include the AUDITORY NERVE and its connections in the BRAINSTEM.
Hearing loss due to exposure to explosive loud noise or chronic exposure to sound level greater than 85 dB. The hearing loss is often in the frequency range 4000-6000 hertz.
Hearing loss due to disease of the AUDITORY PATHWAYS (in the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM) which originate in the COCHLEAR NUCLEI of the PONS and then ascend bilaterally to the MIDBRAIN, the THALAMUS, and then the AUDITORY CORTEX in the TEMPORAL LOBE. Bilateral lesions of the auditory pathways are usually required to cause central hearing loss. Cortical deafness refers to loss of hearing due to bilateral auditory cortex lesions. Unilateral BRAIN STEM lesions involving the cochlear nuclei may result in unilateral hearing loss.