Forum · Eustachian tube dysfunction - CPAP causes headaches and ear pain

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[-] SleepyIntheGump +1 point · about 1 year ago

I have used my CPAP off and on over the years. I have mild sleep apnea with an AHI of 5-8 side and 15 back. I started with the CPAP in 2009. I used it pretty religiously despite sinus headaches. In 2011, the headaches and ear pain kept getting worse and I went to the ENT. Did balance testing and other testing. I was eventaully diagnosed with inactive meniere's. Also had sinus surgery and stopped using CPAP because I got out of the habit. In 2014, started having severe tiredness, did the CPAP testing again. Still mild. Got a new machine. Tiredness ended up being idiopathic hypersomnia, then (fast forward to 2016) is narcolepsy. I have had 2 sleep doctors say that because the index level is so low, do not worry about CPAP, and stay as a side sleeper. However, I take a medicine at night that can reduce respiration and I think that I need to start back on CPAP. Not really sure what to do about the ear pain and pressure. My sinuses stayed irritated and then sinus infections 5-8 times a year. thoughts? My pressure was set at 10 on a basic CPAP.

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[-] DanM +1 point · about 1 year ago Sleep Enthusiast

Hi SleepyIntheGump. I would encourage you to talk to your physician again. An AHI of 5 to 8 is still mild sleep apnea, and the interruptions caused by respiratory events may contribute to your feelings of tiredness. I have had issues with my ears and sinuses as well, but routine use of Flonase helps my condition. Your ENT should be able to give you some advice on whether something like that can help. If you do go back on CPAP and are prone to sinus infections, it is very important that you keep your mask and other equipment clean. Best wishes, and please keep us posted!

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[-] Verne7 +0 points · about 1 year ago

I write to agree with DanM, my highest AHI (that I know of) is 4.51. Even my mild sleep apnea has had a very detrimental effect. I have had fairly uncontrollable high blood pressure the last few years, and then early this year I started having Afib attacks, ended up in the hospital twice. During a procedure the doctors noticed and were alarmed that I was not treating my sleep apnea and that night I enjoyed my first cpap machine. That next night, my blood pressure dropped to 106/72, it has taken me a month and a half on the automatic cpap (plus the 3 months it took to get the machine), but I have nearly duplicated the results. My blood pressure has been 140/90 or a bit higher since I was 35. In recent years, 150/100 has been more my range. Today, my blood pressure is 116/72. I have been in this range of less than 0.5 AHI's for the last 4 days and see what has happened to my blood pressure.

Also, been told I had Tinnitus by some @#$%. I think it has to do with my Eustachian tube being clogged possibly. It was a sudden pop, like going up in altitude that I have had in my left ear since about 1997. Have always had sinus issues with my left ear. Trying to keep the humidity high seems to help my sinus, it stays a bit wetter, though I would like to see if I could make it even wetter like it was in the hospital. I use Flonase every night before I sleep.

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