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Has Anyone Experienced Vertigo?

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SamInLasVegas +0 points · almost 3 years ago Original Poster

I started using a CPAP back in March. A few months ago I started noticing when I would first wake up in the morning and get out of bed I would be a little bit dizzy sometimes, but it would pass after about a minute. Then all of a sudden about a month ago I woke up in the middle of the night and rolled over and the room started spinning like I was drunk. I was dizzy for a few days and went to see my doctor who sent me to physical therapy at a balance center. Since that time the vertigo has gotten better but I still get it when I set up or lay down suddenly. Typically when walking around I don’t really feel it, although, today I’ve been getting it off and on.

Has anyone else experienced this?

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Sierra +0 points · almost 3 years ago Sleep Patron

I have noticed something like this, but not exactly the same. What I have experienced is a dizzy feeling about 1 hour after I get up. It goes away in about another hour. I did some searching on this issue and came up with an article about Otic Barotrama Resulting from CPAP Treatment. This sounds quite a bit more serious than what I was experiencing as there was a significant hearing loss with this individual. What it does indicate however is that spending significant hours on a CPAP every day can cause a pressurization of the middle ear. That article is very technical and I don't pretend to understand all the physiology of it. But, what needs to be kept in mind is that while it is a bit similar to flying in an airplane or going up and down a mountain, it is in one essential part different. In the airplane situation you get a pressure change on the outside of the ear, and eventually on the inside of the ear after things equalize. However with a CPAP there is no equalization until the time you get up and take away the pressure. The pressure acts inside your nasal passages all night, while the pressure outside of the ear remains unchanged. So while it kind of like the airplane experience, the pressure differential lasts for hours, instead of being equalized by chewing gum or swallowing in the plane situation. Also the individual in the article had increased treatment pressure up to 20 cm. I maintain 12 cm. But many do treat at 20 cm and some up to 25 cm.

My thoughts would be to ask for a referral to an eye, ear, and nose specialist to get their opinion. I am monitoring my symptoms and have resolved that if there are no lasting effects more than an hour or so, I am not going to worry about it. I do strongly suspect that it is a pressure issue in the ear, and it slowly resolves itself each day after I get up.

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snuzyQ +0 points · almost 3 years ago Sleep Commentator

In the health system I'm a part of, everything goes through your primary care physician (PCP). If you need a referral, you get an appointment with the PCP, then he/she determines, after examination, whether you need specialist care. They keep their costs down that way.

Vertigo is most often an entirely separate issue from CPAP treatment and is frequently caused by an opportunistic virus. It usually happens when the immune system is weathered a bit, such as when folks get older or have been under a lot of stress (shingles is another example). Introduction to CPAP is stressful to a lot of us. Perhaps that is why the timing coincides.

Hang in there. It takes time to recover from vertigo. In the meanwhile, your CPAP treatment is doing what it is supposed and, with time will become less and less stressful to you. It is, after all, a whole new way of sleeping and a significant interruption to what our brains' interprete as the "norm".

I wish you well.

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wiredgeorge +0 points · almost 3 years ago Sleep Enthusiast

The most common cause of vertigo is irritation of the inner ear; sometimes from infections and sometimes from allergies. First step is to have you primary care doc look in your ears to rule these issues out. I kind of doubt that CPAP therapy is the cause of vertigo but a visit to your PCP and discussion can probably shed light on where to go if the vertigo bothers you enough. I have vertigo and went to my PCP and never pursued it with specialists and just put up with it; my decision.

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