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What about ear plugs??

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tbach +0 points · 3 months ago Original Poster

I am convinced that using a CPAP for the last 17 years has contributed to my hearing loss ... granted, I am in the "old fart era," with my 80th around the corner. What makes me wonder is that in the morning when I take off my CPAP mask, my hearing is at the worst level of the day. Everything is muddled for a couple of hours afterwards. I normally don't wear my hearing aids (highly over-rated, by the way) until after I return home after my daily gym trek ... just no sense using them at the gym ... they get in the way, and most of the time I'm there, I listen to my MP3 or the eliptical TV using earplugs ... while swimming, I use and MP3 player that uses bone-conduction to play my music, in addition to custom earplugs to keep water out.

Anyone else suspect hearing problems from CPAP?

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 3 months ago Sleep Commentator

Hi tbachCPAP

I doubt that you will find absolute proof anywhere but I could think of five possible theories.

The first one is your "old fart" theory which underlies everything for most of us.

The second is stress, worry, imagination, coincidence, anticipation, etc.

The third is the potential impact of constant humming and hissing that is the curse of the machine.

The fourth is the pressure imbalance created by the therapy that pushes through the ear canals.

The fifth is the impact of severe sleep deprivation that can cause enough sleepiness to take half the morning to get the brain back in focus and the ears are useless without the brain to process and translate.

Then, of course, there is all of the above and none of the above.

Maybe even the swimming or choice of music? :)

So it probably comes down to spin the bottle, flip a coin, roll the dice or toss some darts, whatever works for you.

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Sierra +0 points · 3 months ago Sleep Innovater

I have experienced a somewhat dizzy feeling an hour or after getting up in the morning, but no really issues with hearing. I do the HA thing now too. Nose plugged into a machine for 8 hours a day, and ears plugged into two more machines for the other 16 hours of the day.

The cause is most likely the pressure balance combined with a possible sinus infection? If it is recurrent I would think a visit to an ENT would be in order. If you are thinking about wearing ear plugs all night, I'm not sure that will work unless they seal perfectly. And that is unlikely.

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Francesco +0 points · 3 months ago

I had begun to wonder about this as well. Felt my hearing was deteriorating with cpap use. There appears to be evidence this is possible. The following is pretty clinically dense reading but a casual internet search will provide others as well.

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4896658/

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Biguglygremlin +0 points · 3 months ago Sleep Commentator

It's interesting that they would write a report on a single patient but this was a patient who maxed out his machine which would create all kinds of problems for most people, especially bloating (aerophagia).

I have all the usual issues with pressure differences in the ears while using my CPAP but it's no worst (on a pressure of 12) than driving down a small mountain and certainly not as bad as catching a plane.

As Sierra has implied the situation could be made worse by any kind of infection or blockages although I have a suspicion that blockages, although they may make the pressure fluctuations more noticeable, might actually be a protection, because it seems to me that the real problem is likely to be the actual air flow rather than the pressure.

If that is the case then it's like a form of dry mouth but in the ears and earplugs may help in theory but for me they would emphasize the pressure fluctuations and probably cause ear-aches.

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