Healthy Living

Sleep Apnea and Hearing Loss? Study Discovers Possible Link

CPAP machines can also contribute to the loss of hearing

With regard to the CPAP device, this can also contribute to inflammation, but a person with sleep apnea also needs to remember to closely follow the doctor’s instructions for use of this machine. For instance, some individuals might believe that adjusting the airflow on the device to increase air flow will ease one’s effort for breathing. While this adjustment might help, a person could unintentionally cause severe damage to the inner ear.

When you turn up the pressure on the CPAP machine, this causes barotrauma, which is a disproportionate amount of pressure in the middle ear as compared to the air pressure outside. As previously mentioned, if the pressure is unequal, this can cause damage to the eardrum, if not rupture it altogether. The best way to avoid this problem is to keep the machine at the lowest air pressure setting possible.

So while more research is needed to affirm the connection between sleep apnea and hearing loss, a person should still take steps to improve his or her overall well-being such as:

  • Maintain a healthy weight
  • Closely monitor diet and level of exercise
  • Avoid consuming alcohol right before bedtime
  • Visit with a doctor if suffering from prolonged fatigue and other symptoms that seem out of the ordinary.

If a person already has sleep apnea, then working closely with a healthcare professional to keep it under control can decrease the chances for any complications, and that includes hearing loss.