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CPAP & Ear Problems
#1
CPAP & Ear Problems
Shortly after starting CPAP in April, I developed a serious problem with my left ear. The eardrum would get totally plugged by some type of liquid substance. It would partially drain at times, then fill back up again. The problem is so severe that I totally lose all hearing at times in that ear. 

I finally got in to see an ENT this week, and he suspects a possible inner ear infection. He also said that such infections or plugged ears can be caused by CPAP pressure. My primary physician and my sleep doctor both told me that my ear problems were unrelated to CPAP use. 

My concern is that the ENT told me that sometimes there is nothing that can be done. The patient has to decide whether he or she wants to go without hearing or without the benefits of CPAP therapy. 

Has anyone had similar ear problems or any suggestions as to what I can do?  I was put on antibiotic drops and have a follow up appointment with the ENT in two weeks. 

Steptoe
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#2
RE: CPAP & Ear Problems
I can't help or offer advice, but my CPAP has use definitely exacerbated by sinus and tinnitus problems. I believe I have poor pressure equilibration between my inner and outer ear, and CPAP raises the pressure in the inner ear. I also get severe severe barotrauma when decending in aircraft if the descent is steepish. I can avoid it most time by using 'earplanes' (pressure regulating earplugs). I mention this because it relates to pressure-induced sinus and ear problems.

Like I said, I can't offer any help but my own experience tends to support your ENT guy's advice. Nevertheless, I would do my own research into possible treatments/mitigation because, if you need CPAP, halting it carries its own risk.
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#3
RE: CPAP & Ear Problems
I have Tinnitus really bad in both ears, and have had for well over 20 yrs., if not more. I can't say that CPAP usage has made it any worse though. 

I've had others tell me it's not actually a hearing issue, but it's the brain generating the noises. Supposedly an indication of sorts of dementia and/or Alzheimer's. 

There's a place in Phoenix called Sound Relief. They specialize in it, and say that they can help. I'm gonna have to get down there and see if they can. 

To the OP......I hope that you can resolve the issue and get some relief. I didn't mean to hi-jack your thread.  Oh-jeez
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#4
RE: CPAP & Ear Problems
(09-30-2021, 10:43 PM)Big Guy Wrote: I have Tinnitus really bad in both ears, and have had for well over 20 yrs., if not more. I can't say that CPAP usage has made it any worse though. 

I've had others tell me it's not actually a hearing issue, but it's the brain generating the noises. Supposedly an indication of sorts of dementia and/or Alzheimer's. 

There's a place in Phoenix called Sound Relief. They specialize in it, and say that they can help. I'm gonna have to get down there and see if they can. 

To the OP......I hope that you can resolve the issue and get some relief. I didn't mean to hi-jack your thread.  Oh-jeez
I also have tinnitus long term. the way i understand it tinnitus is a result of hearing loss in certain ranges. the brain realizes the hearing loss in those frequencies and replaces it with tinnitus in those frequencies.  nothing to do with dementia. as you know it happens at any age when you have hearing loss.
First Diagnosed July 1990

MSgt (E-7) USAF (Medic)
Retired 1968-1990
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#5
RE: CPAP & Ear Problems
When I first started ASV therapy, there was a bit of discomfort in the ears. It went away soon after it developed.

Your case may be similar, but I'm only guessing. I'm also only guessing that your case isn't just an either/or regarding sacrificing CPAP therapy or sacrificing hearing. I think there's other solutions than one extreme or the other.
Dave

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#6
RE: CPAP & Ear Problems
I'm not suppressed when considering the pressures some of these machines are running at. One reason why I don't increase pressure in mine. It should be higher, but waking up with my lungs expanded up like balloons is to much for me. I do have post nasal drip, have to keep snorting at times to get it out. Not sure if CPAP causes that as well.
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#7
RE: CPAP & Ear Problems
(10-01-2021, 09:35 AM)Jeremy H Wrote: I'm not suppressed when considering the pressures some of these machines are running at. One reason why I don't increase pressure in mine. It should be higher, but waking up with my lungs expanded up like balloons is to much for me. I do have post nasal drip, have to keep snorting at times to get it out. Not sure if CPAP causes that as well.

PAP therapy does not inflate your lungs. YOU inflate your lungs while PAP keeps the airway open. 
Unless you're using some kind of ventilator, the pressure supplied by PAP therapy is nowhere near enough to inflate your lungs.
My get-up-and-go musta got up and went.  Cool
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#8
RE: CPAP & Ear Problems
With a-pap on, pressure is up to 15 in the morning. My lungs are greatly expanded to a point it's uncomfortable. Set to my pressure they do not. It is the machines extreme pressure forcing air into my airway that expands my lungs. Period.
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#9
RE: CPAP & Ear Problems
(10-01-2021, 10:10 AM)Jeremy H Wrote: With a-pap on, pressure is up to 15 in the morning. My lungs are greatly expanded to a point it's uncomfortable. Set to my pressure they do not. It is the machines extreme pressure forcing air into my airway that expands my lungs. Period.

Even at the highest pressure supplied by normal CPAP/APAP, which is 20 cm/H2O, it's much less than 1 psi, which isn't even enough to blow up a balloon much less your lungs.
Period.  Oh-jeez
My get-up-and-go musta got up and went.  Cool
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#10
RE: CPAP & Ear Problems
Must be my imagination then? In my case it does, period or not. Period .
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