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CPap related to severe ear pain/migraines
I was put on CPap 3 years ago after 3 months I had mega ear pain and migraines, Dr said ear infection. Steroids three rounds no effect. I had to stop using my CPap. Major ear pain and headaches were lessened but I have not been able to use my machine. No sleep. I have seen several Drs ENT, sleep and primary all run tests, all say different things but none that help? Am I crazy? Primary says ear infections, ENT said I need a dental implant?? (Did that $5,000 that ins will not cover) dentist said deviated septum, another ENT says fixing septum may not help so won't do, sleep Dr says sucks for you? This took 2 years. I have changed health care system and have now been going through the same merry-go-round since February and still no answers, no CPap, no sleep and no life. I have given up driving, I am miserable and depressed. Is this normal medical care or is it because I live in New Mexico which is beginning to look like a third world country when it comes to medical care? I am willing to move to another state if it means I can find competent medical professionals.
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Unfortunately, the system sometimes works like that even in the finest hospitals and with the best physicians.
The insurance model of payment makes them jump through a series of steps in diagnosing patients.
Some problems are difficult to diagnose. When suffering, we'd like for them to investigate all avenues simultaneously.
However, insurance and their training mandates a step diagnostic approach.

I would guess you have a condition that's been missed by common diagnostic procedures.
Have you had an MRI with Gadolinium contrast?

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Steroid to cure ear infection?
You dont say what your pressure is. If its too high and you swallow a lot in your sleep it can cause ear problems.

You need to fill out your profile as to machine, auto vs single pressure etc before we can help much.
You also need sleepy head software so you can see what is going on.
As usual you will need to take control of your cpap therapy yourself.
Those here can help but we need more info.
I suspect your pressure is way to high for you to tolerate but that is a guess without more info.
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+1 we need more information.
There is a sticker on the back of the machine that will tell us what machine you have, Airesense , S9.... tell us the full model name
get sleepyhead software, it's free. A search for "sleephead software" will find it, or there are links on this forum for it.
You need a SD card reader. If you have a laptop you should already have one on it. if not the are around $8 on amazon.

Many times the machines are set up wide open 4-20 CM pressure and then adjusted from there, if this is the case with you and the machine was never adjusted this could be your problem.

Once we get more information on what your machine is we can tell you how to get your pressure settings.

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(09-01-2015, 12:17 PM)Ghost1958 Wrote: ...Steroid to cure ear infection?


Somewhere my ENT is shaking his head.

I think there is one thing that you can safely use as a starting point which is that physical, constructional issues regarding your sinus cavity probably are not the cause of migraines. For licensed physicians/dentists to suggest this is ridiculous bordering on criminal. Migraines are typically caused by an electro-chemical issue, and how you are physically formed probably does not have any bearing on that. Diet, food sensitivity, those can cause migraines, along with other things.

By extension, a little positive airway pressure likely does not cause nor aggravate that, although there is an adaption period where discomfort can be a factor. Pressure can increase regular headaches a bit; it took me 6 months to adapt to that. How did I do that? Powered through, wearing the mask every single night.

It might help to look up the word "Coincidental". Then, "Causal". Two very different things.

If you have multiple symptoms, they very well may be from multiple causes. By definition, if you have two symptoms, they are separate reactions, possibly to different causes, or possibly to the same cause. Every symptom is not always traced to the coincidence of other symptoms or their treatment. Break it down; simplify the target. It is a lot easier to treat symptoms when we know what is selectively responsible for each one of them. Try to solve that puzzle, and then treat each symptom with what relieves it. If you find one thing that alleviates multiple symptoms, that's just a bonus.

Also, figure out whether you really have migraines. A migraine is not just a really bad headache, there are symptoms that are a dead giveaway during, and even before the headache that are a smoking gun. If you do not have those symptoms (visual flashes prior, pain just in one quadrant, severe sensitivity to light, nausea and repeated vomiting) you probably do not have a migraine, you probably just have a really bad conventional headache.

All are treatable. Those are also two different things with two different causes and two different courses of treatment.

As for the ear pain, keep in mind that "first do no harm" also applies to the xPAP industry. It is very likely that the top limit (20 cm) of xPAP machines is chosen because it it not really therapeutic to go higher (at least for conventional SA), and also chosen because 20 cm is probably well under the level of pressure that would cause anything more than mild symptoms or reactions.

What does that imply? Once again, Coincidence. Your ear pain, and your use of xPAP, are Co-Incidental, and not Causal. The ear pain is separate, and should be treated separately. Either temporarily stop xPAP or lower the pressure (its not causing it but could be aggravating the sensitivity to pain regardless of what is causing the pain), and get your ENT to get that under control, then get back to it. Case closed.
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Hi Lakrett,
WELCOME! to the forum.!
I wish you much success in getting your ear problems and headaches taken care of. I’m sorry to hear that you are having such a rough time of things.
Hang in there for more responses to your post.
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If you can learn to use an Oracle Oral mask "correctly," it will eliminate ear pressure.


Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
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i have problems with my ears and I think that it is due to allergies. i do believe the machine can aggravate them but am not convinced that it is the cause of my issues. We have had severe storms all last week and I started using Patanase and my ears sure cleared up.

So, if you haven't been checked for seasonal allergies, it might be beneficial to do that.
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I have pressure pain in my ears as well when the machine goes to high my ears plug up and hurt. It isn't to bad at lower pressures as my therapeutic pressure is 9.40 . But when I first got my machine my doctor had it wide open 4-20 and sometimes I would wake up and the dog gone thing would be at 14 and my ears would be ringing in pain. At lower pressure I can tolerate it fine. Try reducing the max pressure down if it is set above 10 to see if it gets better for you.
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(09-01-2015, 01:43 PM)TyroneShoes Wrote:
(09-01-2015, 12:17 PM)Ghost1958 Wrote: ...Steroid to cure ear infection?


Somewhere my ENT is shaking his head.

Yes, steroids are used to reduce inflammation, specifically swelling which causes compression on nerves, which causes pain. I have one that includes an antibiotic portion as well (expensive too). I have an identified problem however. When particularly bad, I use the steroid drops plus a cold pack. Yes, I can believe that cpap can make a problem already there worse.

Do you hear whooshing in your ears? Particularly whooshing that is in time with your heartbeat?

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