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Cpap & Tinnitus
RE: Cpap & Tinnitus
(05-17-2020, 07:43 AM)David001 Wrote: Hiya
I'm new here and new to Cpap, would appreciate some advice from experienced members.

I have sleep apnea and need to use a CPAP machine, but the sound of the air, seems to elevate my tinnitus to much higher levels that I’ve ever had, so much that I cannot use the CPAP as the tinnitus is so bad. Once I stopped, the tinnitus calmed down, although not to the pre CPAP level.
Usually, I cope with my tinnitus, it does not disturb me to fall asleep, I don’t need any external help like masking with other sounds.
I was wondering, if anyone can advise.
Was thinking of two options, 1) get a good quality custom made ear plug, that might cut out the CPAP machine sound or 2) sound masking with other sounds, though with my hypercusis, that might make it worse.
Any input would be greatly appreciated.


It seems unlikely that your tinnitus is connected to the pressures induced by CPAP. However, a lot of us seem do get tinnitus.

While I was an undergrad at a university, I worked as a prep cook in a tavern. I'd come home with ringing ears, not from the grill noises but from the dozen or so floor-to-ceiling refrigerators/freezers that lined the back bay of the kitchen. The fridges seemed innocuous just standing there, not even loud, but anyone in the middle of the fridge bay couldn't hear requests for prepped dough, salads or frozen fries unless you came out of the fridge bay. It was silent-seeming-but-deafening pink noise. I suspect most of us who worked prep went home with ringing ears. If there had been a way to dampen the sound of the refrigerators, I think all of us then would have welcomed it.

You're suggesting that your blower is loud enough to make your ears ring. I don't doubt it. For me, it's at really high frequencies, above 10KHz, not the frustrating mid-range tones like between 200Hz and 6KHz. It's a bit like the sound of blood rushing through your veins, but louder. If I don't pay much attention, it doesn't inconvenience my life too much during the day because other things are louder.

Because your Airsense 10 should be literally whisper quiet, adding a white-noise or pink-noise machine may actually make it worse. Depending on the type of mask you're using, it could be sounds from the blower transmitting through the solid frame of hose to the mask and then through to your skull. 

A couple things might help.

Gel-fiber fill pillows offer an incredible amount of sound dampening as well as soft support. I put my head on one gel-fiber pillow and surround my ears with another. Add some foam-fitting 30dB earplugs. That's truly a quiet sleep environment.

To dampen lower frequency sound transmitting through the solid coils of tube, consider a hose wrap made of fleece. This may reduce vibration of the tube itself as sound progresses to the mask.

Sometimes if these aren't enough, it's better to distract. I often listen to audio books at about or lower than -60dB, just loud enough to hear most of the words, but easy to drift off because I've heard the plot a dozen times before. I only listen to cherished old standards or brain candy so I'm not caught in the story. It's more about just enough sound to break up the deafening silence.

Anyway, these are things that seem to work for me. Maybe they'll work for you.

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RE: Cpap & Tinnitus
Interestingly, the tinnitus I had for a year or so went away with CPAP usage. I attribute it to grinding my teeth less and putting less pressure on my TMJ and/or chewing muscles.

Who knows, though?
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RE: Cpap & Tinnitus
I'm experiencing the same. I have experienced tinnitus periodically in the past, but I have been using CPAP for a year now and the tinnitus is much worse. Having read this study about the damage it can cause to the middle ear (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4896658/) I stopped using the machine last night to see if the tinnitus improves, but I would hate to give up the CPAP and would like to find a way to relieve the pressure on the inner while using it.
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RE: Cpap & Tinnitus
I suffer from tinnitus and have for many, many years. In discussion with my ENT and audiologist, mine was brought on from exposure to noise and vibration. Wearing hearing protection and using noise reducing headsets do nothing for the vibration. I flew as a navigator for 20 years with the USAF the last series being on EC-130s (turboprops). Personally, I have not noticed a difference either way since starting CPAP many years ago. I did finally get hearing aids but they are designed to compensate for the hearing loss in the left ear (unrelated to the tinnitus) and bring the sounds to the right ear.

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RE: Cpap & Tinnitus
(05-21-2020, 01:32 AM)UARS.DDS Wrote: Interestingly, the tinnitus I had for a year or so went away with CPAP usage. I attribute it to grinding my teeth less and putting less pressure on my TMJ and/or chewing muscles.

Who knows, though?

If CPAP Therapy did that for my Tinnitus, I'd be ecstatic.  Bouncy
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RE: Cpap & Tinnitus
I am 73 years in age.  I’m told by the kids that my hearing is better than most people twice my age.
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RE: Cpap & Tinnitus
I'm 66 and have had Tinnitus for as long as I can remember. It has been getting worse over the last few years, and, as I age, my hearing acuity has also been dropping off although it is still in band for males 'of my age' - although I am apparently a long way off needing hearing aids.

I have the impression that my Tinnitus had been getting worse since starting CPAP some years back but my audiologist tells me that it is more likely that the tinnitus just sounds louder because it stays the same while my hearing is slowly dropping off meaning that I don't hear the normal environmental sounds that used to mask the tinnitus more when I was younger.
Disclaimer: The 'Advisory Member' title is a Forum thing that I cannot change. I am not a doctor and my comments are purely my opinion or quote my personal experience. Regardless of my experience other readers mileage may vary.
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RE: Cpap & Tinnitus
I haven't been exposed to noise much, professionally or otherwise. I've been off the CPAP for six nights now. The pain in the middle ear is gone and for the first time in three months, so is the tinnitus. There is no doubt in my mind that the CPAP is the cause, and there is a lot of litterature out there about the added pressure CPAP puts on the middle ear, but I'm back to waking up several times a night. In a little while, I will try the machine again, with a lower maximum pressure setting. If the pain and tinnitus come back, I'll be looking into a mandibular advancement prothesis.
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