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Cpap and Ear Problems
I have been using Cpap since 1999, I seem to get a a lot of ear problems which I believe is due to my Eustaceon Tubes not draining correctly due to 'back pressure' from Cpap (Mine is set to 14.5).
Of course an 'Autoset' would stop this but here in the UK these are not available on our Health Service. I have raised the question many times with my Clinician and have always been 'fobbed' off. The last time I was there I asked the question again however this time she said ' Well yes, like Tinnitus?', I get that, Pain and balance issues. Has anybody any experience of any of this, Podd
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Howdy, Podd... just wanted to welcome you to Apnea Board.

I haven't had much of this kind of problem... hopefully others can respond.

Apnea Board Administrator


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I can see the possibility of this, with a full face mask, especially for people that tend to breath through their mouths more often. Perhaps the solution would be to switch to a nasal mask, and chin strap?
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Hi Podd, First of all, WELCOME! to the forum.! I don't have the problems you are talking about but, I think there is a thread or two here on this board. I think others have discussed this particular issue. Best of luck to you.
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Hi Podd, and welcome to the forum. I have never heard of this problem before, but 14.5 pressure is really quite high, so your suspicion may be well founded. I might suggest that you seek confirmation from a Doctor rather than a clinician as the Doctor will have the complete ENT picture. The clinician.....not so much.

Good luck!
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Its not uncommon to have ear problems while using CPAP - google it and you,ll find a lots information

The American Sleep Apnea Association says some people "find that their ears develop pressure or pain in them. Most of this relates to underlying sinus congestion caused by allergies or PAP itself. The experience is similar to that experienced traveling in an airplane when you have a cold. The congestion can block the ear canals and changes in air pressure can cause pain when air gets trapped"
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Many thanks for your welcomes, I was actually involved in a Provent trial recently and I got to use an Autoset machine for a week, my ear problems cleared up in a few days but have now returned. I have been on medication to control my balance disturbances for over a year, It is annoying as nobody seems to listen (except you guys). I have been the nasal mask and chinstrap route, I now use a Full face mask and a chinstrap (Otherwise I 'chew' through the mask when I am asleep). My machine was set at 15cmH20 but the data on the Autoset machine suggested that this could be lowered, it is now set at 13.5cmH20. As for the Provent trial, I got the Placebo's, so for 15 days my treatment was non-existant, some day's I slept for 15 hours and was still exhausted, I averaged 15.6 Apnoea's per hour. Rather strangely my Apnoea is caused by me having an oval throat, evidentially according to my Doctor I would make a great sword swallower, I almost punched him!
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Every once in awhile I wake up and have a full feeling in one ear and the tinnitus. This is since starting with my apap. I found a massage technique on youtube that clears mine up quickly. My problem is minor when i get it, but this might be helpful.

Search youtube for "lymph drainage for the ears" or massagebyheatherw.
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I ran into Eustacheon tube trouble a while back when I was experimenting with pressures, and I set my machine to straight CPAP with a fixed pressure of 12.2, my 95% pressure. I was able to solve the problem by using the ramp. You may also want to try EPR (expiratory pressure relief). My AHI was lousy on straight CPAP, so I set it back on auto.
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Hey Podd,
I had major issues last year with this. I was not complaint with my CPAP therapy. I went in for surgery and they cranked the pressure way higher than it should have been. For the longest time I was in excruciating pain couldn't hear etc. I went through rounds of antibiotics followed by rounds of steroids (or what I like to call menopause in a bottle. Closest thing a man will come to knowing what women go through!) and after I told my doc I would punch him in the face if her ever gave me those again, we moved on to the ENT who was absolutely useless! Yes, it is a Eustacian tube thing but once the damage is done I just don't know if you ever get back to where you were. I still have problems with my right ear. Guess it's just one of those things. I have to go back in for surgery again and I am hoping that since I have been using my machine faithfully my body will react differently...we will also have a discussion about pressure!
BTW Welcome
As always, YMMV! You do not have to agree or disagree, I am not a professional so my mental meanderings are simply recollections of things from my own life.

PRS1 - Auto - A-Flex x2 - 12.50 - 20 - Humid x2 - Swift FX
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