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Ear “popping” as if on aeroplane
#1
Ear “popping” as if on aeroplane
The past few nights I’ve been woken up by an uncomfortable sense of fullness and “popping” in both ears as if I were on an aeroplane trying to adjust to the pressure. I’ve been on CPAP for a few years and have not had this experience before. Recently I switched to Dreamstation. My 90% pressure level is around 10. I sleep with my lips taped so it should not be related to mouth breathing. 

I have not found any posts on the forum on ear problems - particularly the “popping” due to fullness and pressure in the ears. I then went on the internet and found one or two reports of this happening to other people. There are conflicting speculation on the cause - the CPAP pressure set too high or too low.  

Does anyone have any experience of this or any idea why this happens?
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#2
RE: Ear “popping” as if on aeroplane
Use the search tool and type "ear popping"

Some threads should come up that may be helpful.
OpalRose
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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED AS MEDICAL ADVICE.  ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA.  INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEB SITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#3
RE: Ear “popping” as if on aeroplane
I'd think it'll be found related to your switch to Respironics. Their machines require higher pressure sets to gain proper Apnea therapy. Maybe the fix is going to ResMed, as their machines respond faster and allow lower pressures while still attaining treated Apnea status.
Dave

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INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEBSITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#4
RE: Ear “popping” as if on aeroplane
Thanks Dave. But could you explain why lower pressure in one machine is more effective than the same lower pressure in another machine? At least that is what I think you are saying. That Resmed allows lower pressure but still treats the apnea.

(I am still going through the threads for ear popping)
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#5
RE: Ear “popping” as if on aeroplane
OK sure. ResMed and Respironics have their respective company's algorithm, this is the program within that decides how to handle Apnea events. ResMed responds faster to events, it works against Apnea from occurring, while Respironics attempts to react after the event and it's too late then. Given that, Respironics must operate at higher pressures to prevent Apnea while ResMed users can keep a lower pressure and it'll respond to the event bumping pressures to combat events while they occur.

FWIW it's not exactly being brand loyal. If the circumstances were reversed, I'd be all in on Respironics. I myself choose the one that works best, and that includes Apnea treatment and max comfort.
Dave

OSCAR
Standard OSCAR Chart Order
Mask Primer
Dealing With A DME
Soft Cervical Collar Wiki
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEBSITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#6
RE: Ear “popping” as if on aeroplane
Thanks Dave for explaining it to me.
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#7
RE: Ear “popping” as if on aeroplane
You're welcome. If you would download OSCAR the free report tool, you can post sleep session charts. Maybe there's pressure setting optimization that might help your ear discomfort.
Dave

OSCAR
Standard OSCAR Chart Order
Mask Primer
Dealing With A DME
Soft Cervical Collar Wiki
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEBSITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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#8
RE: Ear “popping” as if on aeroplane
in my view, plugged popping ears is form of aerophagia. the quick solution is to reduce pressure to find a point that doesn't materially increase events while relieving the ear issue. longer term - I think - is to learn to manage tongue position. avoid yawning, talking, drinking water, etc. - generally opening your mouth - while masked up.
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#9
RE: Ear “popping” as if on aeroplane
    Thanks. Dave, I’ve uploaded the two nights when the “popping” happened. Actually, it was more serious than popping. I was woken up by air that seems to be pushing from the hose to my nose into and out of my ears. I pressed the button to lower the pressure but a couple of minutes later, the whooshing started again. I tried tightening the mask. No help. It was almost morning so I just got up. Same thing the next night. The whooshing took place towards morning. Throughout the day I had this “popping” sensation.  So the next night, the 12th, I lowered the maximum pressure to 12 from the previous 20. That worked. (A couple of weeks ago, I turned the pressure up to 20 from 12 as I thought it might help my flow limitation. We discussed this in another thread.) I’d appreciate your thoughts.


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#10
RE: Ear “popping” as if on aeroplane
I'm not seeing anything specific in OSCAR data, but my guess is you'll need to balance comfort and effective pressures to treat apnea. Most PAP users need to do this balancing act anyway to some degree. If you need to lower pressures to gain ear comfort, so be it. Then naturally you'd monitor OSCAR and view the impact on therapy. At that point, you'd adjust pressure to balance between these opposing needs.
Dave

OSCAR
Standard OSCAR Chart Order
Mask Primer
Dealing With A DME
Soft Cervical Collar Wiki
INFORMATION ON APNEA BOARD FORUMS OR ON APNEABOARD.COM SHOULD NOT BE CONSIDERED MEDICAL ADVICE. ALWAYS SEEK THE ADVICE OF A PHYSICIAN BEFORE SEEKING TREATMENT FOR MEDICAL CONDITIONS, INCLUDING SLEEP APNEA. INFORMATION POSTED ON THE APNEA BOARD WEBSITE AND FORUMS ARE PERSONAL OPINION ONLY AND NOT NECESSARILY A STATEMENT OF FACT.
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