Hello Guest, Welcome to Apnea Board !
As a guest, you are limited to certain areas of the board and there are some features you can't use.
To post a message, you must create a free account using a valid email address.

or Create an Account


New Posts   Today's Posts

Ear Pain
#1
Question 
I searched and couldn't find anything about ear pain here, so here I am asking...

Lately I've had some ear pain that I can really only associate with my xPAP therapy.  I'm curious how to resolve it, eliminate it, or at least decrease it.

Over the last month or so (ie: half of the time that I've been on CPAP), sometimes when I've just put on the mask and am trying to fall asleep, a certain kind of swallow causes my left ear to sort of pop.  In the last week, especially in the last 2 days, I've noticed that during the daytime I have a subtle but bothersome pain in my left ear; and I can maybe barely feel it in my right ear if I pay attention.

I'm surprised I couldn't find anything on this subject here.  Have you heard of it?  Do you have any thoughts or suggestions for me?

P.S.  As a child (and even into adulthood, until I made dietary interventions) I had frequent and chronic ear infections.  So I understand my ears may be more sensitive than others.  And no, it doesn't not feel like an ear infection (and I have no other symptoms of an ear infection).
Post Reply Post Reply
#2
I find that if I yawn with the pressure on my right ear pops and causes discomfort. I had an operation (stapedectomy) on this ear some time ago and it is more sensitive. The only way to ease the situation is to turn the machine off, remove the mask then yawn / swallow a few times. Luckily I don't get any persistent pain from this.
DeepBreathing
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


Bed

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.
Post Reply Post Reply
#3
(03-14-2017, 04:08 AM)DeepBreathing Wrote: I find that if I yawn with the pressure on my right ear pops and causes discomfort. I had an operation (stapedectomy) on this ear some time ago and it is more sensitive. The only way to ease the situation is to turn the machine off, remove the mask then yawn / swallow a few times.  Luckily I don't get any persistent pain from this.

I experience the same thing if I yawn or swallow during the mask fit test, when my machine is delivering pressure at the highest setting. It's exactly what happens when I fly in an airplane and experience pressure changes with changes in altitude. I need to chew gum, swallow, yawn, etc. after landings to get my ears to "pop" (pressure equalization). It's a matter of how open your eustachian tubes are to allow equalization in pressure.

Post Reply Post Reply


#4
I am on a higher pressure and sometimes one or the other ear will POP and then I get a roaring sound in the ear.
This happened a lot for a while.  Which ear happened to be upright if I was lying on my side would POP, then the even more roaring would start.
Sometimes if I swallowed hard I could stop it, sometimes not.  Sometimes if I wiggled my ear (tryed to do this) it would stop.
It is annoying, there was a thread on another forum about this (can't remember which one) but they had all sorts of cures from sticking your finger in your ear to industrial ear plugs to keep the pressure inside the ear cannal from changing.
Tried most of them, best thing I found was just to turn over and hope the other ear didn't POP.   Rolleyes 

If you have a cold and you are on a high pressure, this can be a problem with pain in the ears and the ear cannal blocking.
Luckly, I have had this just once in twenty years or so.
Keeping the ears spotlessly clean does not help either.

Just one of those things you have to get used to.
I know of a few that had ear pain at the start of treatment, but it went away.
However, they did think their hearing was a bit duller than it used to be, but then none of us are getting any younger either!
Keeping the ears clean with a drop of Olive Oil does help.  The Olive Oil that is sold for the job, not the kind you cook with.
Though I am sure my mother used that kind, just warmed it slightly and put down a drop in each ear Thinking-about 

As long as you do not have an infection in your ear!  You may just have to live with it.   Sad
Post Reply Post Reply
#5
When I'm getting settled for bed and putting on my cpap mask, I often find that my ear pops once or twice until my body seems to accept the increased pressure.  I don't know as it is a cure, but I lightly press my index finger just in front of my ear that pops (I think the spot is called the tragus) and that seems to help.
Post Reply Post Reply
#6
(03-14-2017, 06:50 PM)GrammaBear Wrote: When I'm getting settled for bed and putting on my cpap mask, I often find that my ear pops once or twice until my body seems to accept the increased pressure.  I don't know as it is a cure, but I lightly press my index finger just in front of my ear that pops (I think the spot is called the tragus) and that seems to help.

https://infovisual.info/en/human-body/external-ear

It would be like putting your finger on your ear.
Spoke to someone today and they say they use industrial earplugs that are quite a heavy type foam.
He and his wife both use them (they are stepped instead of just a narrow to wide point) I got a couple from his wife to try (in fetching pink) so the next time I have trouble I will try it.  He said I need to use them all the time to prevent the POP in the first place.  He say the stepped one are less prone to coming out.
They buy a box of 200 at a time and change them every few days.
I tried ear plugs once before and after a while they did cause me a bit of irritation, but so do in-ear headphones!
They both said they sometimes get this as well, but they put in a light moisturiser if they get this, but they throw away the ear plug and use a new one the next night.

This does not help if you get ear ache, but you can get these in small packs, so it might be worth a try anyway for a couple of bucks.
Post Reply Post Reply


#7
Earplugs are a great idea, and worth a try.
Post Reply Post Reply
#8
Keeping sinuses clear is what keeps mine at bay. I use a home made "xlear" spray every night about half hour before donning the mask (sometimes right before, but the half hour gives the shnozz a chance to dry) xlear is saline + xylitol and when used correctly will keep the sinuses healthy, shorten or eliminate colds and virii, and keep those eustachion tubes clear.

correct use of spray described here: http://www.fauquierent.net/etd2.htm
هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه
Tongue Suck Technique for prevention of mouth breathing:
  • Place your tongue behind your front teeth on the roof of your mouth
  • let your tongue fill the space between the upper molars
  • gently suck to form a light vacuum
Practising during the day can help you to keep it at night

هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه هههههه
Post Reply Post Reply
#9
I'm sure the pain has something to do with the treatment. Probably due to sinus and/or blockage in the eustachian tubes. If there is water trapped inside the tube, it could cause it. When I went to see my ENT, they did a test to eliminate the cause as water behind the ear. Going home, I pinched my nose and blew gently to pop the ears. Did it repeatedly at one go hopefully to clear out any moisture inside the tube and ended up with a slight vertigo episode that lasted 2 days. Doc said there was no issue blowing to pop the ears, contrary to common belief, and I did see my test graph showing a similar profile as a good condition one, but there were some slight deviations - so I suspected there might actually have been some water inside although he said otherwise. There were 2-3 nights when I tried to sort out my humidification levels in Jan/Feb this yr and had rain out. The blockages started thereafter. That could have been when water or moisture was introduced into the tubes.

I don't get the pain yet but the ears get stuffed up. I find that using ramp helps as I try to get to sleep. Otherwise, if it's straight minimum pressure, I tend to have to swallow and air starts to get into the eustachian tubes and pop the ears. Someone in this forum suggested swallowing after a full exhale rather than swallowing during an inhale to help mitigate the issue. Seems to help a bit but I can't keep consciously doing that or I won't fall asleep. I've cut out humidification in case it is causing moisture to build up in the tubes causing blockage and also dropped the minimum pressure a bit as well. It's been six weeks and the stuffed up and blocked feeling has subsided somewhat. Was quite bad initially and caused me the giddiness/vertigo. The ENT doc did prescribed a nasal steroid spray to see if it helps - so far the situation has improved, but could be due to a combination of things as I've stated above.

Sometimes the tinnitus goes louder when I wake in the morning and subsides during the day. Still trying to sort it all out.

Hope you get it sorted out. Really no fun especially with the pain.

Edit: ENT doc says pinching the nose and blowing too hard may actually damage the ear drums. So if anyone does it, best be gentle and don't make a habit of it. Once the ear clears, stop. In any case, pressure equalization should resolve themselves in due course.
lots-o-coffee
The doctor says coffee does not affect my tinnitus and it's got lots of antioxidants.... 
Post Reply Post Reply


#10
Thanks for all of this info. It has certainly given me things to consider.

I don't experience the weird popping if I just tell myself not to swallow as I'm trying to fall asleep. It's a psychological game, but it works.

The ear pain continues. I hadn't thought about the possible humidity factor. I can turn that down and see if anything happens.

Ramp is an idea. I've had that off. But I suppose I could turn it on, just to take an edge off of the falling-asleep pressure.
Post Reply Post Reply


Possibly Related Threads...
Thread Author Replies Views Last Post
  [Symptoms] Pain around rib cage when I use c-pap robertl913 4 169 08-13-2017, 06:54 PM
Last Post: ajack
  Rib pain and daily headaches, suspect shallow breathing. anjmur 9 364 07-05-2017, 12:48 AM
Last Post: ajack
  headache/sinus pain from CPAP duece12345 13 580 06-21-2017, 10:49 AM
Last Post: GuppyDRV
Smile Hello. Newbie here with mask pain/swelling issues Snoozygirl 5 256 05-26-2017, 11:17 PM
Last Post: Snoozygirl
  Chronic Pain and Sleep Disorders PaulaO2 7 1,780 05-25-2017, 05:26 PM
Last Post: PaulaO2
  Chest pain Apneamomma 9 490 05-24-2017, 01:14 AM
Last Post: kwhenrykerr
  CPAP & chest pain John108 18 25,253 03-06-2017, 12:41 AM
Last Post: Beej

Forum Jump:

New Posts   Today's Posts




About Apnea Board

Apnea Board is an educational web site designed to empower Sleep Apnea patients.

For any more information, please use our contact form.