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Ears plugged when reducing humidity
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Mosquitobait Offline

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Post: #1
Ears plugged when reducing humidity
I've had a lot of problems since winter hit. I kept taking my mask off during the night, which I hadn't done in the previous 5 months, but I also have had terrible sleep - waking up every couple of hours.

Anyway, I decided to increase my humidity to 8 (Airsense for Her). I went longer with the machine, but still pulled it off at night. Dropped down to 6 last night. Slept well, left mask on. However, I woke up and can't hear a thing. I know it isn't ear wax since I just had my ears cleared out 2 weeks ago. So, what would you suggest? Keep it the same and try another night, go up to 7? I just got off antibiotics a week ago due to ear infection (and I hadn't had one of those in years) and didn't have this effect then.

I'm using an Airfit P10, but have also tried Circadian masks (elan and Advanced with Zephyr seal). They are comfy, but are more leaky than the P10.
(This post was last modified: 01-21-2016 11:32 AM by Mosquitobait.)
01-21-2016 11:31 AM
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Inspired Offline

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Post: #2
RE: Ears plugged when reducing humidity
(01-21-2016 11:31 AM)Mosquitobait Wrote:  I've had a lot of problems since winter hit. I kept taking my mask off during the night, which I hadn't done in the previous 5 months, but I also have had terrible sleep - waking up every couple of hours.

Anyway, I decided to increase my humidity to 8 (Airsense for Her). I went longer with the machine, but still pulled it off at night. Dropped down to 6 last night. Slept well, left mask on. However, I woke up and can't hear a thing. I know it isn't ear wax since I just had my ears cleared out 2 weeks ago. So, what would you suggest? Keep it the same and try another night, go up to 7? I just got off antibiotics a week ago due to ear infection (and I hadn't had one of those in years) and didn't have this effect then.

I'm using an Airfit P10, but have also tried Circadian masks (elan and Advanced with Zephyr seal). They are comfy, but are more leaky than the P10.
There are lots of interesting and helpful articles online about ear problems with cpap, related to eustacian tube dysfunction. See one at

http://doctorstevenpark.com/tag/eustachian-tube-dysfunction

Keep on inspiring!

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01-21-2016 11:48 AM
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Possum Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Ears plugged when reducing humidity
(01-21-2016 11:31 AM)Mosquitobait Wrote:  I've had a lot of problems since winter hit. I kept taking my mask off during the night, which I hadn't done in the previous 5 months, but I also have had terrible sleep - waking up every couple of hours.

Anyway, I decided to increase my humidity to 8 (Airsense for Her). I went longer with the machine, but still pulled it off at night. Dropped down to 6 last night. Slept well, left mask on. However, I woke up and can't hear a thing. I know it isn't ear wax since I just had my ears cleared out 2 weeks ago. So, what would you suggest? Keep it the same and try another night, go up to 7? I just got off antibiotics a week ago due to ear infection (and I hadn't had one of those in years) and didn't have this effect then.

I'm using an Airfit P10, but have also tried Circadian masks (elan and Advanced with Zephyr seal). They are comfy, but are more leaky than the P10.

Honestly, I don't think this has much to do with your CPAP therapy. It sounds like your eustachian tubes, which link your middle ear cavities to your sinuses, are closing up and not reopening as they're supposed to, most likely as a result of residual inflammation from your recent infection. I'm not sure I've ever had ear issues as a direct result of CPAP therapy (if anything, I have fewer ear issues now), but I have had bad ears all my life. Whenever I get any kind of sinus infection or cold, my eustachian tubes stop opening to relieve pressure, which essentially deafens me.

My ENT prescribed a nasal spray called Dymista, which is a dual formulation of a corticosteriod and antihistamine, and ever since then, I've had much fewer sinus and ear issues. It is still name-brand only, so insurance will probably make you try two separate sprays with each drug first, but the single formulation works much better. It keeps sinus inflammation down from allergies, which in turn keeps my ears open. You can also try a nasal rinse - some people swear by them, but they never did much to help me.
01-21-2016 11:55 AM
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justMongo Offline

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Post: #4
RE: Ears plugged when reducing humidity
Just to be safe, I would look up the side effects on the antibiotic to rule that out.

I experience reduced hearing during the time PAP pressure is applied.
(I slept through a security system alarm recently -- never heard it.)
I comes back to what is normal for me when the PAP pressure is removed.
My theory is that the inner ear is pressurized via the Eustachion tubes; moving the tympanic membrane.
At my age, the three conduction bones in the middle ear (Malleus, Incus, and Stapes) have become fused (my theory.)
(These 3 bones form a lever system and amplify the sound)
The footplate of the Stapes forms a piston that conducts sound to the fluid in the Cochlea.
Ergo the sound path becomes disconnected when inner ear pressure is applied.

Possibly you are becoming pressurized in the middle ear; and the pressure cannot equilibrate after PAP pressure is removed.
If so, you might wish to see an ENT.

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.
01-21-2016 12:58 PM
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Sleeprider Online
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Post: #5
RE: Ears plugged when reducing humidity
If you had a cerumen impaction cleaned 2-weeks ago, but just resolved antibiotics last week, it could have recurred. If your hearing loss has continued more than a few hours, you should call your doctor.

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01-21-2016 01:12 PM
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Mosquitobait Offline

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Machine: Resmed AirSense 10 For Her
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Other Comments: RLS and Bradycardia

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Location: Minneapolis

Post: #6
RE: Ears plugged when reducing humidity
Thanks for all your advice. I put in a call to the clinic and they want me to come in, so I have an appointment for tomorrow. It helped that the nurse who took my call, also has a husband who uses cpap and has had trouble with it once winter hit. He didn't get the ear issue though. They did say to not use anything until seen (I have one of those Neti pots, but have not used it yet).
01-21-2016 02:37 PM
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justMongo Offline

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Post: #7
RE: Ears plugged when reducing humidity
(01-21-2016 01:12 PM)Sleeprider Wrote:  If you had a cerumen impaction cleaned 2-weeks ago, but just resolved antibiotics last week, it could have recurred. If your hearing loss has continued more than a few hours, you should call your doctor.

WoW. I had to look that one up. (cerumen impaction)
Very good advice.

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.
01-21-2016 04:27 PM
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Post: #8
RE: Ears plugged when reducing humidity
(01-21-2016 04:27 PM)justMongo Wrote:  
(01-21-2016 01:12 PM)Sleeprider Wrote:  If you had a cerumen impaction cleaned 2-weeks ago, but just resolved antibiotics last week, it could have recurred. If your hearing loss has continued more than a few hours, you should call your doctor.

WoW. I had to look that one up. (cerumen impaction)
Very good advice.

I was going to ask if she was taking any E.D. medications as that is a known side-effect; but thought better of it. Big Grin

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01-21-2016 06:08 PM
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Mosquitobait Offline

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Other Comments: RLS and Bradycardia

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Post: #9
RE: Ears plugged when reducing humidity
Thanks again to those who responded. I did have an inner ear infection - on different antibiotics and other stuff. Continuing with the cpap, but switched to Auto humidity instead of high humidity because of rainout. Boo. I can hear now, but not clearly.
01-24-2016 01:00 AM
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Machine: Resmed Aircurve 10 Vauto
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CPAP Software: ResScan SleepyHead EncoreBasic

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Post: #10
RE: Ears plugged when reducing humidity
You should feel relief from the ear infection pretty quickly, (day or two). Glad you got to the root of the problem. Sometimes ear infections can be stubborn, but it is unexpected since you were on antibiotics just a week ago. Good luck, and hopefully things will 'sound' better soon.

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01-24-2016 10:22 AM
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