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Tinnitus
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gumbloid Offline

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Post: #1
Tinnitus
On Easter Sunday, 2012 I was injured in a car accident coming back from church. For the first week, I was completely deaf in my left ear. Since that time, I have had numerous bouts with tinnitus: some mild, some severe. I have had 2 hearing tests performed and I have seen an ENT a total of 3 times in the past 18 months, to address the issue. During my last visit on August 8, 2013, she advised me from a treatment standpoint there was nothing that she could do. She gave me a brochure for a clinic that basically teaches you how to ignore the buzzing. I hesitated contacting the clinic in the hope that it would possibly go away. But since my last appointment with the ENT, I have had additional tinnitus-related issues.

Where the tinnitus becomes a real bother is when I am sound asleep. Out of nowhere, I get a buzzing in my left ear. It's almost like someone putting a kettle beside me. It wakes me up and I have difficulty getting back to sleep. I spoke to the apnea doctor and he basically told me that only an ENT could assist. The ENT however, cannot do anything from a treatment point of view.

It really sucks. I am in the process of suing the other driver. My car was completely totalled by 75 year old man who ran a red light. I will be updating this post with my results as time passes.

Has anyone else dealt with tinnitus + sleep apnea?
09-20-2013 10:48 AM
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Homerec130 Online

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Post: #2
RE: Tinnitus
I've lived with tinnitus for almost 30 years. Mine is mechanically induced as a result of exposure to high noise (even with proper equipment) and vibration environments. I flew airplanes for Uncle Sam for 20+ years. My ENT (as well as several other doctors) has said there is really no treatment for it other to develop coping/masking mechanisms. All the ads on TV are only to make some snake oil salesman rich. I have found that having some type of background noise - music for ex - usually helps. White noise generators only made mine worse and the sea sounds only makes we want to get up and go the bathroom. I once tried using earplugs on a commercial long haul flight, but while it knocked the noise down, it made the tinnitus worse.

I have found mine isn't really an issue with the apnea and my machine does provide a little bit of background noise.

If you do find something that will work, let me know and we can go into business together. :-)
09-20-2013 12:15 PM
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justMongo Offline

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Post: #3
RE: Tinnitus
I too live with constant tinnitus. My hearing was also damaged by an impulse noise environment while in the military.
Over the years, I have noticed mine varies with my BP, use of Aspirin, ....

@gumloid -- when on CPAP, the pressure in transmitted into the inner ear via the Eustachian tube. I go to sleep with CPAP and over the ear headphones listening to music or language lessons. I note that upon my first swallow, my hearing level is reduced. I theorize that the CPAP pressure is transmitted to the middle ear, and my conduction within the middle ear is reduced.

Perhaps CPAP pressure has an effect on your tinnitus.

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.
09-20-2013 12:47 PM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #4
RE: Tinnitus
Caveat to the following: I am not a chiro, found little use for them with my conditions, but think they do some good for some people.

That said, if I remember correctly, the first case of chiropractery was a guy who cured his friend's deafness but jerking his head so it sat straight.

I was rear ended I guess it has to be about 9 or more years ago. I went deaf in one ear for about two weeks then it slowly came back. Prior to that I already had tinnitus but not overly bad. After that, it is a constant companion. One of the things I did to try and alleviate the pain (I was really messed up) was I went to a chiro for a while. While I went, and while she tried to fix my neck, my hearing cleared and, for a while, the tinnitus went away. But I reached a plateau in my treatment and stopped going. My hearing is fine but the tinnitus slowly came back.

Since you seem to be frustrated by this--and I soooo understand--consider going to one. But discuss it with your attorney first as sometimes adding another doctor to the mix, especially a chiro, can be detrimental to the case. It was in mine and I got screwed.

I have not noticed an increase or decrease in my tinnitus in regards to my CPAP use. But I do enjoy the sound of the CPAP as it masks most of it and I have WhiteNoise, an iOS and Android app, to use when it gets really bad.

PaulaO2
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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.
09-20-2013 07:24 PM
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bwexler Offline

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Post: #5
RE: Tinnitus
Sad to hear I am in such good company.
I have had Tinnitus for as long as I can remember.
I have no clue what caused it or exactly when. I know it wasn't the military since I never went.
I did learn what is was early on because my aunt had tinnitus and went through surgery for it, therefore I did not have to go through the medical system myself for a diagnosis.

I am aware of the buzzing all the time, but have learned to ignore it.

I seldom if ever hear my Resmed S9. I do hear and feel mask leaks.
09-20-2013 08:52 PM
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DocWils Offline

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Post: #6
RE: Tinnitus
There are multiple causes for Tinnitus, and determining which one it is, no easy task, can help in determining therapy - at the easiest level to deal with is blood pressure related causes, such as sudden standing or exertion, and these resolve on their own or with medicines to lower blood pressure.

Positional Tinnitus is next, and can have to do with either the otoliths (earstones) or various neck, shoulder or cranial displacements or tensions - hence the reason Paula O2's positive experience with a chiropractor, although I would tend to want to see an Osteopath for that, since the former works the bone placements, but the latter works the muscles and nerves that are causing the displacement.

We come then to "learned" Tinnitus - where there was some sort of Tinnitus for a short time, and the Brain adapted, learning to hear it as a normal aspect of hearing, and so kept it up. Here the best way is hearing retraining, of which various methods abound. I have a fondness for the Tomatis Method, but it has no strong basis in science, as of yet - however it does work with some of my patients. I caution here that the reason may be the therapist and not the therapy per se.

Then we get into the area of hearing damage related Tinnitus, caused by the death or damage to the tiny hairs in the cochlea that transmit sound to the auditory nerve. This is by far the most common and do date there is little to do about it - a sudden loss of hearing followed by Tinnitus is usually related, and can be a forerunner of Morbus Meniere (or not - often Sudden Loss of Hearing resolves itself, and is a coping mechanism in the ear to a sudden change of the condition of the cochlear health). For these there is little or nothing one can do to help except develop coping mechanisms. Some success has been found with "buzzers" that mimic the noise of the tinnitus and help the brain to learn the frequency and mask it out. In most cases this is noise or drug damage. Sometime traumatic accidents can be the cause of this, as it can for Positional Tinnitus.

Next is damage to the auditory nerve, usually caused by antibiotics or certain catastrophic illnesses. No help there at all.

The last and saddest is when it is somewhere in the brain's hearing region itself. For this there is nothing that can be done, and I bring this one up especially for a point. Because it is so difficult to diagnose the exact cause of Tinnitus, and there can be multiple causes, resorting to extreme therapy, such as surgery, is very dangerous and unwise. Let me relate to you a case that I am very familiar with (full disclosure, I have had in the past a close association with the umbrella organisation for the Hard of Hearing in Switzerland): One particular patient was so driven to distraction by his Tinnitus that he elected to have his auditory nerve cut completely, rendering him deaf, which he felt was a better solution than hearing the constant Tinnitus. The operation was a success, he was no completely deaf, he could hear nothing. Except his Tinnitus, because the source of the Tinnitus was in his brain and not his hearing organ or the auditory nerve. So anyone considering drastic surgery of any sort to deal with this, beware - this man now hears, night and day, without letup or any way to distract it, a constant Tinnitus, and now, alas, nothing else.

Finding the exact cause of the Tinnitus, as you can see is no easy matter. The fault of determining wrongly where the tinnitus originated was not the fault of the doctor's, but the fault of the extreme difficulty in determining where it was coming from, and in some cases, such as the brain related Tinnitus, how easily it mimics Tinnitus from other causes.

There is no known effect of PAP therapy on Tinnitus, however the forced pressure of the PAP device can, especially during a swallow or a yawn, go up through the Eustachian Tubes and raise the air pressure in Middle Ear, which may cause discomfort or auditory distortion.
(This post was last modified: 09-21-2013 06:10 AM by DocWils.)
09-21-2013 06:06 AM
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me50 Offline

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Post: #7
RE: Tinnitus
(09-21-2013 06:06 AM)DocWils Wrote:  There is no known effect of PAP therapy on Tinnitus, however the forced pressure of the PAP device can, especially during a swallow or a yawn, go up through the Eustachian Tubes and raise the air pressure in Middle Ear, which may cause discomfort or auditory distortion.

In your opinion, can pressure from the CPAP machine, cause pain in an ear and/or a build-up of wax in an ear?
09-21-2013 07:52 AM
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DocWils Offline

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Post: #8
RE: Tinnitus
To the latter, no, wax is an ear canal substance and there is no way that PAP pressure could have an influence on it.
To the former, as I said, pressure build up could cause discomfort or pain, but swallowing or popping your ears would deal with that. Also, with habituation, the incidences of pressure build up will lessen.
09-21-2013 09:37 AM
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PaulaO2 Offline
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Post: #9
RE: Tinnitus
When I first started CPAP, I had ear issues but they went away. With each pressure increase, with the exception of the Autoset, I had to go through it again. If I am experiencing sinus issues, then the ears will react more to the CPAP but I think it is because there's already something going on so it doesn't take much to close the gap.

Eons ago I tried biofeedback for the tinnitus but didn't have much success. Others did, though.

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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.
09-21-2013 08:15 PM
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me50 Offline

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Post: #10
RE: Tinnitus
(09-21-2013 09:37 AM)DocWils Wrote:  To the latter, no, wax is an ear canal substance and there is no way that PAP pressure could have an influence on it.
To the former, as I said, pressure build up could cause discomfort or pain, but swallowing or popping your ears would deal with that. Also, with habituation, the incidences of pressure build up will lessen.

okay because I read an article that talked about CPAP therapy causing problems with excessive wax, hence, my question.
09-21-2013 08:31 PM
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