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Vertigo/CPAP Pressure Update- CPAP causing inner ear problems
Vertigo/CPAP Pressure Update- CPAP causing inner ear problems
[note: parts of this thread were copied from our old forum]

MRSnooze Wrote:The discussion about adjusting your own CPAP pressure caught my attention because my CPAP is apparently causing me serious inner ear problems.

When I turn the machine on I immediately feel pressure inside my ears and it continues throughout the session. I am unable to *pop* or clear my ears and this has developed to the point where it has caused inner ear problems that have made me dizzy, impacted my balance, hearing, etc.. I.e., vertigo.

I saw my sleep specialist, who said he was unfamiliar with any similar troubles by other patients. He surmised my eustachian tubes were not closing properly, the valves in the back of my throat were staying open, allowing the CPAP pressure into the inner ear. His solution was to INCREASE my pressure (which he did himself on the machine during an office visit) and this has made matters substantially worse.

In the meantime I saw my ear, nose and throat specialist who was aghast that the pressure had been raised and urged me to reduce it if I wanted to continue using CPAP (essential for me to get a night's sleep).

Problem: By the time my call to the sleep specialist's local office was returned it was Friday. I was told the assistant would contact the doctor, he would write a revised prescription and then transmit it to the company that services my CPAP machine and they would have a therapist or service person make the appropriate changes.

This leaves me the entire weekend, at a minimum, with either severely impeded sleep or causing myself increased problems using CPAP.

Obviously I want to discuss it with the sleep specialist, or a therapist, but as someone who has six years experience with CPAP I feel confident I know enough to be able to reduce the pressure to a more comfortable level until I can discuss it with a "sleep professional." I'm not simply tinkering with the machine to see what happens.

I really have no choice but to find a way to adjust it myself, or live without it. A real lose-lose situation for me.

So, thank you for posting links to the setup instructions so I can adjust the pressure of my CPAP machine and hopefully find a level that doesn't cause me more problems and still allows me to sleep.

I'd love to hear from anyone who has experienced similar ear problems due to CPAP and any solutions discovered -- besides discontinuing therapy.
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RE: Vertigo/CPAP Pressure Update- CPAP causing inner ear problems [copied from old forum]
MRSnooze Wrote:Called my sleep specialist last Thursday to inform them that my ENT wanted my CPAP pressure dropped ASAP (he had raised it from nine to eleven because of vertigo problems.) Heard back from doctor's assistant yesterday (Monday) that he was ordering a change. Therapist called this afternoon (Tuesday) and told me over the phone how to change it. He was surprised the doctor hadn't just walked me through it and saved a few days. (I didn't tell him I'd already discovered how to accomplish it and taken care of it.)

Inner issues remain and assume they may take time to clear up; hoping it's sooner and not later.

Don't believe I am alone with the inner ear issues -- anyone else?

Does the therapist who started this topic have an experience with it?

And thanks again for posting directions on managing the machine.
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RE: Vertigo/CPAP Pressure Update- CPAP causing inner ear problems [copied from old forum]
Hi MRSnooze - welcome to Apnea Board!

I have had slight vertigo problems, but they have disappeared within minutes, not ongoing as you seem to have. I hope someone else who has such symptoms can chime in.

Let us know if the decreased pressure helps.
Apnea Board Administrator



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RE: Vertigo/CPAP Pressure Update- CPAP causing inner ear problems [copied from old forum]
JudgeMental Wrote:Your post brings to light some of the problems that I have encountered lately. I have had some slight vertigo problems in the past. Perhaps one or two times a month. I use the term "slight" as compared to a full blown vertigo episode several years ago, before CPAP time. I have been thinking that the slight vertigo was caused by the twisting and turning of my head during the times that I have used a "Netti Pot" for sinus and allergy symptoms. Your post sheds new light on the possibilities of cause of my vertigo. My pressure is 9.5.
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RE: Vertigo/CPAP Pressure Update- CPAP causing inner ear problems [copied from old forum]
CrohnieToo Wrote:Mr Snooze. If you are still experiencing the inner problem STOP using your xPAP at all - NOW! I don't usually read posts about ear problems since it is a problem I've not encountered (knock, Knock, KNOCK).

I have read of one person who has had PERMANENT hearing loss due to CPAP. Not entirely the CPAP therapy fault as the underlying problem was a malformation on that person's inner ear. And another person has had what appears to be permanent hearing loss in one ear, again due to a problem w/the anatomy, but aggravated by xPAP therapy. I believe that post and thread was about a year ago at apnea support dot com.

It would be well worth your while to seek out a second ENT opinion. I wish you well and do not mean to be a scaremongerer but our hearing is too precious not to pursue this further. Good luck and God bless!
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RE: Vertigo/CPAP Pressure Update- CPAP causing inner ear problems [copied from old forum]
Barngirl99 Wrote:I was so excited to find these posts! I was diagnosed with BPPV years ago and was just diagnosed with Sleep Apnea. I just got my cpap machine today, but noticed during the sleep study using it that I was extremely dizzy the following day. I'm hoping it's a coincidence, but finding this board has been helpful.
Did anyone find anything that might help alleviate the symptoms? I already take Loratadine [Claritin], but the dizziness hasn't eased. Hoping to have a lot more energy using the cpap and also hoping the dizziness issues aren't a prolonged side effect! =)
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RE: Vertigo/CPAP Pressure Update- CPAP causing inner ear problems [copied from old forum]
JudgeMental Wrote:Good Luck Barngirl, with your CPAP therapy. I wouldn;t put too much preconcieved notions in your head about the cpap causing dizziness or vertigo..hopefully it is just a coincidence. I take allergy and sinus meds also, so I share your fate. The sinus problems cause me some dizziness at times. The cpap is a love/hate relationship with me. I hate wearing it and dragging it around when we travel but at the same time I love it for the good it is doing for me ande I know that I sleep better with it.
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RE: Vertigo/CPAP Pressure Update- CPAP causing inner ear problems [copied from old forum]
xragman Wrote:I have been on cpap for almost 20 years with no issues whatever. Then I had my cpap machine replaced for the 2nd time last January. In may, i woke in in the middle of the night with a full blown bout of vertigo. I had no idea what it was, thought I was having a heart attack. I even started having ear noise in my left ear only which at times was very loud. To shorten this down, I have been to several doctors, every specialist twice, spent a fortune in medical testing, and nobody could tell me the root cause of my problems. I am having spells every day, and they can come on by the turn of the head at any time. I even had another sleep study done to make sure my machine was working ok and the settings were accurate. Finally, I took a piece of tape and almost closed the opening of my mask fitting. My issues stopped. After about 3 weeks, no ear noise, no problems, and feeling really good, I stupidly again used the cpap as I should. I was down for 2 straight weeks. I wanted to die. I quit using it altogether and finally after a week, things are getting back to normal. Is it My machine? I don't know. Is it a medical condition? The doctors say no. Will I use cpap again? No. I would rather die than go through that again.
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RE: Vertigo/CPAP Pressure Update- CPAP causing inner ear problems [copied from old forum]
JudgeMental Wrote:xragman, I'm not capable of adding much that would be of value in your efforts to subdue your vertigo experience with your CPAP usage. After 20 years of usage, I'm sure you have encountered nearly every disturbance possible with the use of CPAP therapy. I would caution the stoppage or taping off of the exhaust ports of the interface, even though you say it corrected the malady. Carbon dioxide poisoning is not something you want to take-on without medical supervision. The five month period from onset of the new/replacement CPAP (Jan-May) tends to have me believe that it is not your CPAP equipment but some type of medical problem. I don;t see the connection to "feeling like I was having a heart attack" and full blown vertigo. Vertigo has no connection with the heart, in my opinion, other then possibly raising your anxiety levels to the max. I encourage you to seek more and soon, medical advice to help you solve this dilemma.
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RE: Vertigo/CPAP Pressure Update- CPAP causing inner ear problems [copied from old forum]
loma Wrote::X how do you adjust the pressure. I am having vertigo problems this last month I have used cpap for 7 years but resently used a nasal cannula which is very easy and comfortable to wear but i think all that direct pressure is effecting my inner ear giving me vertigo. I also for a very long time have felt hypnotized when using the cpap I have no trouble sleeping I sleep 10 hours a day sometimes and still get sleepy during the day. I take provigial to stay alert. anyone else had similar experience and what did you do.
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