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Vertigo/CPAP Pressure Update- CPAP causing inner ear problems
I did forget to mention that while my issue was gone the next morning, he did say it could take several days up to a couple weeks to go away. I just got really lucky I guess!
As always, YMMV! You do not have to agree or disagree, I am not a professional so my mental meanderings are simply recollections of things from my own life.

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I'm a newby - been wearing mask for a month, pressure at 12 as the sleep study showed me at stop breathing 33 times/hr.

My ears were popping when I put on mask for first week or so. Now both of my ears are completely plugged and won't pop (ear wax isn't the culprit) every morning and I'm not hearing well.

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(07-15-2012, 09:33 AM)cpapsissy Wrote: I'm a newby - been wearing mask for a month, pressure at 12 as the sleep study showed me at stop breathing 33 times/hr.

My ears were popping when I put on mask for first week or so. Now both of my ears are completely plugged and won't pop (ear wax isn't the culprit) every morning and I'm not hearing well.

Welcome to the forum - You need to be evaluated by ENT specialist to know for sure what is going on and see your sleep doc as well - may be pressure need to be adjusted. How is your blood pressure, are you on any medication. Have you tried nasal rinses, it can help if sinuses inflamed and congested. Don,t know about you but I get dizzy if don,t drink enough fluids especially water. The other thing might suggest is to try another mask such as a nasal mask, see if it help and make sure the mask vents not getting blocked by bed covers. what machine are you using, if its data capable....it would shows on the lcd screen AHI and leak so you would know if leak is problem or not as leak and frequents arousal can affect the quality of the therapy.
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Just found this board !

Been using CPAP for 5 years. Started noticing balancing issues about two years ago. I also started having an ear blockage feeling this past spring. What I think brought it on was I found mold in the water tank. Shock

Saw GP and ENT. Tried sniffing saltwater, Flonase and Mucenex. They help some. But blockage condition has not improved much.
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(09-27-2012, 04:43 PM)Duff Wrote: What I think brought it on was I found mold in the water tank. Shock
welcome to forum
It does help to use distilled water and make sure to refill the tank each night and don,t let it run dry
Wash the tank in vinegar water solution at least once a week

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I know the feeling well after putting on my mask and then the inner ear pressure, I have mixed apnea with narcoleptcey and my pressures are 9-18...my right ear is always blocked..but hopfully I'm seeing my doc on monday and we can solve my problem..
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I'm new to the machine but, I noticed that when I put my mask on I feel my ears go out like I can't hear & when I take it off, my ear goes back to normal. I was going to talk to my Dr about that.
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(07-12-2012, 05:02 PM)mjbearit Wrote: Awhile back I had a bout with dizziness.
... [Doctor] said to take Meclizine (motion sickness med, OTC) and it would go away. Well I was really skeptical, but did as directed and took 50mg Meclizine every...whatever it was the box said...4 hours or something? 6 hours? I don't remember. Danged if it wasn't gone the next morning! Just thought I'd share that one. Might help someone.

I know this is an old thread, but I would like to bring attention to another cause of deafness, tinnitus and/or vertigo. It is drugs which are ototoxic (toxic to the inner ear).

Especially, some antibiotics can cause permanent hearing and balance problems in some people, even if taken for only a few days. Some can render the inner ear more susceptible to damage from other causes for up to six months after no longer taking it, producing increased vulnerability to damaged hearing from loud noises or whatever.

A pdf version of the book "Ototoxic Drugs Exposed, 3rd Edition" by Neil G Bauman is available for purchase from Amazon and lists thousands of common drugs which are potentially devastating on some people's hearing or balance. (Everyone is different; most people might not be hurt a bit, but some will have terrible side affects.)

Personallly, I never start a new prescription without researching it in his book. He classifies ototoxic drugs into 5 risk classes, with Class 5 being the worst. Meclizine is listed as a Class 1 risk (low, but caution advised).

For example, with some people, Meclizine may damage the inner ear, making vertigo worse. So, if taking it helps, fine; but if it seems to be making the problem worse, I suggest one should call the doctor right away, or if that is not possible then I think it would probably be good idea to stop taking it until you have been able to talk to the doctor.

Years ago I often used Neosporin (available "over the counter" without a prescription, also marketed as "Triple Antibiotic") to combat ear itch from wearing hearing aids which had been touched with unwashed hands. (I would touch a door knob or something, and some time later would adjust the volume on my hearing aids without washing my hands first, so my ears would occasionally itch from exposure to "whatever".) Now I suffer from constant, extremely loud tinnitus, which I never associated with my use of the antibiotic until after finding out about the book. Neosporin contains Neomycin, which is a Class 5 (worst) risk, according to the book.

One would think that if a drug is not safe then it wouldn't be used, but the drug companies have an incentive to keep drug clinical trials as small as they can get away with, to reduce likelihood that someone will have a very bad reaction which would delay government approval of the new drug. Also, some clinical trials did not even ask about affects on hearing or balance, so the bad effects some people had were not adequately tracked or reported.

Take care,
--- Vaughn
Membership in the Advisory Member group should not be understood as in any way implying medical expertise or qualification for advising Sleep Apnea patients concerning their treatment. The Advisory Member group provides advice and suggestions to Apnea Board administrators and staff on matters concerning Apnea Board operation and administrative policies - not on matters concerning treatment for Sleep Apnea. I think it is now too late to change the name of the group but I think Voting Member group would perhaps have been a more descriptive name for the group.
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I am actually the same problems. Did you find a cure.i would be hapy if you can helpWhen 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.[/quote]

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If you can learn to use an Oracle oral mask without the nose plugs, it will not put pressure in your ears.

While it solves the ear problems, I found it to be a difficult mask to use. You put a mouthpiece in your mouth and it blows air in through your mouth. You have to learn to not let air out through your nose or use the nose plugs they provide. It won't help your ears unless you learn not to use the nose plugs.

I didn't have much problem learning to keep my "nose closed." It's the same mechanical maneuver your do when blowing up a balloon. You have pressure in your mouth, but air doesn't come out of your nose. I would start out the night by sort of pretending to blow into a balloon into the mask until my soft palate closed off my nose. Then I'd slowly relax while keeping my nose "closed."

The main difficulties I had were dry mouth and throat, and discomfort from not breathing through the nose.

Even with humidification, mouth only CPAP can dry the mouth and throat. It was irritating to my throat.

My brain was also not happy with no air flowing through my nose. It felt uncomfortable to me, sort of like the discomfort from having a stuffy nose.

Luckily, I didn't need to use the oral mask, so I switched back to nasal masks.

An oral mask is a miracle cure for some people. Some find it too uncomfortable.
Get the free SleepyHead software here.
Useful links.
Click here for information on the main alternative to CPAP.
If it's midnight and a DME tells you it's dark outside, go and check it yourself.
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