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Vertigo/CPAP Pressure Update- CPAP causing inner ear problems
#61
Hello,
Happily, I haven't had any issues recently with my CPAP, besides sometimes removing it while sleeping...(AHI's under 3 usuallyShy!!) but I stumbled on this topic so I thought I'd ask a question. Since beginning CPAP therapy in June of 2014, I've always felt some right ear stuffiness. Last fall, I started to get random occurrences of a sensation upon standing up after sitting for a long while, like driving or just sitting watching a movie, etc. It feels like instead of tunnel vision leading to fainting, tunnel hearing in both ears, if that makes sense, with the sensation of feeling faint. I saw ENT, with no diagnosis, then a neurologist who did an EEG to rule out seizures, MRI of brain to rule out auditory neuroma; all clear. He now is sending me for a balance test, an ENG (electronystagmogram), and said to try to drink more water... Has anyone ever experienced this loss of hearing sensation? (Has anyone had this test? May induce dizziness...I'm wondering is that for a few minutes or prolonged?)

Wondering if this could be due to CPAP pressures? I try to swallow right before turning on my machine and no more. If I do swallow, my ears plug, so I sit up, turn off the machine, swallow and the pressure in my ears returns to normal. Any input is welcomed.
Thanks,
Lynne
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#62
[quote='SuperSleeper' pid='780' dateline='1330183123']
[note: parts of this thread were copied from our old forum]

[quote=MRSnooze]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.
BPAP as much as possible.

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#63
I have had the same problems, vertigo, falling, inner ear pain since starting use of my System One. The supplier said the doctor had to authorize any changes, and the doctor said take it up with the supplier. The "system" almost lost a paying customer.

I have read this forum and gained enough knowledge to take care of it myself; Oh and testing, I took the "cell phone" antenna off a year ago, and nobody has said a thing!

Two years now, still using it, still "fine tuning" and breathing much better. Spoke with the Doctor and got the reply "Only ONE of us can be the doctor, if you want to I'll let you." I haven't been back to see him since.

I did start having some loose stools but also had bruised a neck muscle, allowing air from the CPAP to enter my gut. Change sleeping positions, and started exercising my neck muscles.

My oximeter shows a consistent 97 to 99% 24 hours a day no matter what activity I am involved in.
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#64
I know this is an oldish post, but I just wanted to mention that there are differences between machines. I have chronic problems with swelling below my ear canal (medical issue) and h ad no problem with either the Resmed S9 and Airsense models, but since I've started using a Respironics auto machine loaner, I was having increasing problems with vertigo every day. Same settings, same masks. Last night, I was so tired of not getting enough rest that I set my pressure for a straight 11 instead of the auto range. Now a straight 11 was what was originally prescribed but I wanted the range so I would be overall at a lower pressure (reducing eye pressure). The vertigo went away. Just over one night.

I don't know why, but maybe the different algorithm on the Respironics machine for auto-titration exacerbates a problem? I know I am constantly waking up with this machine and wasn't with the Resmed. Not saying anything is wrong with Respironics, but if you are having subtle problems, if there is any chance of getting a loaner machine to see if it resolves, it may be worth your time. It may be tough to get though. They gave me a brand new zero hour machine to use until my replacement Airsense arrives, so some, or many, offices may not g ave one. Alternatively, switch to a straight setting as I did.
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#65
as soon as the machine goes on, I get dizzy and I have ear pressure, as though I am in an airplane. I am at a pressure of 18 and feel like I am on some plane flying at g-force. I have only used the machine three times. The tech said it was normal that I would feel pressure in my ears when I started using it.
I have a head ache and feel very very stuffed up -- Cpap or allergies? Either way, I feel like I am going to pass out any minute.
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.
[/quote]

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#66
I have had ear problems now for weeks and weeks with sharp pain and vertigo. Went to several Doctors - primary one gave me medicine for sinus infection, then sent me to ENT Specialist, had MRI etc. All tests came back normal. Finally, my ENT told me that it may be my sleep machine. So now I am waiting to hear from my sleep doctor. I have only had the machine for about 8 months now.

I just discovered this board. Interesting to hear that others are having the same problem. Part of me just wants to unplug the thing or reduce the pressure on my own. I think I will try reducing the pressure because it does take awhile to hear back from my sleep doctor. Is there any downside of reducing the pressure ourselves?
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#67
G'day Gordon, welcome to Apnea Board

I think the occurrence of CPAP machines causing ear pain or vertigo is really quite rare, but that's no comfort if you are suffering. In very general terms, I'd say that reducing the pressure to avoid ear pain and vertigo is a sensible trade-off. The problem being that the new pressure might be too low to treat your apnea. It would be helpful if you could give us some more information about your prescribed pressures, and apnea / hypopnea index with and without the machine. I recommend you install SleepyHead software and post some screen shots to help us understand what's happening with your therapy.
DeepBreathing
Apnea Board Moderator
www.ApneaBoard.com


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#68
Yes I have been using resmed cpac for 2 years now.On the very  first morning I felt dizzy ,later after months of suffering severe vertigo ,the doctor Diagnosed me with Ménière's disease (inner ear problems)he also assured me there was no connection to the resmed.four months ago after moving house I did not have the cpac machine and had my firstdays without suffering any symptoms of menieres.Since October have used it only a few times and always  having vertigo
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#69
(02-08-2017, 06:52 AM)Danmc Wrote: Yes I have been using resmed cpac for 2 years now.On the very  first morning I felt dizzy ,later after months of suffering severe vertigo ,the doctor Diagnosed me with Ménière's disease (inner ear problems)he also assured me there was no connection to the resmed.four months ago after moving house I did not have the cpac machine and had my firstdays without suffering any symptoms of menieres.Since October have used it only a few times and always  having vertigo

I'm not sure which Resmed machine you are using and whether it has data extractable by SleepyHead software. Perhaps the set pressure is not suitable and causing you vertigo from what you have described. I'm sure others here will be able to better advise you on the next course of action.
lots-o-coffee
The doctor says coffee does not affect my tinnitus and it's got lots of antioxidants.... 
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#70
My pressure has been reduced to 9.  I am no longer having vertigo but my ear pain is very severe.  I went to ear doctor and said no problems with my ears and he thought it was the CPAC or TMJ.  Not sure what to do.  My sleep Doctor has made me an appointment for a dental oral device but not sure that would work because my sleep apnea was 50 times per hour which is severe and what I read on oral device it only helps those with mild cases of sleep apnea.  And it would make my TMJ worse.  So No sure what to do next.
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