Ear pressure from using CPAP?

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Ear pressure from using CPAP?

Postby Breathless » Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:29 pm

Hi people!

I've been using CPAP with exhalation relief since October. I am now having a problem with ear pressure that I cannot relieve by yawning. It feels something like you'd get going up in a plane - only I can't get rid of it. I know that sometimes before falling asleep I feel air going into my ear when, for example, I swallow at the wrong time just as air is rushing in (I'm using an autopap now to find the right pressure since my last AHI was 21). I bet there are plenty of other times at night when the air also is pushed into my ears that I am unaware of. I went to an ENT doctor and he said my hearing is fine and that it might just go away spontaneously. Would I be less likely to have this problem with a BiPAP?

Breathless (with ear pressure)
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Postby lynn321 » Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:42 pm

keep opening and closing the mouth as if chewing food
respironics comfort gell mask,resmed S6 lightweight CPAP, pressure 10 no humidifier
NO DOCTOR EVER ASKED ME IF I SNORED
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Did that work for you?

Postby Breathless » Thu Dec 27, 2007 3:55 pm

Lynn,

Did that technique work for you? I can't seem to get rid of the pressure by yawning or doing anything else, but I will try your suggestion because I am desperate for it to go away!! Thanks.

Breathless
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Postby PuhJommies » Thu Dec 27, 2007 6:59 pm

Hi Breathless... and hope you soon start breathing again LOL...

I 've never had ear problems. Now I do. ... and it's ANNOYING ! I've seen the ENT and he tells me it's my Eustachian tube.... that my post nasal drip is so severe due to allergies (he equated it to a waterfall when he did the tube up the nose down the throat trick they love doing). So, my throat gets swollen to the point where it's almost impossible to swallow some days and then with a great deal of pain... I mean REALLY hurts.

He gave me more allergy meds to take for it and after 2 weeks I still have it and have had it for almost 2 months now, but it's better... but not gone.

When I put my mask on my ears fill right up just as you described... like being on a plane. Swallowing or chewing gum does not help it.... but here is what does !

Pinch your nostrils together as if you were stopping a sneeze... HOWEVER, with your nostrils pinched and mouth closed, breath as hard as you can against your fingers until your ears pop... and they will.

Let me know if this works for you... at least will give you some relief.
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Postby Breathless » Fri Dec 28, 2007 3:24 pm

Dear Lynn,

Thanks for the suggestion - I kept doing it all afternoon and also chewed gum and it worked!! I can't believe the ENT doctor couldn't have suggested that. What do they learn in med school anymore (besides how to make money)??

Thanks PuhJommies for your suggestion, but I don't need it now because Lynn's suggestion did the trick!!

Breathless
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Postby Okie » Fri Dec 28, 2007 5:20 pm

For those with ear problems, I encourage you to try to use ramp, it is a bit more ear friendly.
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Postby Breathless » Sat Dec 29, 2007 3:04 pm

Dear Okie,

Since ramp only lasts for a little while at the beginning of CPAP use, how can it really help much? The rest of the night, air is probably still going into my ears when I swallow at the wrong time or exhale as air is rushing in. In your experience, do people with ear issues do better on BiPAP than on CPAP?

Breathless
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Re: Ear pressure from using CPAP?

Postby Dancantsleep » Sat Dec 29, 2007 4:27 pm

Breathless wrote:Hi people!

I've been using CPAP with exhalation relief since October. I am now having a problem with ear pressure that I cannot relieve by yawning. It feels something like you'd get going up in a plane - only I can't get rid of it. I know that sometimes before falling asleep I feel air going into my ear when, for example, I swallow at the wrong time just as air is rushing in (I'm using an autopap now to find the right pressure since my last AHI was 21). I bet there are plenty of other times at night when the air also is pushed into my ears that I am unaware of. I went to an ENT doctor and he said my hearing is fine and that it might just go away spontaneously. Would I be less likely to have this problem with a BiPAP?

Breathless (with ear pressure)


Hi Breathless,

Being a certified Open Water Scuba Instructor, I believe what you are experiencing is what we call a reverse block of the Eustachian tubes. These are the tubes that run from back of the throat to the middle ear. What happens is that these tubes get pressurized and then mucus usually ends up blocking the tube like a plug. Sometimes it is allergies causing the sinus congestion mucus to build up. It is okay for the Eustachian tubes to be pressurized as long as the tubes remain open so they can depressurize.

My suggestion is to use nasal irrigation every night as well as a decongestant and allergy formula like reactine prior to CPAP use. This will hopefully keep the mucus in check so that it doesn't cause the reverse block.

If you do this remedy make sure you sniff in after using the sinus irrigation bottle each nostril as this will help clear out the back of the nasal passages near the Eustachian tubes and it will flush out. I use Neilmed sinus rinse and just follow the instructions on the package.

I also recommend the plug the nose and blow technique but gently at first and continue if no pain is felt. I you do feel pain then stop. I you did it right you will feel the pop or click pressure release and your ears should be back to normal.

This is a time proven tecnique used in Scuba and here is the proper way to do it.

Valsalva Maneuver.

This is the method most divers learn: Pinch your nostrils and blow through your nose.
The resulting overpressure in your throat usually forces air up your Eustachian tubes.
But the Valsalva maneuver has three problems:
It does not activate muscles which open the Eustachian tubes, so it may not work if the tubes are already locked by a pressure differential.
It's all too easy to blow hard enough to damage something. And blowing against a blocked nose raises your internal fluid pressure, including the fluid pressure in your inner ear, which may rupture your "round windows." So don't blow too hard, and don't maintain pressure for more than five seconds.

I hope that this helps you out.

Dan.
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Postby PuhJommies » Sat Dec 29, 2007 7:17 pm

Pretty much the same thing I said in my post about with the exception of the sinus rinse.

Coming from a certified Open Water Scuba Instructor, I was glad to read your post Dan as I figure this is an area of the human body a diving instructor would know about.

Mine are still driving me crazy with annoyance. I see the ENT in 2 weeks. Hopefully, he will either cure the problem this time or cut my ears off and throw them away. The *blowing* against my fingers is the only thing that gives me any relief.


Guess it's time for me to learn how to do this nose netti pot thingy... akkkk.. always something more to learn & make part of a daily routine huh?!
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Postby Dancantsleep » Sun Dec 30, 2007 11:56 am

PuhJommies wrote:Pretty much the same thing I said in my post about with the exception of the sinus rinse.

Coming from a certified Open Water Scuba Instructor, I was glad to read your post Dan as I figure this is an area of the human body a diving instructor would know about.

Mine are still driving me crazy with annoyance. I see the ENT in 2 weeks. Hopefully, he will either cure the problem this time or cut my ears off and throw them away. The *blowing* against my fingers is the only thing that gives me any relief.


Guess it's time for me to learn how to do this nose netti pot thingy... akkkk.. always something more to learn & make part of a daily routine huh?!


Hi PuhJommies,

When I went through my Scuba training I had extensive study in the body's air spaces and how pressure effects them. Particularly the sinus and ears where we divers are always feeling the pressure differentials of water depth.

I never knew of the sinus rinse until I starting reading this forum last summer. Now I make it my daily routine as I work in Ford plants in Canada. They are the dirtiest places I have ever worked and after the sinus rinse my sinuses feel terrific.

I never tried the netti pot, I use a squeeze bottle as it has some pressure behind it to gently force out the mucus. There are a few methods.

Here is the original post by Vicki that I used to get started...

http://www.apneasupport.org/viewtopic.php?t=3572

Hope this helps.

Dan.
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Fisher Paykel Flexifit 407
Pressure 12
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Postby Petmama » Thu Jan 03, 2008 3:02 pm

breathless, my ear problems weren't as severe as yours, but I found some relief while the CPAP was on, if I plugged my ears when I swallowed. I have no idea why this helped, but it did.
Give peace a chance
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Postby med girl » Mon Nov 23, 2009 9:53 pm

If you have ear pressure using the CPAP, it could be a few different things. It could be that you have a sinus infection, allergies, a cold, etc. Have you tried taking a nasal decongestant when you have the pressure? Also, have you ever been checked to see if you have a deviated nasal septum? It is important to mention the ear pressure to your doctor to avoid doing damage to your ears.
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Re: Ear pressure from using CPAP?

Postby Linda7 » Wed Sep 04, 2013 10:21 pm

I had been having migrane headaches every morning until I started using a cpap machine. Now they are very rare. After using the machine for a couple of years I woke up one morning with a lot of pressure behind my left ear. It was terrible. Couldn't hardly function. After about 2 weeks of this torcher I saw a ENT. He coiuldn't find any ear fluid after examination and decided I needed to see a dintist to treat a condition called TMJ. That still is open to suggestions as to werather or not there is a connection. During that time I started reading your forum and discoverd that there are otheres who have had simular problems..That led me to my own investigation of my mechine' I realized that in the past I had gone to sleep with the hose swiveled above my head with out a problem..however when I alowed the hose to swivel down it cause the air to blow up my nose with more intensity. Since I have returned the hose to the upright position, my ear pressue has dissappeared. I had to pass this along and also incourage those with pressure to use the tecnique discribed to blow against your plugged nose, gently to open your ears, along with checking the hose placement when you are ready to sleep.
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Re: Ear pressure from using CPAP?

Postby snuzyQ » Thu Sep 05, 2013 7:24 pm

Hi Linda7 and welcome to the forum.

This is a great post. Thank you for sharing. There is a very interesting connection with TMJ and obstructive sleep apnea...and lots of good info out there online about this subject.

When I started on CPAP, ear pain was my first clue that my TMJs were not responding well to the pressures of my therapy. Some folks develop TMJ syndrome just from the positioning of the mask on their face. Whether from treatment pressures or from the mask itself, I am very glad to have gotten my own TMJ syndrome treated. Otherwise, the pain resulting from my OSA treatment would surely have ended CPAP therapy for me.

Welcome aboard!
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Re: Ear pressure from using CPAP?

Postby zinluver » Thu Feb 27, 2014 9:12 pm

Board thank you for your posts. I have a question for Linda. What type of CPAP mask are you using ? . . . . I had a similar experience with my treatment and I am using the full face Resmed Quattro FX mask. My machine is the Remstar Auto, pressure set 4-20. Last night while using the CPAP I felt a little pressure on my left ear plus I noticed that the air pressure in my mask-face was stronger than usual and if I would move the seal out my mask face air pressure streaming out felt higher than normal. My ear kind of had the feeling of swim ear ache. I suspected something could be wrong with the Auto Machine or if possibly it exceeded the 20 max. pressure setting to cause the added pain. I have been using the machine 8 months and I never experienced this type of air pressure before. The Quattro FX is kind of light and small compared to the regular Quattro unit as I have used both. I prefer the Quattro FX but it does not have the forehead support so it adds pressure in my nose when I set it (I need to get a bridge support). However, this morning when I woke up I studied with Sleepyhead last night's sleep results but the sleep study showed my maximum pressure during the night was only 6 and to me it does not seem right from what I felt I experienced above!!! . . . this morning my left ear drum feels clogged from last night sleep so I wonder the mechanics pain relation from the air pressure moving up the nose from mask breathing. I usually void sleeping in my back and rotate left to right during the nice at least twice so I can avoid pain in my shoulder.
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