nlsndenny wrote:I have experienced all of these and blamed it on the c-pap but don't know what to do. My family doctor gave me medicine for fluid on the ears and it didn't work. Then he gave me a stronger medicine and it didn't work. Any ideas??? I have never had any problems before the c-pap. The problem started shortly after using the c-pap.
My history: I have been sleeping with ear plugs for 20 years. I am a very light sleeper and the slightest whisper will wake me up. I have also suffered from tinnitus since childhood. Ten years ago I suffered a 'bout of strep throat which migrated to my right eustachian tube and I've had problems with that ever since. And sleeping with earplugs seems to make it worse, stuffiness, pain, irritation.
So the questions that I have are these:I continue to sleep with the earplugs because without them it takes hours to fall asleep and as I said before, I am awakened by noise very easily.
All this points to overuse of the earplugs in my opinion. If you are worried about a fungal infection in you ears or excess wax and itching, you NEED to get to an ENT to discuss proper ear hygiene.I wake up with itchy ears which I attribute to the earplugs. I first read that my ear canals may need lubrication as the ear plugs wipe out the ear wax, plus I'm always using q-tips to scratch inside my ear canals (I know I shouldn't but sometimes I can't help it). Then I read it may be a fungus in my ear canal due to overuse of earplugs. I wear them when I read, to block out the noises in the house like the squawking bird, barking dog, bickering kids, neighbors yard equipment, etc.... So I started using tea tree oil and lavender oil. The drops seem to take the itching away for the day so I suppose I must develop a consistency when using them and not just wait until the itching starts again.
In addition to the Flonase, you might also want to start using a neti pot or NeilMed Sinus Rinse Bottle once or twice a day to help clear those sinuses out. Neti pots and the Sinus Rinse Bottles really do work in reducing congestion substantially and they are nowhere near as uncomfortable as you might think they are.I am also renewing my Flonase prescription today for the post nasal drip that contributes to the ear issues.
Please be aware of this (not very welcome) fact too: You may be noticing the CPAP noise and the sound of your own breathing and thinking of those as tinnitus since you are sleeping with earplugs every night. The reason is this: Most of the noise of the machine itself is conducted through the hose and the sound of your breathing is often amplified by the mask and the hose and is also then conducted through the hose. The earplugs cannot block this conducted noise: It gets into your middle and inner ears by traveling through the hose and your bedcovers and pillows and then into your head through your skull. Because the ambient noise conducted through the air has been blocked by the earplugs, the only REAL noise being detected by your ears is the conducted noise. And it can seem incredibly loud when you're lying there in bed trying to get to sleep.I was diagnosed with restricted air flow-not sleep apnea (because I couldn't sleep during the sleep test, even with Ambien) in Jan '11. Fortunately, that was enough to prescribe CPAP with my insurance. I've been using CPAP for 2 months now and although I am sleeping better because of it, I have been noticing louder tinnitus. I used to be able to ignore it for the most part but now it's so loud I can't ignore it, at least not upon waking. It seems worse in the morning on nights that I sleep well with CPAP as I'm still adjusting to the whole new set-up and don't always sleep continuously through the night.
As I said at the beginning, I'm a life long sufferer of migraines and tinnitus. In my case both conditions long predate my estimated onset of my OSA. And I don't believe my OSA had anything to do with my developing these conditions.I have also continued getting migraines though it was hoped that CPAP would eliminate those. So my main problems are the headaches and the tinnitus.
While I think CPAP pressure CAN aggravate the ears via the eustachian tubes and cause ear pain, I'm not sure that CPAP itself is the reason you are noticing migraines more. Or rather, I should say this: In my own case, loud noises and over stimulation in general can trigger migraines. And in the early going I certainly had more than my fair share of sleepless nights with the accompanying stress induced tension headache and the occasional migraine headache. I don't think I ever recall the CPAP triggering a migraine, but if I had a migraine already going when I went to bed, the CPAP would certainly aggravate the migraine---sometimes significantly. Are you under medical treatment for your migraines? If not, you might want to ask your PCP for a referral to a neurologist that specializes in headaches. There are things that can be done for migraine headaches. If they are very frequent (two or three times a week) or very severe and disabling when they occur, there are prescription medicines that can help. But they must be taken exactly as prescribed, or the headaches can get worse instead of better.It is discouraging to read that CPAP may be the reason and that no one has really gotten distinct answers or help.
I know how you feel about multiple trips to the doctors without feeling like you have gotten anything out of them. Since August 2010, I've been to doctors (PCP, ENT, neurologist, sleep doctor, etc) for a grand total of 20+ times, not counting 4 sleep tests, an MRI, a CAT scan, and two rounds of vertigo testing. With very little to show for it in terms of making me feel better.I too am tired of multiple trips to the doctors and the charges that come with them, especially when you are no better off after you leave. And I am not particularly fond of my sleep doctor.
Are you aware that MANY deaf people complain BITTERLY about the tinnitus they live with on a CONSTANT basis? As I said, the silence you crave and are trying to acheive through the use of earplugs is making the tinnitus WORSE, not better.I know this is terrible to say(don't want to offend the deaf) but sometimes I get so frustrated with all the noise I wish I could turn my ears off.
In the long run, I think you need to learn how to sleep without the earplugs since I think it's the earplugs that lead to your noticing the conducted noise and tinnitus which are in turn causing problems with your sleep.I suppose it's a toss-up now...get sleep using CPAP and earplugs, but suffer louder tinnitus, headaches and constant ear issues, or sleep without them, still get headaches, keep others awake with my snoring, get very little accomplished in life due to the extreme fatigue then get depressed.
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