Long term problems with Cpap therapy and inner ear problems

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Long term problems with Cpap therapy and inner ear problems

Postby sammarcko » Sun Feb 25, 2007 7:30 am

Greetings.

I am needing some feeback here. I am 41 yrs old South African male and have OSA and have been using the Autopap for 3 years or logged 56,000 hours on the machine. I use the Remstar autopap and sometimes this is supplemented with concentrator oxygen.
It has done the job and no problems at all until about 3--4 weeks ago when I noticed in the car that my eustaction tube felt blocked and I lost some low frequency hearing range. Now let me explain a bit. I am also deaf from sensorneural hearing loss since age 5 as a result of mumps. This left me with only one ear with aprox 70% hearing loss correctable to near 100% with hearing instruments. This blocked feeling would not subside and I saw the ENT a week later in a blind panic as I felt that something was seriously wrong. I also had tinnitius which comes and goes. My autopap pressures have always started at 6 and range anywhere from 10 thru 19 over a 3 year period.
The ENT checked the ear pressure and did tests to confirm further and HOPEFULLY Temporary hearing loss in the low frequency range (using previous audiograms as comparison) and confirmed that it was a blockage of the eustaction tube or "eustatcion tube dysfunction"
Started a week of nasal decong spray - no real improvement. lymph drainage etc.
Second week- oral predisone for 14 days (course finished) Decon/antihistamine tabs plus decon spray, plus Nasonex. Daily homemade sniffing mixture of 1/2 tsp sea salt and 1/2 tsp sodium bicarb mixed in lukewarm water - sniff about 300ml and hydrate- drink loads of water plus take mucus thinners.
Result: the tube still feels blocked (like glue ear) but as I live around a series of mountains/hills I notice that I can equalise pressure in the tube with the Vasalava technicqe by going for a quick drive involving altitude changes so some days or some part of the day I will have an 80% improvement from original condition but it will be temporary.
I have not used the Cpap for 21 days and am too scared to use it again- However I might try a full face mask and breathe with mouth. I don't have much choice as OSA is pretty noticable to me without cpap- falling asleep during day, irritable, calf cramps, etc.
I have never had any problems with Cpap or the nasal mask- but I did have horrible headaches behind the eyeball on waking for a period of 3-4 months on the same side as the now affected ear. I notice that immediately when I first notice the "blocked" feeling or muffled ear feeling or Glue ear- whatever you want to call it - that these headaches disappeared. I also noticed that the psyiology of the nostril on the side of the affected ear has changed- in months and years past I would give a hefty Vasalava blow on wakening to equalise the presssures and I' d blow a lot of mucus gunk out. That has all stopped with the sudden glue ear onset too.
So I am left with a blocked tube which cannot be grommeted because the ENT says that her pressure tests indicate that there is not enough fluid/glue to warrant a draining - but she understands that in my case that ANY blockage would be felt 1000% more by myself compared to the normal person. A normal hearing person might feel differently and much lesser affected than myself. I cannot have the eardrum pierced because I am dependent on the aid in that canal!
I just thought to let you know and if there is any specialist monitoring this board to feel free to offer any opinion.
My own guess is that somehow all the pressure from the CPAP over the LONG TREM has affected the eustatcion tube - causing it to flatten or change in some way at the openings- so fluids cannot drain normally- hence they sit and thicken. Vasalava maneuver used to be surefire way of clearing but not now.
Someone suggested using a Hyperbarbaric oxygen chamber but the ENT said it was too risky.
Unfortunately there are no diagnostic tools yet available to view the Eustatcion tube- NOT MRI, NOT CAT, not even endoscopy yet.
With luck my ear will unblock over time there has been some improvement and it feels like a block nothing more- but it is testing my sanity!! (still using nasonex and sniffin mix) and maybe I should go for full face CPAP.
sammarcko
 

Postby billie » Sun Feb 25, 2007 10:50 am

I can't help you...but I have balance problems and it seems like the cpap has made my ears more stuffy and then making my balance worse...I am to go have a MRI next week .I feel its all for nothing we'll see...
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Postby Guest » Mon Feb 26, 2007 4:06 pm

I have asked for a comment from Respironics US via their South African distributors on any known long term problems or issues relating to the use of CPAP devices.

It also came to my attention that someone using the CPAP for 8 years has suffered "Eustation tube dysfunction" on a different forum.

My concern is all that pressure, night after night, cannot come without possible damage in the long term and I would appreciate it if anyone could point me in the direction of any long term studies done.

I realise that the benefits of CPAP for OSA may well outweigh the risks but I have not found a risk profile to date.

Regards
Sammarcko
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Postby Guest » Sat Mar 03, 2007 3:54 pm

Surely there must be some long term Cpap users here (3+years) who can state if they have experienced any adverse effects? or has it been all smooth sailing for everyone?
I spoke to my ENT and she says that the palate does get affected (and she prescribed palate strengthening exercises!)
Still awaiting a reply from respironics if indeed there will be a reply.
Meanwhile I've reverted back to a full face mask with humidifier (avoiding the nasal mask) while the eustaction tube problem gets investigated. Not an easy transition!
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CPAP

Postby lyle » Tue Mar 06, 2007 1:51 pm

I've used CPAP for more then 10 years. So far so good. I wonder if I get more chest colds bacause of it?
lyle
 

Postby Guest » Tue Mar 06, 2007 3:11 pm

Lyle, what pressure range have you been running and have these changed over the years or have they remained fairly constant?

Regards,
Sammarcko
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I understand

Postby hcruisemike » Mon Mar 19, 2007 12:56 pm

I am in the same boat.
I have used a CPAP for 7 years. The setting has not changed.
About 2 months ago I noticed my ear (left) felt clogged and never released.
To this day, I have had no relief.
hcruisemike
 

Postby Tom ZZZzzz » Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:16 pm

I too have a (high freq)hearing loss in both ears, tinnitus, and since therapy have felt the pressure going into my eustaticion tube. I've also had the eye/ headaches too. I've assumed this is my sinuses adjusting to the pressure. I have not been concerned yet because I've thought this is part of the adjust ment period. I will watch this more carefully and if it continues more than a few more weeks, may go see my ENT...

Tom
Remstar M-series PRO- CPAP w/ HH - Hybrid Mask - 10cm AHI 33 - DX 03/01/07

THIS TOO SHALL PASS
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Postby billie » Mon Mar 19, 2007 7:30 pm

I am going to have a sleep study tomorrow night for a bipap for my ears.....will this help ? I don't know but I have allot of pressure in my ears and they didn't blink twice about ordering the new test....ps the pressure is on and off really bad some days and not so bad others
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Postby SnoozeHunter » Tue Mar 20, 2007 12:28 am

See this thread in the forum:

Some side effects listed by members

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Now you got me scared...

Postby libertino85 » Wed Mar 21, 2007 1:10 am

For the past two weeks I've had pressure and reduced hearing in my right ear. I've tried everything, alcohol drops, peroxide drops, chewing gum, yawning, even olive oil drops and blow dryer. No results. Just pressure. I'm going to see a doctor in a few days. I'd hate this condition to be related to CPAP because I can't live without this machine... I've been using it for six months and cannot sleep without it. Not even naps... Hopefully there's another explanation for what's going on with me. Wish me luck
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Hearing loss and cpap

Postby clemmons1948 » Mon Mar 26, 2007 8:33 pm

I have been on a maching for about 10,000 hours now and I started experiencing hearing loss last year.
clemmons1948
 

Postby Tom ZZZzzz » Mon Mar 26, 2007 9:30 pm

Hello,
I'm on my third week of CPAP and almost since I've started I've noticed a change in my hearing. I already have a hearing loss but think I've lost even more high freq hearing. I've wondered if this is temporary or not. I was waiting to see if my body adjusted but its been the same for the last week for sure. If anyone reading this has had this experience when they first started and it was temporary for them.. Please let me know... I probably should just make an appt with my PCP and get my buttox to an ENT... I don't know what choices I have.... I have to go through with this therapy.... Any feedback would be appreciated..

Tx

Tom
Remstar M-series PRO- CPAP w/ HH - Hybrid Mask - 10cm AHI 33 - DX 03/01/07

THIS TOO SHALL PASS
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Postby Guest » Wed Mar 28, 2007 11:34 am

Well my ENT has given up and I've been referred out to another one for a second opinion. The problem is that the inner ear cannot be visualised by any MRI or CAT Scan. normal Endoscopy doesn't work. There is research ongoing into Fiberoptic endoscopy which doesn't penetrate the eardrum- the optics go through the EU tube. There is also 3D rendering . There are only a few specialists worldwide offering this fiber optic imaging and it is not without risks of scarring. And for everyone else...Whenever the eardrum is ruptured for tubes (grommets) to be inserted by an ENT- there is a fair chance that the eardrum will never heal completely. Keep this in mind no matter what your ENT may say.. It is certainly not an option for me.
No improvement to date and the full face mask was no improvement either. The scary thing for me is that my ENT now believes there is a definite link between the further hearing loss and the Cpap therapy. Now it needs to be proven and the problem needs to be remedied if it can be. If any other users are experiencing problems relating to any kind of hearing loss on Cpap no matter how small, please post here.
Regards
Sammarcko
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c-pap/hearing

Postby mhematite » Thu Sep 20, 2007 2:11 pm

I have used a c-pap, sporadically, for about a year now. Initially the high pressure was set too high and was waking me up with its force (blew my lips like a flag in the wind!) I had the smart card reduced. I slept better but I suddenly woke up one morning with sudden hearing loss in my left ear. Went to two ENT people and was told that it might have been a bit of plaque that broke loose and caused nerve damage but I did not receive any sure answer as to what caused it, only speculation. It affected my low range hearing and high range leaving my 2000 cyle spot the only one that was 80 percent of normal in that ear. I later asked my family practicioner if the C-pap could blow air up the eustachion tube or also moisture. He said it very well could do so. I have used the C-pap twice since the hearing loss occurred and both times woke up in the ayem with a head that felt like concrete and a buzzing type of tinnitus along with mental confusion (foggy brain). As the day or two progressed that condition got much better but I still have the loss of hearing and a degree of "head fullness". I am now suspecting that my eustachion tube is affected. The family doctor gave me a prescription for Flonase and I have used that for two days waiting to see if it helps. I try pinching my nose and blowing and can feel the usual effect of "popping" the eardrum in the right ear but markedly reduced in the left. I am no doctor but can add 2 plus 2 and the D-pap certainly appears to worsen my condition when I use it. Right now I am opting for Breathrite strips and taking naps during the day for my apnea. Anybody heard anything further regards this matter?
mhematite
 

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