Hearing Loss Research

Can Sleep Apnea Cause Hearing Loss?

Posted by Admin |

Think back to when you were little and your parents wouldn’t let you stay up, but instead made you abide by your bedtime. When we are little, we wanted nothing more than to stay up late and enjoy being around friends and family. Funny how when we grow up most of us miss the nights of early bedtimes and a full 8 hours of sleep!

There are so many things that interrupt a good night sleep as an adult. From work or personal stress, getting sick, or having sleep apnea, there are a lot of outside factors that can stop you from having a great night sleep. Sleep apnea is often overlooked as a major issue, unless it is causing something else alarming like high blood pressure or is waking you up 30+ times in a one hour period of time. Sleep apnea is not something to be ignored, especially because it can cause so many other health issues, including hearing loss.

“Yes, that is right sleep apnea can cause hearing loss.”

A previously conducted “large” study has shown that people with sleep apnea have a 30% higher chance of also developing hearing loss. Moderate sleep apnea can increase the risk of hearing loss by 22% while severe sleep apnea can increase chances of suffering from hearing loss by 46%!

How can sleep apnea cause hearing loss?

Normal hearing requires the healthy flow of blood to the ear; so researchers believe the correlation between the two is due to reduced blood flow which is an extremely common with sleep apnea. While further research is required to determine exactly how the symptoms and side effects of sleep apnea can impact the ear, it is commonly known that reduced blood flow and oxygen can in fact damage the ear. Researchers have also questioned whether or not the vibration and noise caused by severe sleep apnea cause both inflammation and noise related hearing impairments. Suffering from sleep apnea means more than just a poor night’s sleep, it can truly be crippling for those who experience it.

If you or a loved one suffers from sleep apnea and are worried about hearing loss, you can schedule an appointment for a comprehensive hearing evaluation at Whisper Hearing Center. Our friendly hearing professionals will help you understand each step of the test and what your results mean for you. We offer a few different convenient locations within the San Francisco Bay area and Greater Sacramento area. Find the one nearest to you and give us a call today at (866) 337-1288!

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