How Hearing Loss And Sleep Apnea Are Connected
Tinnitus is not only associated with hearing loss, but as expected with sleep disturbance as well. The relationship may even be cyclical Up to 71 percent of tinnitus patients report sleep problems, and sleep deprivation may be a cause of chronic tinnitus.
Chronic tinnitus sufferers may also be at higher risk for obstructive sleep apnea .
Tinnitus Linked To Insomnia
Researchers at Henry Ford Hospital in Detroit have found a significant association between the severity of perceived tinnitus symptoms and insomnia.
According to the researchers, over 36 million people experience tinnitus chronic ringing, buzzing, hissing or clicking in the head and ears. The study, presented at the Combined Otolaryngological Spring Meetings in San Diego, found that insomnia can worsen the functional and emotional toll of tinnitus symptoms and that patients suffering from insomnia reported greater emotional distress.
Study co-author Kathleen L. Yaremchuk, M.D., Chair, Department of Otolaryngology-Head & Neck Surgery at Henry Ford, explained:
Tinnitus involves cognitive, emotional, and psycho-physiological processes, which can result in an increase in a patients distress. Sleep complaints, including insomnia, in these patients may result in a decrease in their tolerance to tinnitus.
Although researchers do not know the exact physiological cause of tinnitus, there are several conditions which trigger or worsen it:
- Ear or sinus infections
- Wax build-up in the ear
- Head and neck trauma
In addition, earlier studies have found a strong link between various psychological disturbances and tinnitus.
In this retrospective study, Dr. Yaremchuk, Dr. George Miguel, and colleagues examined 117 patients who received treatment at Henry Ford between 2009 and 2011.
Dr. Yaremchuk explains:
The study received funding from Henry Ford Hospital.
Tests Measuring Menieres Disease Symptoms
At your initial visit to your physician he or she may request a variety of tests that help determine if your problem truly is Menieres Disease. These tests include
Hearing Tests: Auditory tests measure hearing loss based on both loudness and pitch, as well as differentiating between similar sounds. Those tests will also show which ear has been impacted.
Balance Tests: These illustrate how well your inner ear functions. A balance test may include a rotary chair where your eye movements are recorded while the chairs in motion. Another test uses standing on a platform and measuring your reactions to different angles of that platform.
MRI or CT scan: A scan of this nature allows the doctor to see if there may be another cause for your symptoms such as a brain tumor or multiple sclerosis. These are very non-evasive in nature and usually dont take very long.
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Living With Meniere’s Disease
Its important for someone exhibiting the symptoms of Menieres to see a qualified physician to rule out other potential underlying causes of the symptoms and to get evidence-based treatment.
Otolaryngologistsor ear, nose, and throat specialists are a good starting point. But neuro-otologistsENTs who subspecialize in ear disordersare most likely to be familiar with the current diagnostic and therapeutic best practices.
Diagnosing Menieres is difficult because the symptoms overlap with many other diseases and conditions. For example, dizziness and imbalance can be a symptom of anything from dehydration to hormonal imbalances, to tumorsin rare cases. So, its important to see a medical professional who specializes in ear disorderswith Menieres experience, whenever possible. This may help to minimize the time it takes to determine if the symptoms are attributable to Menieres or to something entirely different.
Treating and managing the symptoms
Because Menieres affects each person differently, physicians will suggest strategies and treatments based on the individuals medical history, lifestyle needs, and the symptoms theyre experiencing.
Some methods for managing Menieres include:
Additional approaches are sometimes used for more difficult cases:
Managing life with Menieres
Specific types of cognitive and behavioral therapies may be helpful in managing the anxiety and/or depression that sometimes accompanies Menieres.
Your Neck And The Different Menieres Disease Symptoms
Menieres continue to affect thousands of patients in the country. In fact, the latest count says that about 0.2 percent or roughly 615,000 individuals have this highly debilitating disorder. If youre part of the statistics and you dont know how to move forward in seeking relief, we recommend talking to an upper cervical chiropractic doctor.
We have seen countless patients experience massive changes in their symptoms after having their C1 and C2 bones adjusted by a neck chiropractor. Thats because upper cervical care aims to solve some of the potential reasons behind Menieres symptoms, such as:
- Poor fluid drainage in the head
- Signal transmission interference in the brain
- Brainstem and nerve compression
- Impaired vestibulocochlear nerve
It also helps your cervical spine heal from damage after a neck or head trauma, and protects you from other factors that could worsen your condition. If other remedies for vertigo attacks, tinnitus, ear congestion, and other Menieres symptoms didnt provide you with the results you need, you could try upper cervical care.
Additionally, if you still have doubts about our discussion on can Menieres disease go away? we strongly suggest scheduling your consultation with an upper cervical care doctor near you. This way, you can determine if you have a cervical subluxation and understand the value of restoring your spines neutral curvature.
Request for an appointment with a nearby upper cervical doctor today!
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How Is Mnires Disease Diagnosed
Your doctor will begin your exam by asking questions about your attacks. He or she will ask how severe and how long each attack was and how long in total you have been having attacks. You will also be asked about any sensation of hearing loss, ear ringing, or feeling of fullness in your ear.
After taking your medical history, the doctor may perform a series of tests to determine if you have Ménières disease. The doctor may recommend a hearing test to check for any permanent hearing loss. A test called a caloric stimulation may be done to check a reflex between your inner ear balance system and eye muscles by warming or cooling the inner ear fluid with warm and cool water. Other vestibular testing may also be recommended to evaluate your sense of balance. Additional testing may include brain MRI with contrast to rule out brain tumors or other possible causes of dizziness and hearing loss.
Once your doctor has the results of these tests, he or she will determine if your symptoms are caused by Ménières disease.
Menieres Disease At Home
The first step in this process is focusing on self care. A lot of people forget how very important self care is to their overall well-being. Are you getting enough sleep? Are you eating a well balanced diet? Do you drink enough water? Do you do nice things for yourself once in a while that are truly just FOR YOU.If that sounds a bit like something your mother said, she probably did without ever hearing about Menieres Disease. Common sense approaches to your condition usually help, and they dont take a lot of time or effort other than periodic self checks. Home should be your haven where you can leave anxiety behind you and hit the reset button. This is vital because it appears that stress can trigger some Menieres symptoms.
Also its important to talk to your family about your specific Menieres Disease symptoms as well as the progress of the condition. Let them know what to expect and how they can help. Maybe have a plan in place for when you have a drop attack or a long period of vertigo. I.E. who will help you around the house so you can sit still and rest until the episode ends? Also tell them what gives you relief. Have a designated spot for any medications you require as soon as symptoms begin and let everyone know where it is.
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Magnetic Therapy Treatment May Significantly Improve Tinnitus Symptoms
Magnetic therapy treatment may significantly improve tinnitussymptoms. Already being used for patients with depression, transcranial magnetic therapy may also benefit those with tinnitus.
Researcher Dr. Murali Rao said, Tinnitus could be for a number of reasons. Once all has been done to rule out the common causes of tinnitus, such as blood vessel problems and anything to do with the nervous system, we then look at the chronic tinnitus sufferers where no cause or remedy has been found. There has been a close association between psychological disorders, like anxiety and depression, and tinnitus.
TMS has an effect on the neurocircuitry of the brain. Its a way of modulating the connectivity within the brain, and we use that for treatment of depression. What we are trying to find out is how much the treatment has an effect on depression, and we will see what happens with tinnitus at the same time, added Dr. Rao. Continue reading
Concomitant Obstructive Sleep Apnoea In Patients With Menieres Disease: A Case Report And Literature Review
Wong Kein Low
1Novena Ent-Head & Neck Surgery Specialist Centre, 04-21/22/34, Mount Elizabeth Novena Medical Centre, 38 Irrawaddy Road, Singapore
2Duke-NUS Graduate Medical School, 8 College Road, Singapore
Menieres disease is a condition characterised by fluctuating and progressive hearing loss, aural fullness, tinnitus, and intermittent attacks of vertigo. Although the aetiology of MD is largely unknown, the pathology is the result of hydropic distension of the endolymphatic system . Various factors such as stress are known to trigger or contribute to MD .
Obstructive sleep apnoea syndrome is a sleep-related breathing disorder where episodes of apnoea/hypopnea occur during sleep due to a collapse of the upper airway. The direct consequences of the collapse are intermittent hypoxia and hypercapnia, recurrent arousals, and increase in respiratory efforts, leading to secondary sympathetic activation, oxidative stress, and systemic inflammation . The cardiovascular complications of OSA are well documented , but the neurotological consequences have only been studied recently . A mainstay of treatment for OSA is continuous positive airway pressure , which corrects the hypoxia and associated body stresses.
We report a case to illustrate the relationship between MD and OSA and highlight some of the challenges encountered. The relevant literature will be reviewed and discussed from the perspective of the otologist/neurotologist.
2. Case Report
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Does Sleep Deprivation Cause Tinnitus
This sound-emitting device could provide relief to people who have been unable to get rid of these tinnitus symptoms, but its important to realize that it only masks the symptoms and does not actually cure the condition. There may be an underlying cause of your tinnitus that needs to be addressed by a professional.
While insomnia and sleep deprivation seem to make tinnitus worse, they do not cause the condition. Here are some of the things that may cause tinnitus, including:
- Exposure to loud noises
- Brain tumor or other tumors
- Menieres disease
- Damage to the ear canal
- Earwax buildup
- Thyroid issues
In some of these cases, such as the tumors, poor circulation, and anemia, your tinnitus may be warning you and your doctor of a more serious health challenge that you need to address. Dont ignore it. Heart conditions may cause tinnitus due to a lack of blood flow, which can be especially dangerous.
You should see your hearing specialist to determine the potential cause of your tinnitus. If the cause can be corrected, the tinnitus may go away. If it cant, your hearing specialist can discuss treatment or tinnitus management options with you. Some solutions may reduce or eliminate your tinnitus.
Page medically reviewed by Kevin St. Clergy, Audiologist, on May 27, 2020.
Causes Of Menieres Vs Treatment
In ideal world doctors prefer to treat the cause of a disease. Unfortunately with Menieres they have to try and alleviate some of the symptoms instead. Most treatments have a two pronged approach. One is reducing the severity of symptoms, while the other seeks reducing the number of attacks over long-term.
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What Are The Treatment Options
Although there is no cure for Ménières disease, the attacks of vertigo can be controlled in nearly all cases. Treatment options include:
- A low salt diet and a diuretic
- Anti-vertigo medications
- Intratympanic injection with either dexamethasone or gentamicin
Your ENT specialist, or otolaryngologist, will help you choose the treatment that is best for you, as each has advantages and drawbacks. In many people, careful control of salt in the diet and the use of medication to help release extra fluid can control symptoms well.
Treatments aim to save the inner ear parts that work and clear out parts that are permanently injured.
Intratympanic injections inject medication through the eardrum into the middle ear space where the ear bones reside. This treatment is done in your ENT specialists office one or more times. One type of medication, Gentamicin, eases dizziness but may increase hearing loss and worsen overall balance. Corticosteroids do not cause hearing loss but are less helpful for dizzy spells.
Surgery is needed in only a small minority of patients with Ménières disease. If vertigo attacks are not controlled by conservative measures and are disabling, a surgical procedure might be recommended.
What Should I Do If I Have an Attack of Ménières Disease?
Lie flat and still, and focus on an unmoving object. You might even fall asleep while lying down and feel better when you wake up.
Take vestibular suppressants including meclizine, which calm the inner ear.
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Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo
As I mentioned a moment ago, one of the most common causes of this condition is something called BPPV, or benign paroxysmal positional vertigo. In laymans terms, we refer to this as ear rocks. These ear rocks are small calcium particles that build up and float around in your ear. As they move around, it will cause the dizziness sensation.
Ear Pain And Inner Ear Pressure Are Almost Impossible To Escape From
Can you imagine having so much inner ear pressure and ear pain that it feels like your head is going to explode? Can you imagine this feeling or congestion with your other Menieres disease symptoms that are also relentlessly going on and on and you cannot escape any of this? And there is no one who can tell you why this is happening to you?
Not only are you experiencing physical pain, you are also under a huge amount of stress, which can also be contributing to your attacks. We get a lot of questions from people suffering from Menieres disease that are about experiencing the sometimes debilitating pain in their left ear and inner ear pressure, or fullness in their ears.
With this article I hope to be able to explain why this could be happening to you. I have included real world examples that will give you an idea of what a sufferer has to live with. And never does each sufferer experience the same intensity of these symptoms: they are all different in some way.
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How Is It Diagnosed
To diagnose the disease, your doctor will do a physical examination that includes checking your ears, eyes, and nervous system. The doctor will also ask questions about your past health and your symptoms, such as:
- How you feel when you have a vertigo attack.
- How long an attack usually lasts.
- Whether anything seems to trigger an attack, like changing your position.
- Whether you have other symptoms along with vertigo, like hearing loss or nausea.
Your doctor may also do tests to confirm a diagnosis of Ménière’s. These tests may include:
- A Dix-Hallpike test to find out if certain head movements trigger vertigo.
- Hearing tests, including one to find out if the nerve from the inner ear to the brain is working as it should.
- A test called an electronystagmogram , which measures your eye movements. This can help the doctor find where the problem is that’s causing vertigo.
- Imaging tests such as an MRI or CT scan of the head. These tests can find out if the symptoms are caused by a brain problem.
Does Menieres Disease Last Forever
After getting diagnosed with Menieres disease, you likely spent several few weeks looking through resources after resources. You hope to shed light on your condition and understand how it will impact your life. But even after scanning through different documents and patient guides, many questions remain unanswered. Can Menieres disease go away?Is it something you can manage with medications alone? What are your options for relief?
The truth is, thousands of patients diagnosed with this vestibular disease share similar concerns with you. After all, Menieres continues to be a poorly misunderstood health problem. Studies are still trying to figure out its root cause and how people can prevent it from developing.
Allow us to help you figure how this disease works and how long it takes to find lasting relief.
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How Long Does It Last
While individual episodes can last several minutes, hours or days left unaddressed, it can persist for years. The total duration depends heavily on whats causing it. If its happening from BPPV , you can get rid of symptoms within a week or less by performing a series of specialized movements that you can learn from a physical therapist, or even online.
If your vertigo is from inflammation, youll have to address the cause of the inflammation before you can expect relief.