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If you can't breathe properly at night it could cause hearing loss, warn experts

by , 17 November 2014

A recent study presented at the American Thoracic Society's 2014 International Conference proves there's a direct link between sleep apnoea and hearing loss.

The large-scale study found 10% of participants suffered from sleep apnoea. And, out of those, a whopping 31% suffered some high frequency hearing loss, 90% low frequency hearing loss and 38% all frequency hearing loss.

It shows a clear connection between disrupted sleep patterns and hearing loss.

So if you're suffering from unexplained hearing loss and suffer from sleep apnoea or other forms of sleeping disruptions, read on to find out what you can do to improve your ability to hear.

Multiple factors cause hearing loss in patients with sleep apnoea, reveals study

While the aim of the study wasn’t to explore the mechanisms involved between sleep apnoea and hearing loss, the researchers have a few theories about why there is a connection.
Firstly, the process of sleep apnoea, where you stop breathing during the night affects oxygen supply to the essential organs in the ear. In particular, the cochlea.
Secondly, researchers say inflammation caused by sleep apnoea has a negative effect on your system. And as you know, inflammation affects all major organs, including your ears.
Lastly, the lead author of the study describes how sleep apnoea can cause noise-induced hearing loss.
Instead of having a quiet night’s sleep, snoring causes constant sound frequencies to hit the ears. Because of this, they don’t have a chance to “rest” and repair themselves. But it’s also the constant vibration from your snoring that damages the inner ear while you sleep.
Now the question is: Is there anything you can do about it?
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Take control of sleep disturbances to prevent hearing loss

It’s not only sleep apnoea that causes hearing damage.
If you don’t sleep the recommended number of hours every night – between seven and nine – you’re likely to lose your ability to hear sooner than you think.
This because, like your other essential organs, your ears need “down time” for your body to repair.
Think about constant noise exposure while you’re out, then, when you eventually go to sleep, you only do so for four to six hours before your ears have to start working again when you wake up.
Even small amounts of damage can lead to enormous problems when you don’t give your body enough time to heal.
Can you do something about it?
The answer to your question is “yes”. Yes, you can do something about reducing your hearing loss.
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Use these four tips to protect your ears and lower your hearing loss risk

Tip #1: Lose weight
One of the leading causes of sleep apnoea is being overweight.
Added fat around your neck and on your chest makes it more difficult for you to keep breathing when it’s in a state of complete relaxation.
Losing weight makes it easier for your body to perform all its functions as it should.
Tip #2: Use a sleep apnoea device
Speak to your doctor about using a CPAP machine. It’s a machine that forces oxygen into your chest, keeps your airways open and stops you from snoring.
Tip #3: Make sure you get at least seven to nine hours sleep every night
Rearrange your schedule to ensure you get at least seven to nine hours sleep every night.
It’s not only essential to prevent hearing loss, but it’s an important part of your overall health too.
Tip #4: Eat the right foods
Just like for your eye health, there are certain foods that improve your hearing. Be sure to add these to your diet to prevent hearing loss.
Changing your sleeping habits can have a dramatic impact on your hearing! So make them to keep hearing loss out of your future…

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