For the more than 40% of Americans who snore while sleeping, there may be cause for concern: hearing loss has been linked to snoring in both the snorer and the bed partner of the snorer. Two types of research were conducted on bed partners of snorers, and it was found that all participants had high-frequency hearing loss in the ear nearest the snorer.
Sleep Apnea linked with Snoring
That’s not all: snorers have also been found to suffer from snoring-related hearing loss. Sleep apnea, breathing pauses while sleeping, is often correlated with snoring. Sleep apnea is a common condition, especially in those who snore, and it disrupts sleep by bringing the sleeper out of deep sleep into light sleep constantly. This can result in fatigue due to poor sleep. The breathing pauses of sleep apnea can last anywhere from a few seconds to more than a minute, and can happen as often as 30 times per hour.
In addition to the noise caused by loud snoring for both the snorer and the bed partner of the snorer, sleep apnea can hamper vascular supply to the cochlea, which can in turn cause inflammation. As a result, snoring and sleep apnea have been associated with high- and low- frequency hearing loss.
Take Control of Your Hearing
You may know that you snore when you sleep, but if you suspect you have sleep apnea, ask your doctor for a sleep test. If you are diagnosed, there are several treatments for sleep apnea. Preventative measures such as losing weight can also help to reverse sleep apnea.
Regular hearing screenings are especially important if you are a snorer or have sleep apnea, so you can halt hearing loss from the beginning. Hearing loss is not reversible yet, but it can be prevented and treated, especially if it’s caught early.
Los Gatos Audiology is here to help you protect your hearing and your health. Call today and come in for your yearly hearing exam so you can stay ahead of the curve and protect your hearing, your brain and your health.
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