We spend about a third of our lives sleeping, and research continues to show how important this time is to our physical and mental health. When you don’t get enough sleep or good quality sleep, risks for all kinds of conditions and disorders increases, especially when it’s a chronic issue. One of the major disrupters of sleep quality is sleep apnea, which can even lead to worsening symptoms of hearing loss. Here’s what to know about the link between sleep apnea and hearing loss.
Sleep apnea is the general term for irregular breathing during sleep. In most cases, the disruption is due to the body slowing down your breathing rhythm too much when you’re asleep, or even stops breathing altogether. Eventually, it will recognize that you’re not getting air and suddenly or loudly force you to breathe. This often wakes up the person with the condition or their partner, or at least disrupts their normal sleep cycle to a degree to which they don’t get a full night’s sleep every night.
Due to the importance of sleep on your overall health, experiencing sleep apnea has multiple negative risk factors for body-wide disorders and conditions, including, perhaps surprisingly, hearing health.
People suffering from sleep apnea are at a greater risk for developing:
- Inflammation throughout the body
- Cardiovascular issues
- Hormone problems
- Endocrine complications
- Hearing loss
The link to hearing loss has been demonstrated in large-scale studies of over 10,000 people with diagnosed sleep apnea. The results show that the greatest risk is for low-frequency hearing loss as a result of sleep apnea. However, the risk increases not only for low-frequency loss, but also high-frequency loss and both.
If you or your partner suspects you may have sleep apnea, you’re not totally helpless with trying to mitigate its effects on your health as you may think. Two major associated lifestyle factors with sleep apnea are being overweight and being a smoker. By finding ways to lower your weight, you lessen the weight of physical tissues on your throat as you sleep. And by quitting smoking, you lessen the inflammation and lung damage that can further aggravate breathing problems like sleep apnea.
It’s important to mention that sleep apnea isn’t proven to cause hearing loss in everyone. Instead, it’s a strongly associated condition that people suffering from one condition may also be suffering from the other, having gone undiagnosed or untreated. If you’ve noticed a decrease in your hearing ability or have recently been diagnosed with sleep apnea, it’s time to get a hearing evaluation to learn how, if at all, your hearing has been compromised and what you can do to alleviate your hearing loss.
No matter the cause of your hearing loss, Georgia Hearing Aid Factory Outlet has customizable solutions for you. Stop into a nearby location to discover the options you have for the most advanced hearing aid technologies to get your lifestyle back to the way it was before your hearing loss took over. Call or contact us online to learn more.