Sleep apnea linked to hearing loss: Study
A new study has found that people with sleep apnea may have a higher risk of hearing loss.
A new analysis of a long-term study has found that men and women with sleep apnea are at a similar risk of having a stroke, researchers reported here at the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society. hat finding held true even after the researchers adjusted the data for other possible causes of hearing loss.
The research found that of the 13,967 participants sampled, about 10 percent had at least moderate sleep apnea. These patients had a 31 percent increased risk of high frequency hearing impairment, a 90 percent increased risk of low frequency hearing impairment and a 38 percent increased risk in combined high and low frequency hearing impairment after controlling for other causes of hearing loss and potentially confounding factors like age and sex.
"The mechanisms underlying this relationship merit further exploration," lead author Dr. Amit Chopra, M.D., of the Albany Medical Center in New York, said in a statement. "Potential pathways linking sleep apnea and hearing impairment may include adverse effects of sleep apnea on vascular supply to the cochlea [part of the inner ear] via inflammation and vascular remodeling or noise trauma from snoring."
About 10 percent of the study volunteers had sleep apnea. Around 30 percent had some form of hearing impairment, according to the study.
"Sleep apnea is more of a systemic and chronic disease than just something that happens when you're sleeping," said one of the study's authors, Dr. Neomi Shah, an associate director of the pulmonary sleep lab at Montefiore Medical Center in New York City, according to CBS News.
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