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Why Snoring Can Lead to Hearing Loss – For Both of You!

man trying to hearHearing loss can happen to anyone. Many things can cause it, and recently a link has been discovered between snoring and hearing loss. According to one study, snoring does not only affect your hearing abilities but may also cause hearing loss in your partner.

Snoring is sometimes caused by sleep apnea, which affects many parts of the body, including the ears. The loud snoring sounds can also lead to hearing loss. If someone sleeps next to a snorer, there is a chance the person might experience loss of hearing. Using a CPAP or an Oral Appliance is sometimes a requirement and is something you should speak to your doctor about.

Snoring is loud

According to studies, snoring can be very loud. Snoring is measured in decibels. Snoring that measures 40 to 50 decibels is considered as mild, 50 to 60 decibels as moderate and anything above 60 decibels as severe. In some cases, snoring can go as loud as 80 decibels. This is incredibly harmful to ears as damage to the ear is done by anything louder than 75 decibels.

This means as the person snoring – or the person’s partner – hearing loss can easily be experienced. Loud noises during the night is incredibly disruptive for anyone. It results in bad sleeping patterns that in turn reduces the body’s ability to heal itself. And it may leave your partner sleeping on the couch.

Everyone snores at some point

Not all snores are considered as snores. During relaxed stages of sleep, some people will take deep, loud breaths that can be interpreted as snoring, but which is in fact not that bad or disruptive. These little snores often happen in the first stages of sleep when the body is still breathing deeply. During REM (rapid eye movement) sleep, breathing becomes shallow and slow. Normally most people will not snore during this stage of their sleep cycle. But this is when people afflicted by sleep apnea snore.

Snoring caused by sleep apnea

Some snoring is caused by sleep apnea. Although it does not mean you have sleep apnea if you snore. The cause of snoring can vary in different people. Sleep apnea is a condition that causes a person to stop breathing for a couple of seconds. It is usually caused by an obstruction in the air pipe and results in loud snoring when the airway opens again after a couple of seconds.

The sleeping pattern of people affected by sleep apnea is greatly impacted. The body is less oxygenated and loud snores can interrupt the very important REM cycles during the night. These loud snores also affect your partner during important sleep cycles leading to health issues and general crankiness.

Sleep apnea and hearing loss

Sleep apnea can cause many ailments in the body including heart and organ disease, respiratory problems and hearing loss. A recent study theorizes that sleep apnea may cause the small hairs in the ear responsible for hearing to lose function. This leads to hearing loss. Most people with sleep apnea have reported hearing loss after a couple of years. This may be because sleep apnea disrupts the sleep cycle in such a way that it is detrimental to your general health. It is important to get tested for sleep apnea to reduce the chances of hearing loss and other health problems.

Hearing loss in your partner

Your partner might not be a snorer or suffer from any illnesses at all, but your snoring could impact your partner. The person sleeping next to you has to deal with loud noises during the night. This might wake them up and disrupt their needed sleep resulting in a general decline in health and moodiness.

Some snoring can reach dangerous levels as high as 80 decibels which is loud enough to damage the ear. In a recent study, it was concluded that partners of people who snore all experience hearing loss in the ear closest to the snoring person next to them. This evidence suggests that your partner is prone to hearing loss if they are exposed to snores over a long period.

Prevention is always better than treatment

If you have been diagnosed with sleep apnea and snoring is a problem for you, it is important to get your ears checked regularly by a professional. Even if your snoring doesn’t wake you up or is mild, it might wake up your partner, and it is prudent for them to get their hearing tested as well. By doing this, precautions can be taken against hearing loss.

You might find a solution for snoring that works best for you. The doctor might even prescribe your partner to wear earplugs. This will not only prevent hearing loss, but it will also significantly improve their comfort during the night. You may also find benefit from wearing earplugs at night, so you don’t wake yourself up and at least get a good night’s rest.

 

Mark Walton
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