Obstructive Sleep Apnea and Hearing Loss

FYI, I have had sleep apnea which I did not have treated for several years.  I struggled with using the CPAP machine, and continue to do so.  I'm not overweight, and walk and swim, and was in big time denial.  Unfortunately, I recently developed unilateral high frequency hearing loss (everything from upper midrange on up), and tinnitus on that side. The loss is irreversible; I'm hoping the tinnitus will diminish. My guess is the repeated lack of oxygen damaged the hearing apparatus.  Needless to say, it's upsetting, since my retirement plan (in 3-5 years) was to sit home and play guitar, buy a new turntable (maybe a Rega 6 or 8), speakers (maybe something like the Buchardts or update my Vandersteen 2s), integrated amp, transport and DAC; clean all the used lps I've bought in used record stores over the years (I live near Revilla Records and The Princeton Record Exchange in NJ); and listen to my collection of 5-6 thousand carefully curated CDs and LPs that I've aquired over a lifetime. (I kept all my original lps, plus many recent Blue Note, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, etc. reissues, and 40 years of collecting rock/jazz/americana/folk/blues/country/broadway/vocal/classical cds, including many early ones from Germany and many signed by the artist at small and medium sized concert venues).  So, best to get proper treatment if you have this disorder!


I'm so sorry to hear this. Maybe switching to headphones might help? I have nasty tinnitus too and expect this to happen to me too in the future.

Nothing to do with sleep apnea, but I've been wearing hearing aids for around 20 years or so now, and I've got loads of great audiophile gear, both 2-channel and headphones. I use in-ear hearing aids for the headphones. I may not hear it as well as a person with normal hearing, but I can sure tell the relative differences between gear anyway....

Just what I wanted to read-I’m going for my Sleep test tonight.  I’ve also been in denial for years.  I used to be in great shape but relied on exercise, about 2 hours a day high intensity, to keep my weight down, but I turned 50 and developed leukemia, gained weight from steroids, then had to have emergency heart surgery shortly after coming off them, then blew out my back, developed arthritis of the knees…on it goes.  I still try to exercise but I feel so far behind the eight ball weight wise that frankly I can’t get motivated to starve myself for months.  Maybe a positive Sleep Test will finally light a fire.  Happy to be alive, though

  Anyway, I’m a Physician, and hypoxia can definitely cause ischemia to the auditory nerve.  My sympathies with the OP

Thanks very much to everyone who replied to my post-it did make me feel a little better! To mahler123, I'm sorry to hear that you're having so many serious health conditions at 50. I'm 65, and have all the usual ailments, but didn't feel old until this hearing problem occurred. Have you tried NOOM or Weight Watchers for weight management?  It's my impression that they are the most successful at helping people maintain a healthy weight (as opposed to intense dieting, which almost always results in gaining all the weight back over time).

Sorry to hear about the Sleep Apnoea and hearing problems. I suspect the two are not connected, but who knows. I suffer from tinnitus as most of us getting older are prone to. Usually you can just ignore it, as if it is constant, the brain just tunes out non varying inputs, but I know some people can't do his and it can drive you crazy.

There are some treatments for tinnitus, but I never found much of benefit, things may have changed since I retired.

All I would emphasise is avoiding noise exposure, like a loud concert. It will worsen established tinnitus and make it more likely you will get it. If you experience temporary tinnitus after a gig, you have permanently degraded your hearing.

As for getting older, I've just had my first bout of gout. If I was a horse, they'd put me down. I'm sure my family are tempted by the thought.