Did you know over 40% of American adults snore during the night? It may be common, but there is potential cause for concern. Snoring and hearing loss are linked for both the person snoring and the snorer’s partner.
High-frequency hearing loss has been found in the bed partners of snorers (in the ear closest to the noise) in two separate studies.
Are Snoring and Sleep Apnea Related?
Hearing damage from sleeping next to a snorer is not the only issue, however. The snorers themselves can also be affected by the noise. And if you are snoring, you may also have sleep apnea, which is a pause in breathing while asleep.
Sleep apnea is a concern because it constantly “wakes” the sleeper from a deep sleep into a light sleep, disrupting the sleep cycle.
When your sleep is constantly interrupted during the night, you will not feel rested during the day, so it begets a vicious cycle. The interruptions in breathing can happen up to 30 times per hour and last up to a full minute each time!
Sleep apnea can also result in a reduction of vascular support to the cochlea, resulting in swelling or inflammation. Additionally, the constant sound from loud snoring has been linked to hearing loss (both high and low frequency) for the snorers themselves and for the people sleeping next to them.
What You Can Do
If you are aware that you snore while asleep, and you think you may suffer from sleep apnea, discuss your options, including a sleep test, with your physician. Sleep apnea treatments are available, and preventative strategies such as weight loss are also effective.
Annual hearing tests are also imperative if you are a snorer or suffer from sleep apnea. Any preventative steps you can take against hearing loss are beneficial because hearing loss is permanent. If hearing damage is detected early it can be halted or slowed significantly in most cases.
Remember, the first step to stopping and preventing hearing loss is recognizing your situation. Come in today for a hearing screening and formulate a strategy to train your brain to listen actively and effectively.
Diablo Hearing Services 2301 Camino Ramon, STE 106 San Ramon