People with sleep apnea may have a higher risk of hearing loss, according to a new study.
The research, which was presented at the American Thoracic Society’s 2014 International Conference, 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…
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