Study links sleep apnoea with hearing loss
A large study has connected sleep apnoea with hearing loss.
The research was presented yesterday (21 May 2014) at the American Thoracic Society’s (ATS) International Conference.
Almost 14,000 people were involved in the study, with each participant taking an in-home sleep apnoea test and having their hearing assessed.
The researchers discovered that, of those that took part in the study, 9.9% had at least moderate sleep apnoea. They then explored the relationship between sleep apnoea and hearing loss.
Sleep apnoea was independently associated with a 31% increase in loss of hearing for higher-pitched sounds, a 90% increase in hearing loss for lower-pitched sounds, and a 38% increase in hearing loss at both levels.
The study is slightly limited by the fact that the impact of sleep apnoea treatment on their findings was not taken into account. However, further research into why there appears to be a relationship between the condition and hearing loss could provide useful insights.