If you sleep in the same room with someone who snores often, you know it can be an annoyance and cause you to lose sleep. Recent research is also finding, however, that pesky noise can have serious health impacts on both the snorer and those around them. If you sleep beside someone who snores, you may be at a higher risk for hearing loss than someone who does not.
Researchers performed hearing tests on healthy middle-aged adults who regularly slept next to snoring partners. The analysis showed that each of the four subjects had high-frequency hearing loss in the ear closest to the snoring partner. This finding suggests that snoring can actually cause hearing damage. Snores as loud as 100 decibels have been recorded during sleep. As sounds of over 85 decibels have the potential to damage hearing, this is cause for concern for both the individual and their partners.
Aside from the noise levels, snorers themselves can also be at risk for hearing damage due to another reason. People who snore sometimes suffer from sleep apnea, a condition in which they stop breathing for a few seconds at a time. In affected individuals, they may experience these “breathing pauses” as often as 30 to 40 times in one night. Although it is unclear why, sleep apnea is associated with a higher incidence of high- and low-frequency hearing loss in addition to other health concerns. Evidence suggests that sleep apnea may injure a structure in the inner ear called the cochlea, which houses tiny hairs that transmit sound to the brain.
If you or your bed partner snore, it is important to see a doctor to evaluate the possibility of sleep apnea. From there, they’ll be able to evaluate your symptoms and discuss your treatment options.
Serving clients throughout San Mateo, San Carlos, CA, and the nearby areas, visit California Hearing Center to request your hearing screening. Our audiologists can help determine if your hearing has been affected by snoring. We can also review your hearing protection options so that you can continue to sleep in comfort. For more information call or visit us today!