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Does CPAP use cause chronic mastoiditis ?

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General & Family Physician
Practicing since : 2011
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Can CPAP use cause chronic mastoiditis? What can you do to treat it if you have to use the CPAP? I am 59 and other wise in very good health. This finding showed up on an MRI that was done because of hearing loss. My doctor did not tell me what to do about it?
Posted Sat, 21 Apr 2012 in Ear, Nose and Throat Problems
Answered by Dr. Sapan J. Pandya 38 minutes later
Thanks for your query.

Yes, Mastoiditis can occur because of Continous Postive Airway Pressure (CPAP).

When the mastoid cells become infected or inflamed, often as a result of an unresolved middle ear infection (otitis media), mastoiditis can develop. In acute mastoiditis, infection may spread outside of the mastoid bone and cause serious health complications. In some cases, because of repeated insults the infection may become chronic.

It has been found that throat infections (Pharyngitis) and sinus infections (sinusitis) are more common in CPAP users. When air blows under pressure it can spread the infection to middle ear through Eustachian tube.

Hearing loss can be reversible if it is labyrinthitis (infection of labyrinthine). But severe damage to labyrinth can cause irreversible hearing loss.

Hope this answers your query, I am available for follow ups.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
Follow-up: Does CPAP use cause chronic mastoiditis ? 42 hours later
Could I use some type of nasal spray or something to keep the infection under control without taking systemic antibiotics? I have not had symptoms of infection other than occasional itching. It just showed up on the MRI.
Answered by Dr. Sapan J. Pandya 18 hours later

Good to hear from you again.

No, there is no nasal spray or any other thing which would help you to prevent. Try to keep the CPAP machine sterile. That is only way to prevent infection.

Hope this answer your query.

Wish you a good health.
Above answer was peer-reviewed by
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