Audiologic profile of OSAS and simple snoring patients: the effect of chronic nocturnal intermittent hypoxia on auditory function
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The objective of this work was to study the effect of nocturnal intermittent hypoxia on auditory function of simple snoring patients and subjects affected by OSAS; we compared the audiologic profile with the severity of OSAS to detect early signs of cochlear damage. One hundred-sixty patients underwent overnight polysomnography, micro-otoscopy, multi-frequency audiometry, acufenometry, TEOAE recording and d-ROMs test. All subjects were divided in four groups, based on presence/absence of AHI (simple snoring without OSAS, mild OSAS, moderate OSAS, severe OSAS). Sixty (37.5 %) patients were not affected by OSAS, 58 (36.25 %) presented a mild OSAS, 18 (11.25 %) a moderate OSAS and 24 (15 %) a severe OSAS; the 57.14 % of moderate to severe OSAS suffered from tinnitus with respect to the 31.03 % of mild OSAS (P = 0.024). A higher percentage (41.66 %) of hearing loss was found among individuals with moderate to severe degree of OSAS (P < 0.0001). All groups were characterized by a mean hearing threshold <25 dB HL for 0.25–3 kHz frequencies and a progressive decrease in hearing sensitivity, particularly for 6–16 kHz frequencies (P < 0.05). The analysis of otoacoustic emissions SNR mean values evidenced a significant difference between simple snoring and severe OSAS individuals for 3 and 4 kHz frequencies (P < 0.05). d-ROM levels resulted higher in patients with severe OSAS with respect to simple snoring subjects (P = 0.004). Our data underline the key role of chronic nocturnal intermittent hypoxia in the development of an early cochlear damage and a more marked high-frequency hearing loss in case of severe OSAS (P < 0.05).
KeywordsOSAS Hearing loss Tinnitus Multi-frequency audiometry TEOAE
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Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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