Hearing loss in mild OSAS and simple snoring patients
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Introduction Obstructive Sleep Apnea Syndrome (OSAS) is characterized by recurrent episodes of prolonged partial or complete obstruction of the upper airways. Several study groups studied the effect of snoring and OSAS on auditory function, showing an increase in the incidence of hearing loss in apneic patients, an earlier onset and/or a degree of hearing loss deeper than in peers. The aim of our study is to evaluate the audiological performance of a population of simple-snoring patients and patients suffering from mild OSAS, and the impact that such pathological condition can have on the auditory function, considering the significant levels of chronic noise. Materials and Methods Data was collected by analyzing audiometric exams on snoring patients and a control group of non-snoring patients. Our study included simple snoring patients without OSAS (AHI < 5) or with low level of OSAS (5< AHI < 15). Possible hearing loss was classified in a crescent scale (A-B-C-D-E), from greater to minor auditory performance, according to the indications of the national protocol of occupational medicine for evaluation of hearing loss in patients exposed to chronic noise. Results We have found independence between simple snorers, mild-OSAS snorers and non-snoring patients compared to the scale of hearing performance classification. Conclusions Our results show a distribution of hearing loss in the different groups that appear independent of the presence or absence of snoring, complicated or uncomplicated by mild OSAS.
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