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Letter: Tinnitus and Sleep Apnea

Smith, Tisha E.

doi: 10.1097/01.NNN.0000414200.16892.78

Grand Rapids, MI



I got my first copy of your magazine in 2009, while waiting to be seen by my sleep specialist nurse. I gave a subscription to a close friend of mine whose husband has Alzheimer's disease. She told me she finds your magazine very informative and helpful, as do I.

I just received my February/March 2012 issue a few days ago and read it cover to cover. To my surprise, you had two articles that relate to me personally. I didn't know that tinnitus was a neurologic as well as an auditory problem. My tinnitus is a constant, loud ringing. I think that being on aspirin therapy for a long time to treat my arthritis may have damaged my hearing. For me, the best way to muffle the constant ringing, especially at night, is to use a fan as “white” noise.

The second article I was happy to see was on obstructive sleep apnea (OSA). It was very informative to read how OSA could lead to cognitive impairment. I was diagnosed with sleep apnea in the winter of 2006. My results showed that I stopped breathing 137 times every hour! BPAP therapy made an immediate difference in terms of how I felt during the day.

The only thing your article didn't mention was that with CPAP or BPAP, you can still experience some sleepiness during the day. I take armodafinil (brand name Nuvigil) which takes care of 99 percent of this residual sleepiness.

Tisha E. Smith

Grand Rapids, MI

©2012 American Academy of Neurology