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Association between obstructive apnea syndrome during sleep and damages to anterior labyrinth: Our experience


The obstructive sleep apnea syndrome is a chronic condition characterized by frequent episodes of collapse of the upper airways during sleep. It can be considered a multisystem disease. Among the districts involved, even the auditory system was seen to be concerned. It was enrolled a population of 20 patients after polysomnographic diagnosis of OSAS (Apnea Hypopnea Index > 10) and a control group of 28 healthy persons (Apnea Hypopnea Index < 5). Each patient has been subjected to Pure Tone Audiometry, Tympanometry, study of Acoustic Reflex, Otoacoustic Emissions and Auditory Brainstem Response. Moreover they were submitted to endoscopy of upper airway with Muller Maneuver and Epworth Sleepiness Scale (ESS). The values of ESS was 13.5 in OSAS group and 5.4 in control group. The tone audiometry is worse in all frequencies analyzed in OSAS patients, but within the normal range for both groups analyzed by 250 to 1000 Hertz. Otoacoustic emissions show a reduced reproducibility and a lower signal/ noise ratio in OSAS group (P <0.01).