If you suffer from tinnitus, you know how frustrating and even debilitating it can be. That ringing in your ears can prevent you from getting a good night’s sleep, concentrating at work, and enjoying time with your family and friends.
While there is no cure for tinnitus, there are things you can do to manage the symptoms and make them more bearable. One of those things is exercise. However, while some people believe that exercise can help with tinnitus, others think that it might make it worse. In this blog post, we will take a look at the research on this topic and try to answer the question once and for all.
What is tinnitus and what causes it?
Tinnitus is a condition that affects millions of people all over the world. It is characterized by a ringing, buzzing, or hissing noise that only the person with tinnitus can hear. While the cause of tinnitus is not yet known, there are several potential causes, including exposure to loud noises, earwax build-up, and certain medications.
How Exercise Can Help
Exercise has a number of benefits for people with tinnitus. For one, it can help reduce stress and anxiety, which can aggravate tinnitus symptoms.
Exercise also releases endorphins, which have mood-boosting effects that can help offset the negative feelings that tinnitus can cause.
Additionally, exercise can help improve sleep patterns, and getting enough rest is important for managing tinnitus symptoms.
Finally, exercise can increase blood flow and oxygenation to the head and neck, which can reduce inflammation and help reduce tinnitus symptoms.
While more research is needed, it appears that exercise may be a potential treatment option for tinnitus. If you are affected by tinnitus, it is important to speak with your doctor to see if exercise might be a good option for you.
The best exercises for tinnitus
The best exercises for tinnitus are exercises that help to improve blood circulation. Exercises that improve blood circulation can help to deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the inner ear, which may help to reduce the symptoms of tinnitus.
Additionally, exercises that help to improve muscle tone can also be beneficial, as they can help to reduce the likelihood of developing tension headaches, which can often be a common side effect of tinnitus.
Some of the best exercises for tinnitus include aerobic exercise, strength training, and yoga.
1. Aerobic exercise
One of the best exercises for tinnitus relief is aerobic exercise. Aerobic exercise gets your heart pumping and increases blood flow throughout your body, including to your ears. This increased blood flow can help to reduce the symptoms of tinnitus.
Additionally, aerobic exercise has been shown to help reduce stress and improve sleep, both of which can help make tinnitus more bearable. Some good aerobic exercises include walking, jogging, biking, and swimming.
Walking is a great low-impact exercise for tinnitus sufferers as it’s easy on the joints and doesn’t require any special equipment or training. Aim to walk for 30 minutes a day, five days a week.
Swimming is also a great exercise for tinnitus sufferers because it does not put any additional pressure on the ears or sinuses. In addition, swimming can help to improve blood circulation and reduce stress levels. Just be sure to use earplugs if you are swimming in chlorinated water.
2. Strength Training
In addition to aerobic exercise, strength training is also a great way to help reduce tinnitus symptoms. Strength-training exercises help to increase blood flow and reduce inflammation throughout the body, both of which can help lessen tinnitus symptoms. Strength training can also help reduce stress levels, which can again make tinnitus more manageable.
There are many different ways to incorporate strength training into your routine. You can lift weights at the gym, do bodyweight exercises at home, or take a group fitness class. Start slow and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts as you get stronger. Aim for two or three strength-training sessions per week for best results.
However, keep in mind that if you overexert yourself or if you lift weights incorrectly, you can make things worse for yourself. In fact, weightlifting can even cause tinnitus if you push yourself too much.
Yoga is another great exercise for tinnitus sufferers. Yoga helps to reduce stress levels and improve blood circulation. Yoga poses that are beneficial for tinnitus include Cow-Face Pose, Triangle Pose, Downward-facing Dog, and Cobra Pose.
Bhramari Pranayama, a yoga breathing technique, is also helpful for tinnitus. The technique involves exhaling slowly and deeply through the nose while making a humming noise. This helps to improve blood circulation and reduce stress levels.
4. Tai chi
Tai chi is a Chinese martial art that combines movement with meditation. Tai chi has been shown to be helpful in reducing stress levels and improving blood circulation. It is also an excellent way to focus on the present moment and clear your mind, which can help to lessen the symptoms of tinnitus.
5. Jaw stretches
Another effective exercise is to gently stretch your jaw muscles.
Jaw stretches are done by opening your mouth as wide as you can and then holding it for 30 seconds. There are also other jaw exercises you can try which you can find on this website.
6. Neck rolls
Another great way to help relieve tinnitus symptoms is to do some neck rolls. Start with your head tilted forwards, then slowly roll it backwards until you’re looking up at the ceiling. Hold this position for a few seconds before slowly rolling your head back to the starting position. Repeat this 10-15 times, several times a day.
How to start an exercise program if you have tinnitus
If you suffer from tinnitus, you may be worried that exercise will exacerbate your symptoms. However, there are a few simple steps you can take to make sure that your exercise program is safe and effective.
First, it’s important to consult with your doctor to get their approval before starting any new physical activity. Once you have the green light from your doctor, start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts.
For example, you might begin by walking for 20 minutes a day and then add in some light weightlifting or swimming as you become more comfortable.
It’s also crucial to warm up before each workout and cool down afterwards. This will help to avoid sudden changes in blood pressure that could trigger tinnitus symptoms.
Lastly, be sure to listen to your body and take breaks if you feel dizzy or lightheaded. By following these guidelines, you can safely enjoy the many benefits of exercise even if you have tinnitus.
FAQs about exercise and tinnitus
How often should I exercise if I have tinnitus?
Aim for two or three strength-training sessions per week or 30 minutes of cardio each day. However, listen to your body and take breaks if you feel dizzy or lightheaded.
Why does my tinnitus get worse after exercise?
While exercise may help to lessen tinnitus symptoms for some people, for others it can actually make the condition worse. This is because when you exercise, your heart rate increases and blood pressure rises. If you have tinnitus, these changes in blood pressure can trigger or worsen the symptoms.
Can I lift weights if I have tinnitus?
While moderate aerobic exercise is generally considered safe for people with tinnitus, strenuous activities such as weightlifting can make symptoms worse. That’s because lifting weights can cause a temporary increase in blood pressure, which can make tinnitus symptoms more pronounced. As a result, it is important to speak with a doctor before starting any new exercise regimen. In some cases, it may be necessary to modify your routine in order to find an activity that does not aggravate your condition.
What should I do if my symptoms worsen when I exercise?
If you experience any worsening of your tinnitus symptoms when you exercise, stop immediately and consult with your doctor. It’s important to find an exercise routine that is safe and comfortable for you.
Can exercise cause tinnitus?
While the exact cause of tinnitus is not known, there are several potential risk factors that have been identified. One of these is exposure to loud noise, which can damage the delicate hair cells in the inner ear. Exercise has also been suggested as a possible trigger for tinnitus, although the exact mechanism is not fully understood.
It is thought that strenuous exercise may lead to inflammation in the middle ear, which could in turn damage the hair cells and lead to tinnitus. While there is no definitive evidence that exercise causes tinnitus, it is important to be aware of this potential risk factor. If you experience ringing in your ears after exercising, it is advisable to see your doctor to rule out any other underlying causes.
While there is no definitive cure for tinnitus, there are several things you can do to lessen the symptoms. One of these is exercise. While strenuous activity may make symptoms worse in some people, moderate aerobic exercise is generally considered safe.
Start slowly and gradually increase the intensity of your workouts. Be sure to listen to your body and take breaks if you feel dizzy or lightheaded. Lastly, find an exercise routine that is safe and comfortable for you.
It’s important to consult with your doctor before starting any new physical activity.