British Tinnitus Association

Tinnitus and weight training

Hello, I have had self inflicted tinnitus in my left ear for around 3 years caused by rifle shooting without ear protection. (silly, I know)

My main hobby is weight training. When performing the squat, part of the widely accepted technique is to use the "Valsalva manoeuvre" which involves taking a large breath and tensing the muscles of the trunk while performing the movement. While doing this I can feel an increase of pressure in my body including neck and face. (This is normal)

My question is: Is there a correlation between acute increases in blood pressure during strenuous exercise and a worsening of existing tinnitus?

Thanks in advance.

9 Replies
oldestnewest

Hi. I'm not an expert , only have the experience of tinnitus loudervthan fire alarms and lots of reading ☺ Tinnitus is such a tricky customer it could have an impact. I've recently started doing yoga classes again and have signed up for pilates to do what we're told - ie look after our bodies and our tinnitus will look after itself. My tinnitus has got shriller but I don't know if it's because of trying to become healthier. There's so many things were are told to do / not do that I think know it's possibly best to try and find out by your own experience what suits you - but go gently.

1 like
Reply

HI Lindsay

Some exercises can make tinnitus worse for some people with the condition. Particularly some aerobic exercises and running on hard ground or treadmill. For this reason I use an elliptical machine/crosstrainer at home as my feet don't impact with the floor.

Here is a link to a website were studies were carried out on the effects of tinnitus and exercises for some people: nytimes.com/1994/04/06/us/i...

Michael

Reply

Thanks Michael. It's such a maze and tbh I'm getting more despondent the more I do things that are recommended ! Friends without tinnitus are supportive but sad for me and those with it say I'm trying get too hard or not hard enough !

1 like
Reply

I know exactly what you mean Lindsay, we can't please them all. I stopped mentioning tinnitus to people that I'm close to many years ago and try to just keep it too myself. Even though I have habituated It can still reach severe levels. At the moment it's intrusive but I can manage without the need to take my clonazepam.

Take care

Michael

Reply

Hi jfwgcp

I have had the dreaded "T" for over 5 years now, I have been lifting weights and running for over 30 years 6 days a week and i can say hand on heart i have never noticed any difference in the way "T" annoys me, don't allow it to change anything in your life that you get enjoyment from.

All the best keep lifting!

Sammie.

Reply

HI jfwgcp,

I agree with Sammie don't make tinnitus change your life. However, many people have contacted me that run on hard ground or treadmill and said their tinnitus has increased and will not return to baseline. This doesn't happen to everyone with tinnitus that exercise but to some it does. For this reason I use an elliptical machine./crosstrainer at home and haven't had any problems.

I believe the reason some people with tinnitus are affected by certain exercises, is due to impact underfoot. This travels up through the legs into the body and up to the head and auditory system.

I have a website like where tests have been carried out with people doing certain exercises mostly aerobic, and their tinnitus has got worse or it has caused tinnitus where the person didn't previously have it.

It is something to be aware of and monitor your situation. If your tinnitus becomes worse using weights or any other exercises it might be prudent to change to some other form of exercise that won't affect it.

If you want the website link showing studies carried by scientists/medics in Canada send me a private message and I will give send you the link.

Michael

Reply

Thanks for the replies. I'm lucky in that mine is relatively low level i.e. if there is normal day to day background noise I don't really hear the tinnitus. I understand that there are some reasonably complicated and delicate structures in the ear and each persons level of damage will be different so it's hard to make black and white recommendations.

I will carry on with my training and monitor the situation through my medicals at work which include a hearing test.

Reply

Hi JWF. My knowledge of tinnitus is just based on my own experience over the past few months and that's mainly information I have gleaned from the internet, so I am very much on a learning curve as well. When I first saw my GP about the tinnitus I had, she thought it might be due to a blocked Eustachian tube and suggested I try the Valsalva prodecure. I did it every day as instructed in addition to using a nasal spray which she prescribed and neither had any effect. I have since learned that Valsalva can actually be quite harmful but I would think that as it is so widely recommended by doctors, it must have a positive effect on some people. Check it out on Google and you'll find loads of information. Good luck.

Reply

I woke up deaf in rt ear in November, with severe dizziness and tinnitus. The dizziness is not as bad as it was, but the tinnitus is deafening at times. Not sure what makes it worse, but it sometimes wakes me up. So frustrating.

Reply

You may also like...