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British Tinnitus Association
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Any advice on Tinnitus & Exercise

Hi everyone,

I've been reading a while and thought I should sign up! I've had tinnitus for over a year now. Only in one ear. Nothing came up on the scan, so nothing actually physically wrong with my brain.

Also, I'm sure it's nothing to do with noise, and must be stress - I've been highly stressed for a good two years leading up to developing Tinnitus, including being very close to a large explosion (link:

<- watch with caution! ;) ).

I was recently diagnosed with PTSD because of that, and actually it made a *LOT* of sense. Just knowing the reason for my heightened anxiety and 24/7 fight or flight actually helped my Tinnitus a lot.

I started to accept it, and made some lifestyle changes (cut out caffeine, sugar, beer etc) and the last two weeks have been a great improvement.

However, yesterday I went for a swim!!

It was only 30 minutes, lengths up and down the pool. Fairly vigourous, I wanted to get a good work out in. I used to workout a lot, and recently feel bad about letting myself go.

The swim was 2:30pm - 3:00, so not particularly late / close to bed time. I felt very happy after the swim and on a natural high. Very positive and optimistic about work and the future.

Only... at night I couldn't sleep. My heart was still racing and I was locked in fight or flight. And the noise was suddenly loud - like triple what it was before. Just as it was at the height of my panic.

Totally ruined my sleep and caused all the panic to come back. "Can't I just go for a swim?! What about hitting the gym?! I'm not going to just NOT EXERCISE for the rest of my life!!!"

It's 11am the next day and I am still in panic mode. I can feel the blood coursing through my veins and the ear is screeching.


What do I do?

Anyone else in a similar position?

I really need exercise, particularly something vigorous. How to cope? Is it possible that it's a 'first time back in while / shock to the system' type reaction?

Would really love some thoughts on this!!

Thanks in advance... :)

16 Replies

I used to be a keen cyclist, mountain biking. I remember that during long hard uphill slogs my T was particularly fierce. However, once I was enjoying myself on the flat or downhills I soon became less aware of it. I don't remember sleep being any more of a problem on "cycling" nights than "normal" nights.

Best wishes


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Thanks Kenny, I appreciate the reply.

During the exercise I had no problem at all, and felt great afterwards. It's all part of my 'better lifestyle' work, which so far has had fantastic results with regard to Tinnitus.

Somewhat shocked that my body is still pumping strongly almost a whole day after the exercise.

Good to know that in general you didn't have it keeping you up at night even when you had a hard work out... there's hope!


Hello Eriol256

i actually love reading about people like you, who love exercise, I to am a keen cyclist road and mountain biking go to the gym almost every day and Kickboxing as well

The thing i love about exercise is you can't really hear the T. because you're so engrossed in what you love doing that it's now become apart of what i call my peacetime

it might be that your so pumped and excited by doing what you love that your not calming yourself back down maybe try some meditation there is an app you can get for free called headspace that gives you ten free lessons

also have you tried Ginkgo Biloba i found it helped quite the T down a touch

Best wishes

to you your health and your not to be beaten attitude


Hi Rob - nice, I think we have some things in common! The swimming was blissful. And yes, I got really positive afterwards and actually quite excited about the future.

Something kept me in the 'heart pounding' / fight or flight all night... and I need to get out of it.

Interesting you do Kickboxing - one of my biggest passions is Brazilian Jiujitsu. I used to train a lot, but it's intense. I've been really depressed the last year (since the onset of Tinnitus, I just basically gave up on myself - bad way to go!) and let it slide completely.

I'm afraid of going back into it because I know the physical strain on the body and almost instantly the noise that will come with it.

It's good to know you find ways to calm down afterward. I'll try Headspace. Maybe a scheduled meditation after each workout will help.

I also hold hope that my body was shocked by this 'first workout' back, and that it will get used to it and adapt better as things go on...

Thanks for your feedback! Please keep me posted on your progress.


Hello Eriol256

Never give up on yourself as your in charge of yourself, when I'm feeling low i know i can change it, what i break it down to are three things thought mind consciousness

the below is what i have copied from Sydney Banks and though this understanding has helped me. don't worry im not going to break out Crystals ;)

The Universal Mind, or the impersonal mind, is constant and unchangeable. The personal mind is in a perpetual state of change. All humans have the inner ability to synchronize their personal mind with their impersonal mind to bring harmony into their lives.”

“Consciousness is the gift of awareness. Consciousness allows the recognition of form, form being the expression of Thought… Mental health lies within the consciousness of all human beings, but it is shrouded and held prisoner by our own erroneous thoughts. This is why we must look past our contaminated thoughts to find the purity and wisdom that lies inside our own consciousness.”

“Thought is the creative agent we use to direct us through life. Thought is the master key that opens the world of reality to all living creatures. Thought is not reality; yet it is through Thought that our realities are created.”

Thought is the master Key and its your thoughts that will get you down and your thoughts alone

So don't become a slave to T do what you want to do, don't be afraid, I would much rather have a life where i can say i did all i wanted to do than stop what i love doing

Be strong in yourself, because you have the power and ability within as i sit typing this listening to music to calm my T down i sit with a smile on my face knowing that it's me in control and all t is like

Tinnitus is like being handcuffed to the most annoying person in your life and the key is lost

to your life change sir


Nice! Thanks Rob.

This is a great perspective to have on it. The biggest challenge being how you react when the noise is at it's worst, at the worst possible time and you suddenly allow yourself to fly into a rage of despair, which ruins everything.

Acceptance really is the key. And I appreciate the advice on doing what you want with the short life we have.

Imagine if I just never progressed another day in Jiujitsu because I was afraid of a noise in my head.

Which is actually not far off what my situation is now...

I'll get back on it though. Because you're totally right.

Appreciate it!!

1 like

Hi Eriol I have had the dreaded "T" now for 5 years i have been working out and running for the past 30 odd years before and after the onset of tinnitus and i can tell you exercise has never affected my tinnitus I'm no medical person but your problem may be down to stress its well known it can make your T spike have a word with your GP he may be able to give something to help.

All the best Sammie

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Thank you Sammie. Interesting that your exercise never affected tinnitus.

It actually gives me hope to think it's directly related to stress. At least that is manageable and there's a hope of improving it.

I had really great results with some lifestyle changes (no coffee, no alcohol, minimal sugar etc) and some meditation (I need the white noise pretty loud for that, so I can just forget the tinnitus while I meditate).

Appreciate your thoughts!


Hi Eriol, your courage and determination are admirable and shines through. Moreover the right attitude for Tinnitus.

On reading your comment it reminded me of my own struggle with early Tinnitus. I remember going after swimming and finding it louder afterwards ? Furthermore, I used various ear drops as I was sure I had an ear infection. Again the tone was louder ? When I stopped using the ear drops things got better,so much so my pulsating Tinnitus in one ear completely cleared up,which was a relief because it was disturbing sleep. I still have Tinnitus in both ears but I manage it well. Though I find it curious it still reacts to ear drops or water ? With pulsating Tinnitus the blood vessels are close to the skin and probably narrowed causing the pulse affect in the ear. I tried various remedies that purported to widen the blood vessels but none worked. Thankfully I wakend up one morning and it was gone, never heard it since.

Anyway your doing fine and in time things do get better.

Best wishes.

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It's such a mystery isn't it. Trying to zero in on the causes, thinking you have something then suddenly finding you are totally wrong!

It's amazing to hear that it one day just went away! What a dream. I have strong hope that the crazy stress I have been under the last 2-3 years plus PTSD that remains unresolved is the major cause. If I can get those things dealt with, I am sure the tinnitus will calm down too.

It's interesting you found the tinnitus louder with swimming specifically. I was swimming every day in an outdoor pool when the tinnitus first started. I also used to get ear infections as a child, which were affected by swimming. I may look into earplugs to keep the water out... I really love swimming!


Hello I have the same in both ears can I ask you how long you had tinnitus and pulsatile tinnitus and has it gone . If so how lovely 😊


Have you tried lipo flavanoid? I have t also, caused prob from trauma as well as some meds cause this too, read the inserts,, lipo works for me 8 out of 10 times,,,i take 2 at night before bed

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Wow, that's amazing. When you say 'works', do you mean it stops the noise? Or you just get a noticeable reduction? Thanks for the tip.


For the most part its diminished and some days its gone,,,i didnt take it as directed,,,but when i forget to take it at night its bad in the morning

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Very interesting. Recently I have been supplementing B vitamins and getting plenty of vitamin C. Definitely seeing some improvements but it's combined with other lifestyle changes so hard to isolate.

I'll give the lipo flavanoid a try for sure... thanks!!


Your very welcome, its been working for me


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