Running (Exercise in General) and Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by RichT, Jun 1, 2013.

    1. RichT

      RichT Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi all,

      Does anyone have any experience of running causing their tinnitus to get worse permanently?

      I have read that running or any other high impact exercise should be avoided as it damages crystals in the ear (?), however, running makes me feel mentally a lot better and I seem to be able to cope better and don't dwell on my tinnitus as much after a good blast. I am not sure if this is making it worse or not as I have recently suffered a pretty major breakdown which I suspect to be the root cause.

      I seem to be over the worst of that but my tinnitus is worse than ever :( and I don't want to keep on running if it's exacerbating the tinnitus.

      Any advice appreciated.

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    2. Molan
      No Mood

      Molan Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Hi Rich, it's difficult to say really, high impact exercises can sometimes make my tinnitus worse but it's only temporary. I stopped jogging many years ago but I do sometimes do HIIT exercises using Kettlebells or very occasionally sprinting. That's does make it louder for a little while.

      Everyone's ears are different so what might effect someone could have no effect on somebody else. My friend's dad has been jogging his whole life and has competed in something like 20+ London marathons but he has perfect hearing and no tinnitus and is in his late 50's. Everyone reacts differently.

      Exercise does make people feel good in general so if you are worried that running might make your tinnitus louder on a permanent basis maybe you can try other types of exercises perhaps?
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    3. erik

      erik Member Benefactor

      Washington State, USA
      Tinnitus Since:
      04/15/2012 or earlier?
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Most likely hearing loss
      Hey Rich,

      I don't jog but I play a lot of sports namely basketball and soccer several times a week. It does usually make my tinnitus spike for the day but like others said it is temporary for me. The enjoyment and exercise I get out of it is worth it for me anyway. I am sure you will get better once you get thru this bad spell.
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    4. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Rich T-
      I also run. I just ran a 5K last week. For me, it has no effect at all.

      The key to whether it effects your tinnitus, is whether running somehow excites the nerves associated with tinnitus. For most people, running increases endorphins, which make our mood better.

      My advice: Don't stop running. If it makes your tinnitus worse, it's only temporary. The benefits out weight a temporary spike.
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    5. Markku

      Markku Founder Staff Podcast Patron Benefactor Hall of Fame Advocate

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      My suggestion: go for a run, don't fear exercising, and don't actively listen to tinnitus during exercise nor after it.

      The less thought you can pay to your noise, the better. The perception of tinnitus changes the moment you start listening to it. It might have been "low" in your opinion, but once you look for it, you start to think something "increased" it, but nothing necessarily did; the sole reason may be the increased perception, or a temporary spike (and you shouldn't care about spikes, either).

      I wouldn't be surprised if it lowered to the previous level. Stress plays such a big part that in a while you should again feel your old self. I hope!

      Enjoy your runs,
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    6. Map

      Map Member Benefactor

      Czech Republic
      Tinnitus Since:
      8/2003 (mild), 12/2012 (loud), 11/2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      I started "running" (it is rather fast walking yet) after tinnitus worsening. I was never runner before, but now I need to do something active instead of sitting home and grieving over noise. So I am walking/running almost every day. It causes me spikes too, but I don't care about them, they are temporary. In fact, running makes me feel better, suppresses anxiety, I sleep better and has overall good impact on my condition.

      I always needed to lose some weight, and now I am finally doing it :) At least one positive thing, that came from my worsened tinnitus.
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    7. Petloy

      Petloy Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Running or jogging may spike my tinnitus but it's always temporary, go ahead and run, you'll feel better and may sleep even better afterwards, I do... when I run outside I don't wear plugs, but when I run in the gym, sometimes it's louder there so I just place cotton balls in my ears while I run in the treadmill.
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    8. Sven
      No Mood

      Sven Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      I run regularly and I have no negative side effects regarding tinnitus. I think it's good to keep exercising and I keep telling myself that it keeps my tinnitus. from getting worse. Don't run with music, though. It's easy to turn up the volume. Also, if you feel better in general it helps you to cope with your tinnitus.

      I'm 100% sure tinnitus caused by noise/loud music can't worsen with exercise.
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    9. yonkapin

      yonkapin Member Benefactor

      Melbourne, Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      March 2012
      Out of everything I've tried to treat my tinnitus volume, making sure I get a regular amount of cardio exercise into my schedule has been, by far, the most effective form of treatment for myself.

      I often forget how important this is actually. This past week and a bit I've been appling for new jobs and have been all over the city for interviews and what not, so I got a bit lazy and I wasn't getting my regular amount of cardio in. Immediately my stress crept up on me and so did my focus on the tinnitus, I felt pretty horrible - my ears were blasting off. So last night I got in a big session and immediately felt the benefits, the volume decreased significantly and my stress levels reduced.

      It's no miracle cure, and it takes alot of effort, but I recommend this to everyone, no matter who you or what type of tinnitus you have. Get moving! Whether it be running, rowing, biking, swimming, circuit training, etc - just start doing it, join a gym if you need to. Regular exercise = less stress (cortisol release) = less tinnitus.
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    10. Foamearplugssuck

      Foamearplugssuck Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Doing concert photography
      Hey all.

      I've been dealing with tinnitus for the past two weeks, probably from going to concerts.

      I really used to enjoy jogging, and I would like to get into it again because I'm a bit sad and it makes me feel good. However, I really need to be listening to something while I run in order to keep myself motivated. I've read that earbuds are generally A Bad Idea with tinnitus, even while listening at a low volume. I think that circumaural headphones would be safer, but since I have to run outside [can't afford the gym], I feel like that would be the equivalent of wearing a huge sign on my back that says "I can't hear much! Please attack me!"

      Do you guys have any thoughts/suggestions? Should I wait to see if the tinnitus will go away before attempting to run again?
    11. Digital Doc

      Digital Doc Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      noise induced
      Avoid the earplugs, as they can exacerbate noise induced tinnitus. In fact, if running near cars and traffic, be aware that noisy trucks are over 90 db's and can give further damage, so try to run where it is quieter or use hearing protection.

      I would say that running with ear buds is a bad combo in your situation. Even noise canceling headphones get mixed reviews here, although I don't have a set personally so have no direct experience.
    12. Michael B

      Michael B Member Benefactor

      San Diego, CA
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      I am a runner and got tinnitus from running while using earphones. I like many discourage people from using them, especially if they already have tinnitus. There's definitely a difference between earphones and headphones, particularly with dynamic range, but I've given up on headphones as well. Not easy when you're used to running with them but I'd rather not take the chance of making my tinnitus worse.
      That said, my tinnitus does amp up sometimes after a run but in the long run I know it's good for me so I'll always run to some degree or another.
      Last edited: Jun 8, 2019
    13. Michael Leigh

      Michael Leigh Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Brighton, UK
      Tinnitus Since:
      April /1996

      Running on hard ground or on a treadmill can make tinnitus louder and more intrusive for some people and it's not temporary, so I advise you to be careful. Due to impact that travels up through the legs into the upper body, head and auditory system.

      If a person find their tinnitus getting louder due to running, consider using an elliptical/crosstrainer as there is no impact with the ground.

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