Share Your Experience with Going to the Gym with Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by Vincent R, Apr 22, 2015.

    1. Vincent R

      Vincent R Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic trauma
      Since my tinnitus onset six months ago, I've stayed away from the gym, since the music seems awfully loud. But my body is telling me I need to get back to training. It's not just a question about getting to feel better or having my life back or whatever. My right knee has started to make funny noises, which indicates there's a cartilage degeneration coming on. (No surprise since my right leg is a little bit longer than the left one, which causes strain. Unless I train properly, I'll fall the fuck apart.)

      So... today I visited no less than six gyms in the nearby town, hoping to find a fairly quiet one. It worked out poorly. I spent perhaps 5-10 minutes in four of them to confirm that they were too loud. The two others seemed too loud as well, but still a little bit better, so I stayed for maybe half an hour at each. At one of the gyms, they must have turned up the volume, changed the song or something, because suddenly the music felt hurtful. Stubborn as I am, I finished two exercises before I left.

      All the time, I was wearing fresh foam earplugs inserted so they entered the inner ear channel, and noise cancelling headphones. But I'm still a bit worried that I overdid things. That bloody music has a lot of bass to it, which means there's room for me to get paranoid about bone conduction :nailbiting:

      In short, I'd appreciate if Tinnitus Talk members could share their experience on going to the gym with tinnitus. Do you do it or do you avoid it? If you do, are you fine with the volume of the music? Have you had any problems with tinnitus getting aggravated? Do you wear hearing protection and what kind? Etcetera.
    2. James P

      James P Member

      Halifax, Canada
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma (Club)
      Gyms I've been to in my area didn't have music playing luckily. I didn't know a lot of gyms have music, that would annoy me a bit.
    3. linearb

      linearb Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      beliefs are makyo and reality ignores them
      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Regular gym visits have been instrumental to my mental well being, both in terms of tinnitus, and in terms of the myriad of benzodiazepine withdrawal symptoms I've endure over the past 2 years.

      The gym I go to is in a very professional, upscale part of town, and in general is not crazy loud. The music in the general weight room and machine rooms is not at a volume that bothers me at all; in fact, it's much quieter than people occaisionally dropping weights and grunting and the like.

      I will say that there are some classes in the exercise studio rooms, which blast loud trance music. I have never tried to go inside those classes, and don't imagine I'd be able to tolerate it without earplugs.
      • Like Like x 2
    4. Limited446

      Limited446 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Noise exposure
      Hi all,

      I've had tinnitus for just over 2 months now from concerts. I have a constant piercing ringing/ whistling, on a good day it sounds more like air coming out of a tyre. Perhaps over the last 2 months it has slightly decreased in volume, I still am clinging onto hope that it will completely go away. Unfortunately I recently developed a faint inconsistent radiator whistling sound in my left ear which is really frustrating. Just as I felt like I was beginning to get used to the tinnitus, this new sound just came out of nowhere, seemingly unprovoked, and this is really hard to ignore as its more tonal and keeps changing volume. Also if I move my jaw forward/ put pressure on the side of my head just above my cheekbones right in front of your ear, it triggers a ring in my ears / makes the tinnitus more intense.

      I started going back to the gym about a month ago (weight lifting) which I enjoy doing, I feel like it's good to help forget about the tinnitus, however one time when I was pushing myself doing some deadlifts, immediately after the set I felt really dizzy and faint, as I left the gym, both of my ears immediately blocked themselves, this was really disconcerting. I felt like I was on an airplane and I was unable pop my ears. This feeling was similar to when I first developed the tinnitus when my ears were properly injured.

      When I was doing some dumbbell raises, with each raising of the weight, I could hear a ring (the same ring that I hear when I move my jaw forward) which lasts for as long as the weight is raised.

      When I was in bed, I noticed a spike in the tinnitus and a few increases in the number of occurrences of those one-off rings you get, the type of momentary ringing sound effect you hear from an explosion in a film or video game which lasts for just a second or so. These rings specifically freaked me out.

      I googled this and it found out that tinnitus and hearing loss can be caused by weight lifting by creating pressure in your body, from holding your breath etc which goes to your ears. I frequently have seen people on here who recommend going to the gym for a bit of peace of mind etc from tinnitus, my question is, have any of you had a similar experience to this? I just want to make absolutely sure that I'm not accidentally making it worse by simply going to the gym. I've recently taken to trying not to hold my breath during a set, reducing the amount of weight etc, but I'd sooner quit my membership rather than risk making it worse.

      Thanks in advance.
      • Good Question Good Question x 1
    5. hans799

      hans799 Member Benefactor Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      Born with it
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Worsened Dec 2016 by headphones
      My own experience: I've been going to the gym for 4 years, 3-4 times every week, every week. My lifts are somewhat respectable (maxes are 77.5kgs/170lbs for military press, 125kg/275lbs for bench press, bodyweight + 36kg for pull-up), and I push myself as hard as I can. It has never hurt my tinnitus, in fact it is almost always quieter afterwards. And it is absolutely essential for mental health.

      Thoughts on your experiences:
      I think you overexerted yourself there and was maybe also dehydrated. Your Eustachian tubes were temporarily blocked. That happens sometimes to me, too, and also to my gym bro (who doesn't have tinnitus). Drink more water and take it easier with them deadlifts, this ain't a sprint. :)
      This is called "somatic tinnitus". Somatic is simply Latin for "of the body, caused by the body". It is a very common subtype of tinnitus in which the patient can modulate (change) the sound by certain body movements. Usually there are multiple ways to modulate the tinnitus. You probably execute such a movement during the dumbbell raise. This is harmless, performing the movement that modulates the somatic tinnitus won't lead to a permanent increase.
      Those babies are called "fleeting tinnitus". They're very scary, but also perfectly normal. Even people without chronic tinnitus get them. Their cause isn't well understood, and it's possible that you get them more often when you're tired or overexerted. But they're benign, they don't signal damage or an upcoming worsening of the main tinnitus.

      To sum this up:
      • all of the three separate issues you've mentioned seem normal to me. I don't think the gym is hurting you. On the contrary, I think it would be a good idea to keep going to the gym, because it is an invaluable boon to mental and physical health and a great form of stress relief.
      • however, since your tinnitus is very new, you should give it every chance to heal. I think you should reduce the weights you work with, and instead increase rep counts. That way, the peaks in blood pressure and exertion will be lower and more spread out. Also, you should consider using earplugs (or if you think that looks silly, silicone earbuds without any actual music playing - that also reduces external noise and looks normal) to reduce impact noises.
      • this doesn't have to be a permanent arrangement; over time, your tinnitus will stabilize (or will maybe go away completely) and you'll have a good idea of what's normal for it, what it likes, what it hates. Then you'll be able to make appropriate adjustments.
      • Like Like x 1
    6. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Looks like your tinnitus reacts to increases in blood pressure.

      If I were you, I would stop doing anything that seems to cause tinnitus to get louder. Keep in mind that I don't have a medical background, I am just someone who has been reading this forum for the past three years.
      • Like Like x 1
    7. JohnFox

      JohnFox Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown. Sudden loss of 100% hearing R ear with Tinnitus
      I go to the YMCA all the time to work out. They don't play music at the Y, but in your case I would think if your wearing foam ear plugs as well as headphones, you would have nothing to worry about with music being played.

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