The Valsalva Maneuver Substantially Lowers My Tinnitus

Discussion in 'Support' started by Poseidon65, Jun 23, 2020.

    1. Poseidon65

      Poseidon65 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert
      The title of this thread says it all. I'm not sure why, but it's definitely the case that the Valsalva maneuver, performed gently, brings me substantial relief from my tinnitus. Basically, after performing the maneuver, the intensity of my tinnitus is much lower (as much as 80% lower), and this persists for a good while.

      I think this is interesting because I've seen others say that Valsalva has no impact on their tinnitus. In addition, some folks advise against Valsalva due to potential ear damage (it can rupture an eardrum if done too forcefully).

      A few other things I'll mention:

      - I have a history of ear infections. Growing up, I had tubes put in my ears because of this. Even as an adult, I'll get an ear infection every few years or so, which I think is much more often than for the general population.
      - Like the poster in this thread, I also notice that the Valsalva maneuver improves my hearing at high frequencies. Arguably this means that the Valsalva makes it easier to mask my tinnitus (because high frequency noise has an easier time being heard over the tinnitus). However, I'm quite sure that the improvement I notice isn't just from masking. I know this because the improvement is apparent even in a completely silent room.


      Does anyone have thoughts on why Valsalva might provide me such substantial relief, given that it doesn't seem to work for many other folks? Could my history of ear infections indicate that my middle ear pressure is "generally not right," and that's perhaps why it helps me specifically? Any general thoughts?

      I'll add that if you plan to try the Valsalva maneuver, PLEASE do so very carefully. I don't want this thread to be responsible for any folks' damaging their ears further.
       
    2. Samantha R

      Samantha R Member Benefactor Ambassador

      Location:
      Geelong Australia
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/2016
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      @Poseidon65 if your ears are clogged, the pressure in your middle ear changes and it's likely your tinnitus is amplified.
      You could have a tympanogram at an audiologist to test the pressure in your middle ear.
      Valsalva would provide relief for me when I've had blocked ears.
       
    3. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Poseidon65

      Poseidon65 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert
      @Samantha R thanks for this. I have had a tympanogram and the audiologist did not point out anything as being abnormal. I will have another hearing test in a few weeks (and likely another tympanogram), and so I'll ask about my ear pressure then.
       
    4. Lane

      Lane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic Drug
      @Poseidon65 -- There seems to be a different combination of causes and contributing factors in most people's tinnitus, so a therapy that works for one kind of tinnitus will not necessarily work for another. Interesting story: My brother told me a good friend of his talked with his doctor about his tinnitus. The doctor suggested he do the Valsalva technique up to 40 times a day, throughout the day. -- It helped improve his tinnitus.
       
    5. wocaonima

      wocaonima Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold
    6. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Poseidon65

      Poseidon65 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert
      @wocaonima I'll note that my tinnitus is actually noise-induced, though that doesn't rule out other ear issues (as I mentioned, I get ear infections much more often than most people).

      I'll also mention that if I do the Valsalva too often, my hearing becomes very sensitive, enough so that I fear another acoustic trauma. For example, if I've Valsalva'd too many times, a sound that's only moderately loud to others can sound very loud to me, potentially damaging my ears. As a result, I will use Valsalva very sparingly (only if I'm having a really tough time, or if I feel negative pressure in my ear).
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    7. wocaonima

      wocaonima Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold
      @Poseidon65 Also, I noticed that several people on this forum can make their tinnitus disappear temporarily when having their tinnitus ear/s full of liquid/oil so that their ear drums are submerged (again, myself included). Does this also work for you? Has this got something to do with pressure changes in ears also, I wonder.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    8. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Poseidon65

      Poseidon65 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert
      @wocaonima I think my T is mild enough that if I submerge my head in water (say in a bathtub), the T would simply be masked by other noise. As a result, I wouldn't be able to say if the T actually went away. I realize I'm lucky in this regard.
       
    9. Bill Bauer
      No Mood

      Bill Bauer Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Acoustic Trauma
      Don't do it too hard - it can make tinnitus worse.
       
      • Agree Agree x 1
    10. Lurius
      Wishful

      Lurius Member

      Location:
      Oslo, Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Valsalva maneuver
      This is an interesting post to me, because doing the valsalva maneuver is what caused my tinnitus in the first place.
       
      • Informative Informative x 1
    11. wocaonima

      wocaonima Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      11/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Cold
      @Lurius I am sorry but I can’t help think about it..what would performing Valsalva manoeuvre (a gentle one) do to your T now, I wonder?
       
    12. Lurius
      Wishful

      Lurius Member

      Location:
      Oslo, Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Valsalva maneuver
      I don't know and I'm also not brave enough to find out. Sorry, but it's just too risky. I only have T in my left ear. I don't want to risk getting it in the right ear as well.
       
      • Hug Hug x 2
      • Agree Agree x 1
    13. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Did you get it from only performing the Valsalva once? Do you know how did it hurt your ear?
       
    14. Lurius
      Wishful

      Lurius Member

      Location:
      Oslo, Norway
      Tinnitus Since:
      September 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Valsalva maneuver
      I had been sick for a week. Just a common cold, even though it was nasty, it passed. On the "last" day of the sickness I felt well again, but my ears felt very clogged. This was bothering me quite a lot so I decided to do the valsalva maneuver. I pinched my nose and blew really hard - way too much. IMMEDIATLY after I could hear the tinnitus. The day after I started suffering from vertigo. I was stuck in bed for many days, and I needed support from my mom to eat and to walk around. I was extremely dizzy all the time. Fortunately, the vertigo passe in about 6-7 days. The tinnitus did not. Here I am, almost 2 years later and I still have that bloody noise in my ear. Only in the left ear though.

      I'm hoping that it's just a matter of time and that my ruptured eardrum will finally heal 100% sometime in the next 1-3 years. I know for a fact that I did not get this from noise trauma, so I'm not worried about "the little hairs" being knocked down. I did this to myself.
       
      • Hug Hug x 1
    15. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      I tried the Valsalva gently. It made both of my ears really clogged for some minutes. I freaked out, but I think, now it's normalized. Weird thing is that it made my tinnitus lower in volume, but shriller in nature.
       
      • Helpful Helpful x 1
    16. Lane

      Lane Member Hall of Fame

      Tinnitus Since:
      February, 2018
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Ototoxic Drug
      Hi @Lurius -- I'm sorry to hear how that Valsalva technique caused your tinnitus. One thought I had was whether it could have pushed some of the infection from your cold into your ear drum and/or inner ear. If you think that's a possibility, you may want to check out THIS POST. The following is the finish of that fairly long post.

      As soon as I realized that my Tinnitus could have an inflammatory aspect, I looked for medicines with an anti-inflammatory effect (on my Tinnitus) and tried a few different things including Mullein Garlic Oil.
      As soon as I tried this ear oil I noticed a huge change in my Tinnitus - literally the volume was cut in half. This simple ear oil brought my Tinnitus completely under control. I only need to use it now and then and it will stay subdued and under control for weeks.

      I know that this is a bit of a long story but I wanted to make a bigger point (like other threads that I read) that some of this is psychosomatic and that part of it is paying enough attention to what your body is trying to tell you. Do you get enough sleep? Do you try to avoid stress and be honest about it with yourself?

      Discovering that my type of Tinnitus is treatable has improved my quality of life a lot. I hope this story helps others to find their best approach to deal with and treat Tinnitus successfully.

      Yours truly, Roger

      https://www.amazon.com/Herb-Pharm-Mullein-Garlic-Herbal/dp/B001E8DBU8/
       
    17. Mister Muso
      Inactive

      Mister Muso Member

      Location:
      Scotland
      Tinnitus Since:
      2007 / April 2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud music
      Ah yes, I remember when I just had tinnitus in one ear. Happy days.
       
    18. Tanni
      Lurking

      Tanni Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      October 2017
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      ???
      Funny, my last doctor told me to do the exact same thing -- he said he could see bubbles of air behind my eardrum. But I was too afraid to try it in case it made my Tinnitus worse.
       
      • Like Like x 1
    19. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Poseidon65

      Poseidon65 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert
      @Kriszti is the shriller nature of your tinnitus now back to normal?

      I'll mention that I've found the same on two different occasions (too much Valsalva has made my tinnitus more shrill). Today is one of those occasions. As a result I'll likely discontinue the Valsalva for tinnitus relief, unless I feel an actual pressure problem in my ear.
       
    20. Kriszti

      Kriszti Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      2016/2017/2019
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Unknown
      Yes, fortunatly. But my tinnitus is normally very prone to fluctuation of volume and shrillness.

      And another side effect which I guess was due to the Valsalva was that for some day my nose felt weird. It was a bit runny, and I felt that phlegm were going down to my throat. I was not having a cold and it presented itself right after the Valsalva.
       
    21. AUTHOR
      AUTHOR
      Poseidon65

      Poseidon65 Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      1/2020
      Cause of Tinnitus:
      Loud concert

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